Materializing the Market from the Bank War to the Civil War
Latterner, Eva, English - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Greeson, Jennifer, AS-English-Eng Lit Ops, University of Virginia
Materializing the Market from the Bank War to the Civil War attends to the ways in which American writers in the 1830s and 1840s theorized the social, commercial, and epistemological crisis represented by the acceleration of capitalist systems and logics during the market revolution. I argue that the epistemological problems produced by the vast expansion of market networks and the increasing virtuality of financial instruments in the middle decades of the century represented a crisis of materiality that put the concrete and the imaginary, the signified and the signifier, the real and the representative into new practical and metaphysical relation. The writers treated in this dissertation produce something like vernacular or popular theories of materialism by working through genres such as the hoax, the banknote, the slave narrative, and the architecture of home, which trouble and reconstruct the relationship between matter and imagination.
PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Capitalism, American literature, Nineteenth Century
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