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Research Case studies

Foreclosure Stories

How do we 'see' a financial crisis? What in social reality changes to make us aware that the economy is in trouble? What do we miss? What stays in the shadows, hidden from view?

'Foreclosure Stories' is a project by Andrew Lawson of the English Literature team. The project examines the ways in which home owners whose properties were repossessed or “foreclosed” are represented in economic texts, newspaper stories, documentary films, and works of photojournalism. These representations reuse narratives and characterizations of the urban poor that would have been recognizable in the nineteenth-century, during American capitalism’s most spectacular period of boom and bust.

The project develops out of Andrew's research in to the economic and cultural history of nineteenth-century America, which will be published in May 2012 by Oxford University Press as a book, Downwardly Mobile: The Changing Fortunes of American Realism.

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