Our contemporary realities are exceedingly complex. Interconnected problems like climate change, the broader environmental crisis, and the ongoing expansion of global capitalism are multidimensional and difficult to comprehend. In her article, "Difference Relates: Allegory, Ideology and the Anthropocene," SFU English professor and department chair Carolyn Lesjak discusses the recent book Allegory and Ideology by Fredric Jameson, a renowned Marxist theorist and literary critic. Lesjak discusses Jameson's theory of allegory as a ‘social symptom’ of our postmodern, global world and as an attempt to understand and define a world that is at once of our own making yet truly alien to us. In addition to her work in Marxist theory, Lesjak is a scholar of nineteenth-century British literature and culture. She has recently published The Afterlife of Enclosure: British Realism, Character, and the Commons (Stanford UP, 2021), which examines the material basis of character in Victorian literature and culture and its relationship to the enclosure movement and notions of the commons.
Faculty profile webpage: Carolyn Lesjak