Peter Ribic

Position title: Dana-Allen Dissertation Fellow (2017-2018)

English, UW-Madison

Portrait image of Peter Ribic outdoors

The Development Novel: World Literature and the Political Economy of Growth

In the mid-twentieth century, the meaning of “international development” shifted from an abstract world historical process to a contested global project that would be self-consciously undertaken by states, colonial administrations, multinational institutions, and non-governmental organizations. My dissertation argues that this shift had significant and under-examined effects on the narrative form of the global novel after 1945. In particular, the dissertation shows how Anglophone novelists across the newly discovered “Third World” registered and re-plotted stories of national, regional, and hemispheric “growth” in the era of decolonization. My readings of literary texts from the Caribbean, Southern Africa, South and Southeast Asia are framed by an examination of early development discourse in the social sciences and, specifically, of the narrative mechanisms underpinning theories of economic and cultural “modernization.”

Peter Ribic is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at UW-Madison. His research focuses on the twentieth- and twenty-first-century global Anglophone novel, literature and the social sciences, postcolonial theory, and world literature studies. Ribic has taught courses in modern literature and composition at Stockholm University and UW-Madison. His research has been supported by the Departments of English at Stockholm University and UW-Madison and the UW-Madison Graduate School. He is currently completing his dissertation, “The Development Novel: World Literature and the Political Economy of Growth.”