Presenter: Max Rutherford

Max Rutherford is a fourth year English and Economics double major with an interest in science fiction, macro-development, and economic regulation. Generously bribed the entire English Students Association for a spot in this colloquium.

Economic Perceptions and Literary Monsters – Is there a Capitalist Hiding Under my Bed?

What are the dangers, as well as the necessities, of narrativizing economics and synthesizing literary and economic study? This presentation will explore how various press releases and documents from the Bank of Canada, energy companies, and numerous investment banks coalesce to form narrativized versions of the economy. The Kinder-Morgan pipeline “growth” narrative and the 2008 “Great Recession” narrative will be examined to underline how the abstraction of economic data and modelling can result in effacement of other narratives – from ecological to political to personal. These cases will be supplemented with an exploration of how literary monstrosities become stand-ins for various economic anxieties. While this may seem trivial, or perhaps somewhat obvious, it is important to underline how our perception of the economy feeds back into the economy itself. Markets are significantly impacted by expectations, speculation and characterization. In examining both literary economies and economics in literature, we can tangibly alter the character of real world markets and economies. What is the nature of these alterations and what must we be aware of, both as English scholars and economic actors?

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