Dr Peter Knight Reading the Market: Genres of Financial Capitalism in Gilded Age America.

June 22, 2017

At the beginning of the twentieth century, only one percent of Americans were invested in the stock market. Yet in the Gilded Age there was an explosion of popular fascination about the market, with a welter of novels, short stories and magazine articles fuelling the emergence of a daily culture of market watching.

In short, Americans become emotionally invested in the stock market long before they came to hold actual investments. This talk explores how imaginative engagement with the market was enabled by new forms of financial information such as the financial pages of the newspapers and popular financial advice manuals.

Peter Knight is a professor of American Studies at the University of Manchester. He researches conspiracy theories and cultural dimensions of finance, and is the author of Conspiracy Culture (2000), The Kennedy Assassination (2007), and Reading the Market: Genres of Financial Capitalism in Gilded Age America (2016).

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