Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Gold Fever: Money and the American Novel

ENGL 286.601

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, The Dark Knight Rises, and David Cronenburg’s Cosmopolis: all Hollywood films made in the last three years, and all about money. America’s love affair with telling stories about money has a long and fascinating tradition. Looking at a number of novels, but also films, short stories, and economic theory, we will examine how the American tradition engages with economics and creates fictions about finance. We will cover historical topics such as the roaring 20s, the Great Depression, the bubble, and the recent financial crisis. Authors may include Don DeLillo, Theodore Dreiser, Bret Easton Ellis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jonathan Franzen, James Weldon Johnson, and Nathanael West.