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Cover of Moments of Capital by Eli Jelly-Schapiro
Moments of Capital
World Theory, World Literature
Eli Jelly-Schapiro

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March 2023
266 pages.
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Hardcover ISBN: 9781503634718
Paperback ISBN: 9781503635432

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Undertaken at the interface of critical theory and world literature, Moments of Capital sets out to grasp the unity and heterogeneity of global capital in the postcolonial present. Eli Jelly-Schapiro argues that global capital is composed of three synchronous moments: primitive accumulation, expanded reproduction, and the "synthetic dispossession" facilitated by financialization and privatization. These moments correspond to distinct economic and political forms, and distinct strands of theory and fiction.

Moments of Capital integrates various intellectual traditions—from multiple trajectories of Marxist thought, to Weberian inquiries into the "spirit" of capitalism, to anticolonial accounts of racial depredation—to reveal the concurrent 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 evinces the different patterns of feeling and consciousness that register, and hypothesize a way beyond, the contradictions of capital. This book develops a new conceptual key for the mapping of contemporary theory, world literature, and global capital itself.

About the author

Eli Jelly-Schapiro is Associate Professor of English at the University of South Carolina. He is the author of Security and Terror: American Culture and the Long History of Colonial Modernity (2018).

"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