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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of English: English Studies

First Advisor

Christopher Breu


Reading Neoliberalism argues that neoliberalism is an intellectual tradition preoccupied by political and social practices that are undergirded (or “legitimated”) by economic theories/rhetorics. It is, in short, a philosophy that equates individual human freedom with freedom of the economic marketplace, all while using state/corporate apparatus to delimit actual subjective freedom and protect processes of capital accumulation. Reading Neoliberalism examines several of the most pervasive neoliberal rhetorics that shape contemporary society—rhetorics that pave the way for, and subsequently defend, the policies that enforce neoliberal hegemony across the globe, thereby providing the structure for the present world order. Reading Neoliberalism views twenty-four contemporary literary texts, by twenty-two different authors, through the lens of neoliberalism. These two-dozen transnational texts—which encompass individual short stories, a short-story collection, novels, novellas, and a poetic work of critical theory—are arranged to facilitate a series of considerations of how the surrounding of neoliberal policies by supportive neoliberal rhetorics is presented, critiqued, and resisted throughout contemporary literature. Overall, the project is designed to affirm the ability of literary art (and critical considerations of such art) to function as a component of counter-neoliberal endeavors.


Imported from ProQuest Wollitz_ilstu_0092E_11035.pdf


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