Methodologies of Economic Criticism

A Research Network Exploring the Interrelations between Literature, Culture, and the Economy

We are a research network of twelve scholars based in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Norway, funded by the German Research Foundation DFG. Our aim is to systematise, compare and evaluate the diverse and partially overlapping methodologies within English Studies that constitute the burgeoning field of Economic Criticism – an interdisciplinary research area that explores the various interconnections, past and present, between literature, culture, the economy and economics.

As a reaction to the financial crisis of 2007/8 and global challenges with clear links to the economy (e.g. climate change, economic inequalities, automation, digitalisation, migration), Economic Criticism is currently flourishing in English Studies and the humanities more broadly. Despite an outpouring of publications, however, a decidedly methodological approach to analysing literature, culture and the economy is still missing. Our network will fill this research gap: we bring longstanding expertise in different approaches to Economic Criticism and represent four sub-disciplines of English Studies: literary studies, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, and didactics.

We have taken up our work in 2021 and these are our main goals for the next three years:

  1. To develop and publish a Handbook of Methodologies of Economic Criticism, providing a comprehensive, critical and historically informed overview of established and innovative analytical tools for scrutinising the economy with the means provided by English Studies.
  2. To implement our findings into academic teaching, by developing a set of teaching materials on Economic Criticism for tertiary education.
  3. To enhance the national and international visibility of Economic Criticism conducted within the German-speaking Anglistik.
  4. To serve as a hub for bringing into dialogue extant and emerging individual projects within Economic Criticism in German-speaking countries and beyond.
  5. To encourage inter- and transdisciplinary research across the humanities and economics.

If you are interested in our work, contact us at: info@economic-criticism.de.