Geoffrey Kirsch

Geoffrey Kirsch

2020-21 CAPS Study of the American Republic Fellow
English, G-5
Geoffrey Kirsch headshot

The Age of Improvement: Nineteenth-Century American Literature and the Market Revolution

My dissertation examines how 19th-century American authors responded to what historians have labeled the market revolution, in which rapid infrastructural development replaced local economies with an integrated national market under the sway of a powerful federal government. Reading literary texts alongside political, legal, and economic primary sources, I show how authors engage with major debates of political economy, at once reinforcing and ironizing the era's faith in material progress.

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