Justin Mitchell, University of Michigan | Newberry

Justin Mitchell, University of Michigan

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

5:30-7:30 pm CST

Baskes Boardroom, in person at the Newberry Library

American Literature Seminar

The World is a Ghetto: The Composite Novel, the Ghetto Pastoral, and the Reinvention of Collective Space, Justin Mitchell, University of Michigan

In this essay, I explore how the early eighties gave rise to novels that centered on sites of contested social space, namely, the trailer park, the tenement, and the reservation. Such novels, I argue, combined the structure of the composite novel, which comprises interconnected short stories, with the themes of the ghetto pastoral, a genre organized around proletarian communal life. In so doing, these works not only shed light on the changing spatialization of poverty, but they also captured and reflected the waning of the commons precipitated by neoliberal policies.

Cost and Registration Information 

This event is free, but all participants must register in advance and space is limited. To register and request a copy of the pre-circulated paper, click here. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.