Neoliberalism's Literary Rhythms: Engaging with Canonical Texts to Vanquish the Market Myth

16:00 - 18:00 | 24 January 2020 | Room S2, Alison Richard Building, University of Cambridge.

At this seminar in the cum panis series, we are joined by Ian Bruff, to discuss some of his current research. Dr Bruff is a lecturer of European Politics at the University of Manchester.

This talk makes the case against the widespread assumption that neoliberalism is, even if rather different in practice, a worldview that is fundamentally about the valorisation of free markets. It does so by returning to canonical and theoretical texts across the Chicago, Austrian and Ordoliberal approaches, and argues that they are less interested in the promotion of free markets than in the remaking of states and households in a manner which is anti-democratic and denies the possibilities for social justice. The implications for our understanding and critiques of neoliberalism – in theory and in practice – are considered, as are prospects for resistance and progressive societal transformation in the contemporary period. Finally, drawing on Gramsci and Benjamin, the notion of 'literary rhythms' will be reflected on as a means for studying, analysing and critiquing neoliberal texts. The talk relates to an ongoing book project and comments on any aspect of the talk will be gratefully received.

Please email to book a space and receive the reading for this seminar.