Call for Papers: Philosophies Special Issue on "Contemporary British Culture and Neoliberalism"

April 22nd, 2020 by Jade Hinchliffe, in Essays, Neoliberalism, BritishCulture, Philosophies, CallForPapers

Call for Papers: Philosophies Special Issue on "Contemporary British Culture and Neoliberalism"

Deadline: 1 August 2020

Since 1979, the U.K. has been at the forefront of neoliberal economic, governmental, and social transformations. The election of Margaret Thatcher ended the Keynesian consensus; her regime, under the influence of neoliberal figures such as Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek, began a process of implementing policies stressing entrepreneurship, market solutions, privatization, individual responsibility, the end of “society,” and the like. These policies were continued and extended by subsequent Conservative, New Labour, and Coalition governments. This same era has witnessed a number of cultural movements: post- and post-postmodernism, multiculturalism, meta-modernism, heritage cinema and a revival of historical fiction, greater prominence for voices from demographics and identities that have been traditionally silenced, and a host of new realisms. These cultural movements have an uneasy relationship with neoliberalism, reflecting and contesting new conceptions of subjectivity and the social. This Special Issue endeavors to chart parallels and intersections between sociopolitical upheavals and cultural transformations of the past four decades.

Essays of approximately 6000–8000 words are thus sought that deal with aspects of contemporary British culture (fiction, drama, poetry, philosophy, television, cinema, museums) in the era of neoliberalism. Potential topics might include:

*How are neoliberal transformations represented, negotiated, and contested in cultural texts dating since 1979?

*How does culture mark neoliberal obsessions (competition, innovation, market solutions, entrepreneurial identities, selves rendered autonomized and responsibilized, etc.)?

*How do market values place tension on literary and cultural values? How does the expansion of the market into formerly non-market realms impact culture and aesthetics, or the emotional and spiritual dimensions of identity?

*How does culture negotiate pressures to commodify and compete? How is the cultural marketplace transformed by increasing stress on commodification and competition?

*How might cultural forms associated with narrativizing lives, expressing selves, and charting social interactions need to be reworked in a neoliberal world increasingly denying any social aspect beyond market interactions? How might these forms reflect market pressures?

*How are entrepreneurial selves and a “market society” theorized?

*How does neoliberalism place different pressures on different identities?

*How is British culture in dialogue with accounts of neoliberalism (Foucault, Mirowski, Stedman Jones, Cooper, Konings, etc.)?

*How does the era of neoliberalism necessitate rethinking established literary and cultural histories? How might neoliberalism alter our understanding of movements like postmodernism, post-postmodernism, multiculturalism, the new realisms, and the like?


  • neoliberalism
  • contemporary British literature culture
  • philosophy
  • market
  • subjectivity
  • entrepreneurship
  • competition

See Philosophies website for submission information.