Neoliberalism and Contemporary American Literature

Neoliberalism and Contemporary American Literature

Re-Mapping the Transnational

A Dartmouth Series in American Studies

Series Editor

Donald E. Pease
Avalon Foundation Chair of Humanities
Founding Director of the  Futures of American Studies Institute
Dartmouth College

The emergence of Transnational American Studies in the wake of the Cold War marks the most significant reconfiguration of American Studies since its inception. The shock waves generated by a newly globalized world order demanded an understanding of America's embeddedness within global and local processes rather than scholarly reaffirmations of its splendid isolation. The series Re-Mapping the Transnational seeks to foster the cross-national dialogues needed to sustain the vitality of this emergent field. To advance a truly comparativist understanding of this scholarly endeavor, Dartmouth College Press welcomes monographs from scholars both inside and outside the United States.

For a complete list of books available in this series, see

Liam Kennedy and Stephen Shapiro, editors, Neoliberalism and Contemporary American Literature
Florian Tatschner, The Other Presences: Reading Literature Other-Wise after the Transnational Turn in American Studies
Julius Greve, Shreds of  Matter: Cormac McCarthy and the Concept of Nature
Elisabeth Ceppi, Invisible Masters: Gender, Race, and the Economy of Service in Early New England
Yael Ben­-zvi, Native Land Talk: Indigenous and Arrivant Rights Theories and the US Settler State
Joanne Chassot, Ghosts of the African Diaspora: Re-Visioning History, Memory, and Identity
Samuele F. S. Pardini, In the Name of the  Mother: Italian Americans, African Americans, and Modernity from Booker T. Washington to Bruce Springsteen
Sonja Schillings, Enemies of All Humankind: Fictions of Legitimate Violence
Günter H. Lenz, edited by Reinhard Isensee, Klaus J. Milich, Donald E. Pease, John Carlos Rowe, A Critical History of the New American Studies, 1970–1990
Helmbrecht Breinig, Hemispheric Imaginations: North American Fictions of Latin America
Jimmy Fazzino, World Beats: Beat Generation Writing and the Worlding of U.S. Literature

Neoliberalism and Contemporary American Literature

Liam Kennedy and Stephen Shapiro | Editors

Dartmouth College Press
Hanover, New Hampshire

Dartmouth College Press
© 2019 Trustees of Dartmouth College
All rights reserved
Manufactured in the United States of America
For permission to reproduce any of the material in this book, contact Permissions, Dartmouth College Press, 6025 Baker-Berry Library,  Hanover, NH 03755; or email
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data available upon request

Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-5126-0360-6
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-5126-0361-3
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-5126-0362-0

5 4 3 2 1
For our former teachers,
Bill Lazenbatt and David L. Smith
And for Anne and Milla.


1. Introduction

Liam Kennedy and Stephen Shapiro

2. Literature, Theory, and the Temporalities of Neoliberalism

Eli Jelly-Schapiro

3. Foucault, Neoliberalism, Algorithmic Governmentality, and the Loss of Liberal Culture

Stephen Shapiro

4. The Flamethrowers and the Making of Modern Art

Myka Tucker-Abramson

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

Hamilton Carroll

6. Fictions of Human Capital; Or, Redemption in Neoliberal Times

Christian P. Haines

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

Donald E. Pease

8. Desert Stories: Liberal Anxieties and the Neoliberal Novel

Liam Kennedy

9. Beyond Precarity: Ideologies of Labor in Anti-Trafficking Crime Fiction

Caren Irr

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

Sharae Deckard

11. Postcapitalism in Space: Kim Stanley Robinson's Utopian Science Fiction

Dan Hassler-Forest

Contributor Biographies


We wish to thank all of those who helped to organize and participated in the conference on Neoliberalism and American Literature at University College Dublin in 2016, which was a key platform for the inception of this book. In particular, thanks to Catherine Carey of the UCD Clinton Institute for her support with that event. We are grateful to Richard Pult at University Press of New England for his faith in this project and patience with its development.

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

The full text of this book is also available as a downloadable PDF here.

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