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Download 1. Introduction (304 KB)

Download 2. Literature, Theory, and the Temporalities of Neoliberalism (290 KB)

Download 3. Foucault, Neoliberalism, Algorithmic Governmentality, and the Loss of Liberal Culture (360 KB)

Download 4. The Flamethrowers and the Making of Modern Art (289 KB)

Download 5. "On the Very Edge of Fiction": Risk, Representation, and the Subject of Contemporary Fiction in Ben Lerner's 10:04 (303 KB)

Download 6. Fictions of Human Capital; Or, Redemption in Neoliberal Times (315 KB)

Download 7. The Uncanny Re-Worlding of the Post-9/11 American Novel, Joseph O'Neill's Netherland; Or, The Cultural Fantasy Work of Neoliberalism (289 KB)

Download 8. Desert Stories: Liberal Anxieties and the Neoliberal Novel (277 KB)

Download 9. Beyond Precarity: Ideologies of Labor in Anti-Trafficking Crime Fiction (292 KB)

Download 10. "Terminal Insomnia": Sleeplessness, Labor, and Neoliberal Ecology in Karen Russell's Sleep Donation and Alex Rivera's Sleep Dealer (297 KB)

Download 11. Postcapitalism in Space: Kim Stanley Robinson's Utopian Science Fiction (304 KB)


How has American literature responded to the dominance of neoliberalism? Does it make sense to speak of an "American" literature in neoliberal times? Can literature function as either a neutral category or a privileged narrative of national imagination in a time when paradigms of the nation-state and of liberal capitalism are undergoing a prolonged shift? In the United States, as elsewhere, the association between the nation-state, liberal capitalism, and literary form has a long history, reflecting determinate relations between writer and reader within imagined national community. As this community loses its symbolic efficiency in the age of neoliberal capital, the boundaries and possibilities of literary production and representation shift. This collection of essays examines how American literature both models and interrogates the neoliberal present. Has literary realism been exhausted as a narrative form? Can contemporary literature still imagine either the end of capitalism or an alternative to it?



Publication Date



Dartmouth College Press


Hanover, NH


American Literature | American Studies | Arts and Humanities


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Original Citation

Kennedy, Liam, and Stephen Shapiro, eds. Neoliberalism and Contemporary American Literature. Hanover, New Hampshire: Dartmouth College Press, 2019.

Neoliberalism and Contemporary American Literature