T-Litcon Conference


İstanbul Topkapı University


Annual International Conference on Literature (2nd AICL 2024)
Capitalism and Literature 10-11 May, 2024

Call for Papers

Capitalism has developed historically out of systems of feudalism and mercantilism in Europe, and dramatically expanded industrialization and the large-scale availability of mass-market consumer goods. Capitalist industrialization has led to the expansion of wage labour, grand-scale bureaucratization and increasing rationalization of the everyday life. The most distinguishing feature–in fact, the intrinsic rationale of capitalism—is, however, the relentless urge to make profit. As Adam Smith, the 18th century philosopher and father of modern economics, said: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” Smith points to the fact that butcher, brewer, baker, and their customers participate in a voluntary exchange transaction and have their own interest in the outcome. The exchange transaction takes place only and only if neither can obtain what they want without addressing what the other wants. The theorists of capitalism have always advocated that it is this rational self-interest that leads nations to economic prosperity. Studying literary works in conjunction with capitalism may enable us to discern literary take on the rational self-interest and desire for prosperity; the relationship between rational and acquisitive aspects of capitalism; the ways in which capitalist urge for profit governs human behavior; economic and social inequalities produced by such urge; capitalist exploitation and working class.

            Literary criticism provides theoretical contexts and discursive tools through which we may evaluate literary perceptions of the workings of capitalism and the ways in which literary texts engage with social reality governed by pure self-interest. A consideration of the critical perspectives further helps us investigate the literary representations of the identities and values shaped by capitalism. The engagements of literature with the political, psychological, and social consequences of capitalism have produced illustrious representations of alienation and disenchantment. Literary works have provided unique perspectives on the rationalization of everyday life, the psychology of consumption, and many other ethical issues relating to the tension between economic self-interest and basic human values. Such issues may be considered in critical addresses to literature and capitalism. We, therefore, invite critical inquiries into literary perspectives on capitalism and those who are interested in presenting their research at the 2024 Topkapi University Literature and Capitalism Conference. The scope of our conference is inclusive and is open to all research that contributes to the ongoing discussions of

  • Capitalism and class conflict
  • Anti-capitalism
  • Reification
  • Alienation
  • Social corruption
  • Exploitation of the working class
  • Working class movements
  • Exploitation of women
  • Marxism and literature
  • Social realism
  • Capitalism and war
  • Late capitalism and postmodern literature
  • Capitalism and ecological issues
  • Capitalism, technology and posthumanism

Research with a focus on the socio-political and psychological repercussions of globalization and neoliberalism is especially welcome. 

Conference Location

The conference will be held entirely Online.