The Criticism Seminar, Spring 2005

The Cultural Politics of Neoliberalism

The Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory sponsors a criticism seminar each semester for interested faculty and graduate students. This non-credit seminar features discussion of theoretical readings introduced by a changing cast of guest experts.

Those interested in attending the Unit’s Criticism Seminar should contact the director, Michael Rothberg ( email:


All Monday sessions will take place on Mondays, 8-10 pm at the IPRH (805 W. Pennsylvania).  Preliminary schedule of dates and topics is below.  All the readings for the seminar will be posted on Library Electronic Reserves.  Please stay tuned for more information and detailed description.



Session I: January 31: Introducing Neoliberalism

Primary Readings:

Wendy Brown, “Neo-liberalism and the End of Liberal Democracy,” Theory and Event 7.1 (2003).

Jean and John Comaroff, "Millennial Capitalism: First Thoughts on a Second Coming," Public Culture 12.2 (2000).


Colin Gordon, “Governmental Rationality: An Introduction,” The Focault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, ed. G. Burchell, C. Gordon, and P. Miller (U Chicago P).

Session II: February 28: Citizenship, Inc.: The Shrinking Public

Primary Readings:

John Clarke, “Dissolving the Public Realm? The Logics and Limits of Neoliberalism,” Journal of Social Policy 33.1 (2004).

Lisa Duggan, “Introduction” and “Equality, Inc.,” The Twilight of Equality? (Beacon P, 2003).

Nikhil P. Singh, Black is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy (Harvard, 2004), chapter 1, "Rethinking Race and Nation."


Catherine Kingfisher, Western Welfare in Decline (Pennsylvania, 2002), chapter 2, “Neoliberalism I: Discourses of Personhood and Welfare Reform.”

Session III: March 28: Globalization and Empire

Lesley Gill, Teetering on the Rim: Global Restructuring, Daily Life and the Armed Retreat of the Bolivian State (Columbia, 2000), chapter 7 or 8.

William Mazzarella, “Culture, Globalization, Mediation,” Annual Review of Anthropology 33 (2004).


Enrique Dussel, “Beyond Eurocentrism: The World-System and the Limits of Modernity,” in Fredric Jameson and Masao Miyoshi (eds), Cultures of Globalization (Duke, 1998).

Derek Gregory, The Colonial Present (Blackwell, 2004), chapter 4, "Civilization and Barbarism."

David Harvey, The New Imperialism (Oxford, 2003), chapter 4, "Accumulation by Dispossession."

Jamie Morgan, "Words of Warning: Global Networks, Asian Local Resistance, and the Planetary Vulgate of Neoliberalism" positions 11.3 (2003) 541-554.

Session IV: April 18: Marketization and Emerging Consumer Subjectivities

Alan Klima, “Spirits of ‘Dark Finance’ in Thailand: A Local Hazard for the International Moral Fund” (Draft) or “Thai Love Thai: Financing Emotion in Post-Crash Thailand,” Ethnos 69.4 (2004).

Lim, Eng-Beng, [TBA]

Tomiko Yoda, "A Roadmap to Millennial Japan," South Atlantic Quarterly 99.4 (Fall 2000).

Xudong Zhang, Whither China: Intellectual Politics in Contemporary China
(Duke, 2001), introduction.


Zygmunt Bauman, “From the Work Ethic to the Aesthetic of Consumption,” Work, Consumerism and the New Poor (Open UP, 1998).

Conference: April 29-30: Fetishizing the Free Market: The Cultural Politics of Neoliberalism (at the Levis Faculty Center)