ENG 574

Literature and Society: Political Economy, Racial Capitalism, and the Enlightenment

Russ Leo

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In this course we look at foundational works of Enlightenment political economy with particular emphasis on how theses on labor and property involve assumptions about, as well as constructions of, gender, kinship, race, and indigeneity. In other words, we trace the development of racial capitalism and examine how theses on human being were inextricable from emerging ideas about markets and value. We pay particular attention to the role of “literary” models in early works of political economy–from Utopia to the Robinsonade–as well as how they anticipated later institutional practices of anthropology and comparative religion.

View this course on the Registrar’s website.

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