COML 3542

COML 3542

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2022-2023.

This course examines the stories, literary examples, and metaphors at work in elaborating capitalist society and its "hero," the modern economic subject: the so-called "homo oeconomicus." We will examine the classic liberal tradition (e.g., Locke, Smith, Mill) alongside its later critiques (e.g., Marx, Nietzsche, Weber, Brecht) as well as more recent feminist, Black, and indigenous interventions (e.g., Federici, Davis, "land-grab university" research). Throughout we will create a dialogue between texts, both across centuries (e.g., Locke on Property with Indigenous Dispossession; Balzac's Pere Goriot with Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century) as well as across genres (e.g., Nomadland with Geissler's Seasonal Associate). At stake are the narrative and figurative moments in theoretical texts as well as crucial literary sources (novels, novellas, and plays) as they collectively develop the modern economic paradigms of industry, exchange, credit-debt, and interest – as well as the people they often leave out: women, people of color, the working class. The seminar will include working with an archive, collection, or museum at Cornell.

When Offered Spring.

Distribution Category (ALC-AS, CA-AS, ETM-AS)

Comments Taught in English.

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Syllabi: none
  • 17676 COML 3542   LEC 001

  • Instruction Mode: In Person