Trust and Risk in Literature

Project: Research

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This project is made possible by the generous support of the AUFF.
Trust and Risk in Literature will explore how literature in different periods interrogates trust as a vital social component. It will engage with an ongoing discussion in social anthropology, governance, economics, and business studies for over forty years. Literary studies has made significant achievements in questions of identity, history, language, culture, and social justice but has been absent on the question of trust, partly due, no doubt, to a prejudice against working with disciplines seen as invested in the capitalist power structures so much the target of its critique. Neglect of these areas is particularly odd given that trust is an explicit concern in literature itself. Trust is a major component in Shakespeare’s plays and is similarly crucial to contemporary writers like Coetzee and Houellebecq. Such close attention to trust suggests that these writers and dramatists have been philosophising by other means. Risk has also come to the fore as a major concern. Entering English from French in the 17th C, it has come to define an entirely new way of engaging with the world. Probability replaces providence at the moment we see economic and trade innovations such as insurance and actuarial science. This project seeks a concrete social benefit by enhancing our understanding of trust and risk as vital elements in political and economic life, to say nothing of social cohesion.
Effective start/end date01/09/201631/08/2019

    Research areas

  • Trust, Risk, Literature

Research outputs

ID: 129035370