Purloined Letters, Counterfeit Coins, and Other Modern Fictions
A lecture by Professor Rebecca Colesworthy
Friday, May 20th
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
NYU's School of Law - Furman Hall,
245 Sullivan Street, Room 216
Reception to follow lecture.
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How might literature be like money and money like literature? What is the relevance of economic notions of “credit,” “value,” and “exchange” to literary studies? What is the relationship between events in economic history (such as financial crises) and processes of artistic and intellectual production?
This talk positions the work of Edgar Allan Poe within a transnational and interdisciplinary tradition of reflecting on the strange connections between literary and monetary forms of representation. While Poe’s work is productive for pondering the formal and thematic intersections between art and commerce, reading his work in light of these intersections helps us to reconsider Poe’s gender politics—namely, his notorious claim that the most poetical topic in the world is the death of a beautiful woman.