Network Members

Learn more about us and our expertise in the field of Economic Criticism.

Network Coordinators:

Prof. Dr. Joanna Rostek, University of Giessen

“My areas of expertise in Economic Criticism are the interconnections between economics and gender, the history/herstory of economic thought, and transdisciplinary methodologies that challenge rigid boundary lines between ‘literary’ and ‘economic’ texts. This is what I explore in my award-winning book on Women’s Economic Thought in the Romantic Age. (Read the BARS 5 Questions Interview to learn more.) In other publications, I investigate the role of capitalism in 21st-century literature, culture, and media: I have written on representations of capitalism in fiction and film, on economic dimensions of space in migrant literature, and on emotional capitalism.”

Prof. Dr. Nora A. Pleßke, University of Magdeburg and University of Bamberg

With my academic background in Cultural and Business Studies, I have always been interested in the interrelations between culture, literature, and the economy. I have published on economic aspects of Enlightenment/Romantic travel writing, the materiality of the nineteenth-century novel, the economies of collecting, economic dimensions of urban transformation, as well as urban heritage culture and the culture industries. Currently, I am finishing a book on the translocation of colonial objects in the context of the economic-material expansion of the British Empire (1760-1920). My research interests in the field of Economic Criticism, more widely, lie in interdisciplinary approaches of economic geography, economic anthropology, and consumer criticism.

Prof. Dr. Ellen Grünkemeier, University of Bielefeld

“As my understanding of Economic Criticism is informed by British Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Studies, my research focuses on questions of social inequality and global imbalances in the distribution of wealth and power. I am currently finishing a book on working-class appropriations of time and space in nineteenth-century England, exploring cultural documents and practices that challenge the dominant bourgeois discourse of industrial capitalism.”

Network Members:

Prof. Dr. Dorothee Birke, University of Innsbruck

“Within the field of Economic Criticism, I am particularly interested in the topic of home as an area of intersection between individual economic problems and larger socio-political concerns. In various articles (for example here and here), I look at the ways in which contemporary British plays have addressed the housing crisis in Britain. This work links the plays’ thematic economic concerns with an analysis of the media economy of which they themselves are a part.”

Prof. Dr. Anne Enderwitz, Humboldt University Berlin

“My work in Economic Criticism focuses on early modern economics and theatre. It interrogates economic thought around 1600 and seeks to illuminate its ties with ethics and politics. Furthermore, I look at how early modern theatre explored new social possibilities and risks at a moment of socio-economic transformation. I am also interested in theorising changing concepts of value and property in this transitional period and beyond.”

Prof. Dr. Melissa Kennedy, University of Education of Upper Austria, Linz

“My areas of expertise in Economic Criticism and literary economics revolve around literary and cultural representations of capitalism’s combined and uneven development. In Narratives of Inequality, I trace the incursion of capitalism through colonisation and its contemporary forms under neoliberalism. My recent work focuses on powerful narratives that describe ways of living for individual wellbeing, community solidarity and planetary balance.”

Prof. Dr. Caroline Koegler, FU Berlin

“My research in Economic Criticism focuses on theories of the market, marketisation, branding, and the performative market in relation to literature and academia (see e.g. my book Critical Branding. Postcolonial Studies and the Market). I also approach the market from the tripartite, interdisciplinary angle of Law, Literature, and Economics (TP Markt und Literatur, SFB 1385 Recht und Literatur) and am in the process of writing a book on literature’s changing cultural, economic, and legal status in a digital age for CUP’s Cambridge Elements in Publishing and Book Culture (with Corinna Norrick-Rühl).”

Prof. Dr. Susanne Peters, University of Magdeburg

“I became interested in the relationships between economic concerns and anglophone literature while researching contemporary approaches to affluence in novel writing. Thinking about a presumably integral connection between (relative, supposed) happiness and (relative, supposed) luxury, I became aware of a large number of narratives that focus in many ways on monetary issues. When I decided to organise a series of lectures on the topic and to later edit a volume of these, I felt a growing interdisciplinary fascination with economic matters within contemporary writing. So, my line of enquiry in this network will be to look into the ups and downs and consequences of becoming fortunate — or becoming rather poor in the rich worlds of narratives.”

PD Dr. Natalie Roxburgh, University of Hamburg

“My research in Economic Criticism explores economic and financial discourses in literary and cultural texts from the seventeenth century to the present in US and British contexts. I’m especially interested in the way changes in political economy and public finance relate to new subjectivities and ways of engaging in private finance and in other facets of life. Besides my monograph Representing Public Credit, I have published widely on topics such as drugs and finance, political economy and aesthetics, and financial subjectivity. I’m currently finishing a book on rethinking aesthetic disinterestedness in light of the development of nineteenth-century political economy.”

Prof. Dr. Gerold Sedlmayr, TU Dortmund University

“My interest in Economic Criticism stems from my work in cultural studies, a discipline which, in the tradition of the Birmingham School, has always been concerned with the interdependence of culture and the economy. I have published articles on cultural representations of contemporary austerity policies, on conceptions of (economic) power, and on the body (‘value’ of the body; body ownership), with my focal areas being the literature and culture of the Romantic era and those of our contemporary moment. I have begun working on a history of the concept of value from the 18th century.”

Prof. Dr. Barbara Straumann, University of Zurich

“Within the area of Economic Criticism I am particularly interested in issues of debt. I have published articles on debt in the moral imagination of the Victorian novel, and I am currently working on an interdisciplinary volume on debt studies bringing together approaches in philosophy, history, literary and cultural studies. In other publications and talks, I explore literary and cinematic representations of finance as well as relationships between economic issues and gender.”

Prof. Dr. Eva von Contzen, University of Freiburg

“My interest in Economic Criticism is rooted in my research on literary forms and formal approaches to literature, in which I pursue to what extent certain formal and structural textual arrangements are aligned with issues such as consumerism, capitalism, and market dynamics. From a cognitive literary perspective, I am interested in how literary texts are indicative of patterns of thinking about economic questions more generally. As a medievalist, I also have a strong interest in the diachronic changes of economic practices and their representation in literature.”

Affiliate Members:

Professor Paul Crosthwaite, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature, University of Edinburgh

Paul Crosthwaite is a Professor in the Department of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. His publications in the field of Economic Criticism include The Market Logics of Contemporary Fiction and, as co-editor with Peter Knight and Nicky Marsh, Show Me the Money: The Image of Finance, 1700 to the Present and The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Economics (forthcoming), as well as numerous articles and book chapters. He is currently completing a book entitled The Shadow of 1929: American Literature in an Age of Crisis.

Professor Martha Woodmansee, Case Western Reserve University

Martha Woodmansee, emerita Professor of English and Law, has pioneered interdisciplinary research at the intersections of aesthetics, economics, and law. Together with Mark Osteen, she has established the New Economic Criticism. Their edited volume The New Economic Criticism: Studies at the Intersection of Literature and Economics remains a key contribution for Economic Criticism and English Studies today.