Monday, January 5, 2009

Klekar Coedits Collection on the Culture of the Gift

The Culture of the Gift in Eighteenth-Century England, a collection of original essays co-edited by Cynthia Klekar and Linda Zionkowski (Ohio University), has been published by Palgrave. Klekar's essay "Obligation, Coercion, and Economy: The Deed of Trust in Congreve's The Way of the World" appears in the collection. Offering a variety of disciplinary perspectives, The Culture of the Gift in Eighteenth-Century England analyzes the long-overlooked role of gift exchange in literary texts, cultural documents, and economic relations in the period from 1660-1800. Contributors argue that the gift was instrumental to the workings of eighteenth-century society: it supported the phenomenal rise of charities, explained the increasingly complicated trade relations, enforced conventions of obligation and social hierarchies, and both strengthened and challenged the emergence of a market economy. Building upon the works of recent theorists, these essays provide innovative readings of how gift transactions shaped the institutions and practices that gave this era its distinctive identity. Information about the collection can be found on the Palgrave website at:

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