Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

  • Monday, February 4, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:30am

Fisher-Bennett Hall, room 330

Devin William Daniels will be sharing his work-in-progress, "Kill the Body and the Head Will Die: Realism, Capitalism, and the Financier." Devin writes 

"In this paper, I consider two wildly divergent texts, Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary and Kim Stanley Robinson's New York 2140, through their use of the figure of the financier. I argue that the financier has served as an important tool for realist novelists, allowing them to instantiate the unseen movements and logics of capital, to give capital a body and a head. While acknowledging the potential risks of such a transhistorical comparison, I believe by tracing the evolving use of this figure across time, we might elucidate the dynamic series of relations that is the history of capitalism and the particular interventions the novels in question make towards articulating and critiquing those relations. In short, I ask of both these novels: how can we get into capitalism’s head, and what do we learn in the (perhaps necessarily failed) attempt to do so?"

 Please email me if you would like a copy of Devin's paper, which will be available the Friday before the workshop. I look forward to seeing many of you there!