Laura Finch

Assistant Professor

Laura Finch works on twentieth and twenty-first century literatures in English with a particular focus on the lived experience of the economy. She holds a B.A. (English Literature) and an M.A. (Critical Theory) from the University of Sussex, and a Ph.D. (Comparative Literature) from the University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to MIT, Finch spent a year as the Gillespie Visiting Assistant Professor at the College of Wooster followed by a joint position as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows / Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan.


Subjects taught the current academic year:

21L.310 Bestsellers: Contemporary Literature (Fall 2024)

21L.350 Science and Literature: Science Fiction (Fall 2024)

Subjects taught in recent years:

21L.006 American Literature: Thinking with Plants and Animals (Spring 2024)

21L.315 Prizewinners and Laureates: Science Fiction (Fall 2023)

21L.434 Science Fiction and Fantasy: 21st Century Speculative Fiction (Spring 2024)

Research Interests
My current book project “Mapping Abstractions: Race, Space, and Economics in the Contemporary Novel” argues that existing accounts of finance as an abstract economic structure that arrived in the U.S. in the early 1970s occludes the long history of economic abstraction faced by marginalised populations in the U.S., as well as obscuring the different ways that finance has been received and contested in different global locations. “Mapping Abstractions” covers works by authors as disparate as Bret Easton Ellis, Toni Cade Bambara, Colson Whitehead, Tommy Orange (Cheyenne and Arapaho), Tash Aw, Mohsin Hamid, Lauren Beukes, and Chang-rae Lee.
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
“Economic Logics and Postmodern Forms.” The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Economics, eds Paul Crosthwaite, Peter Knight, and Nicky Marsh, 2022 (delayed from 2021)

“”It’s the Economy, Stupid”: On the Costs of Marginalising the Aesthetic.” American Literary History, November 2019

“Personal Finance, Global Finance: Literary Form and Economics.” The Routledge Companion to Literature and Economics, eds Michelle Chihara and Matthew Seybold, November 2018

“Globalising Finance: Nostalgia, Desire, and the Market in Contemporary Shanghai.” Comparative Literature Studies, March 2018

“The Un-Real Deal: Financial Fiction, Fictional Finance, and the Financial Crisis.” Journal of American Studies, November 2015

Book Reviews
Review of Annie McClanahan, Dead Pledges: Debt, Crisis, and Twenty-First-Century Culture (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2017) Journal of Cultural Economy, 2017

Review of Jasper Bernes, The Work of Art in the Age of Deindustrialization (Stanford: Stanford University Press) boundary2, 2017