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Strategies and predicaments: art and neoliberalism in the American long nineties

Rollins, Joseph (2019) Strategies and predicaments: art and neoliberalism in the American long nineties. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This project focuses on American art and fiction in the long nineties (1989-2001). Specifically, it explores the critical strategies that artists working in this decade employ in their efforts to challenge aspects of the political philosophy of neoliberalism, in the wake of the declining power of postmodern aesthetics. My approach to this topic is structured around a series of readings of genres. This structure imitates Hal Foster’s recent work Bad New Days, in which Foster engages with four ‘terms’, noting that ‘some are closer to strategies, others to predicaments.’ As for Foster, each genre I engage with contains elements of both strategy and predicament: they generate new ideas about remaking the word – strategies that might be considered post-postmodern – as well as manifesting intractable political and aesthetic situations beyond which the artists working in this period struggle to move. Each genre ultimately represents one specific critical approach to neoliberalism in the 1990s, from the withdrawal central to the slacker narrative to the mediation by which suburban fiction engages with financialisation, to the abject art that forces a confrontation with the outer limits of what fiction can represent and accomplish.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > English and Related Literature (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.778943
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Rollins
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 13:47
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2020 09:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24092

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