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Department of English Language and Literature

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Eli Jelly-Schapiro publishes new book on world literature and critical theory

Moments of Capital explores the conflicted unity of global theory and culture

In his exciting new book from Stanford UP, Dr. Eli Jelly-Schapiro argues that contemporary capitalism contains within it three distinct “moments” of capital: the moment of primitive accumulation, the moment of expanded reproduction, and the moment of synthetic dispossession required by financialization and large-scale privatization. These discrete processes have each been dominant at different moments in the evolution of capital; but all enter into a new and exceptionally damaging relationship in the current moment of post-Fordist neoliberalism.

Moments of Capital integrates various intellectual traditions—Marxist thought, Weberian inquiries into the "spirit" of capitalism, anticolonial accounts of racial depredation—to reveal the current interrelation of the three moments of capital. The book's literary readings, meanwhile, make vivid the uneven texture and experience of capitalist modernity at large. Analyzing formally and thematically diverse novels—works by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Marlon James, Jennifer Egan, Eugene Lim, Rafael Chirbes, Neel Mukherjee, Rachel Kushner, and others—Jelly-Schapiro adumbrates the different patterns of feeling and consciousness that register the contradictions of capital while intuiting the lineaments of a moment “beyond” the devastations of our present.

Praise for Moments of Capital has been effusive:

"This book offers an exceptionally lucid synthesis of Marxist theory and postcolonial theory. Its informative, careful presentation should be transformative for critics of the contemporary—and make an effective primer for the Marx-curious and world-systems-wary. Wonderfully intelligent."

Anna Kornbluh, University of Illinois Chicago

"Jelly-Schapiro's thoughtful, rigorous scholarship gives us new ways of thinking about (seemingly) vastly different texts in relation to the global life of capitalism. A formidable achievement."

Upamanyu Pablo Mukherjee, Oxford University

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.