[Blackstudies-l] Jesse A. Goldberg is a Geneseo ALUMN --Slavery’s Ghosts and the Haunted Housing Crisis: On Narrative Economy and Circum-Atlantic Memory in Toni Morrison’s A Mercy in the group GS Prose Fiction
lima at geneseo.edu
Sun Jan 6 11:36:03 EST 2019
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From: HC Admin <hc at hcommons.org>
Date: Sun, Jan 6, 2019 at 11:29 AM
Subject: [HC] Jesse A. Goldberg deposited Slavery’s Ghosts and the Haunted
Housing Crisis: On Narrative Economy and Circum-Atlantic Memory in Toni
Morrison’s A Mercy in the group GS Prose Fiction
To: Maria Helena Lima <lima at geneseo.edu>
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Jesse A. Goldberg
deposited Slavery’s Ghosts and the Haunted Housing Crisis: On Narrative
Economy and Circum-Atlantic Memory in Toni Morrison’s A Mercy
in the group GS Prose Fiction
In light of (re)new(ed) interest in focusing interdisciplinary scholarly
attention on the history of capitalism – a focus captured in Edward
Baptist’s recent book, The Half has Never Been Told – this essay reads Toni
Morrison’s 2008 novel A Mercy as a key text for considering the history of
capitalism as central to conceptions of circum-Atlantic modernity.
Scholarship on the novel has already established the rich ways of reading A
Mercy as a rememory of colonial North America, and the novel has been
reviewed within the context of its historical moment of publication (the
2008 Housing Crisis and the election of Barack Obama), but there have been
few analytical readings of the novel within its moment of publication, so
my essay seeks to open more space for thinking about the novel in multiple
temporal directions. Drawing on a theoretical and historical framework
shaped by Hortense Spillers, Jacques Derrida, Joseph Roach, Ian Baucom, and
Suzan-Lori Parks, I argue that A Mercy is a text that teaches us how to
better read narratives of the Housing Crisis which coincidentally erupted
in the same year as its publication. I demonstrate this through a careful
reading of the text’s narrative economy as it is shaped by the historical
economic logic of the moment which it remembers, attending both to close
readings of the novel’s language and analysis of its narrative structure.
Ultimately, the essay continues discussions of Morrison’s novel by
insisting on its centrality in conversations about the history of our most
recent economic crisis.
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