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“Rather Than Invent a World, I Want a Different Means to Understand This One”: Jena Osman’s Conjugations of Capitalist Crisis

Julia Sattler


Pages 189 - 204

DOI https://doi.org/10.33675/AMST/2023/2/9


open-access

This publication is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0.

Creative Commons License


This paper provides a reading of Jena Osman’s poetry, specifically her volumes "The Network" (2010) and "Corporate Relations" (2014), as capitalist crisis poetry. Intertwining the self and the nation, the self and capitalism, and the self and the financial market’s discourses of profit and profitability, Osman’s writing shows that neoliberalism has taken over every dimension of life. Using the analogy of the conjugation, the analysis provided here discusses how Osman’s explorative kind of poetry does not only generate a new “language” to talk about the ongoing financial crisis but, indeed, that it opens different ways of understanding capitalism’s origins and forms on the national and international scales, including its unspoken and hidden histories, such as racial capitalism and the long-term consequences of colonization.

Key Words: capitalism; poetry; corporate America; power; exploration

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