The Society for Critical Exchange
1996 Midwest Modern Language Association Panels
New Economic Criticism
The Society for Critical Exchange sponsored a mini-conference on the New Economic Criticism at the 1996 Midwest Modern Language Association convention in Minneapolis. Three sessions were held on Friday, Nov. 8, 1996, beginning at 8:30 in the morning and continuing into the afternoon. The three sessions were:


New Economic Criticism I: Testing Markets
Chair: Mark Osteen, Loyola College
1. "Shakespeare and the Types of the Market." Donald K. Hedrick, Kansas St. U
2. "From Entrepreneur to Employee: The Descent of the New Woman in Edith Wharton's The Custom of the Country. Martha Patterson, U of Iowa
3. "Everything That's Unexpected: Free Trade, Protection, and the Daughters of Silas Lapham." Richard Adams, Harvard U
Discussant: Howard Horwitz, U of Utah
New Economic Criticism II: Marketing Texts
Chairs: Martha Woodmansee, Case Western Reserve U; Mark Osteen, Loyola C
1. "Labor Theory of Poetry: Material Production and Urban Semiosis in Renaissance England." Max Thomas, U of Iowa
2. "'Imaginary Capital': The Shape of the Victorian Economy and the Shaping of Dickens's Career." Tatiana M. Holway, Columbia U
3. "Voodoo Economics: Magic, Storytelling, and Value in Charles Chesnutt's The Conjure Woman," Anne Baker, Columbia U Discussant: Linda M. Austin, Oklahoma St. U
New Economic Criticism III: Pedagogies
Co-Chairs: Martha Woodmansee and Mark Osteen
Panelists: Charis Bower, Tiffin U; Cathy Birkenstein-Graff, Loyola U--Chicago; Mary Beth Combs, U of Iowa; Russell Reising, U of Toledo; Andrew Herman, Drake U
The panelists briefly offered syllabi, commentary and accounts of courses they have taught that involve the intersections of economics, literature, and writing, but discussion was open to audience members as well. The format worked so successfully, especially as the third session in a mini-conference, that it the SCE has adopted it for future mini-conferences as well.
The first panel's papers all centered on depictions of female commodification or merchandising. However, the discussion ranged widely, and eventually focused on the conflicts between humanistic and business education, and the disparate forms of value in each. This discussion carried over into both the second and third panel.
Each of the papers in the second panel addressed specific and general problems in the economics of authorship: to what degree do authors create their own audience? How do wider cultural forms and systems affect the economics of publishing? What conflicts between aesthetic and exchange value do authors negotiate?

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