Nicky Marsh

Nicky Marsh

  • Professor, University of Southampton
I have recently begun working on a project entitled The Empire Without Credit: Money and Meaning in Postwar American Fiction.

I am currently working on a cultural and literary history of the ending of the gold standard. This has been widely viewed as an epochal moment, one that shaped the political, cultural, and aesthetic vocabularies in the following four decades. It was the moment of political globalization, of cultural postmodernism, and of aesthetic abstraction. This book reassesses this familiarly lapsarian narrative by exploring the active re-writing of the dollar that occurred in this period. It draws on the methodologies of literary, cultural and visual studies to provide a narrative for the dollar more complex and more contested than the theoretical consensus of anti-mimeticism implies. It argues that, far from signalling a crisis in representation, that the ending of the gold standard enabled a new and paradoxical dynamic of credit for American neo-imperialism to emerge.

I am also part of a large AHRC project working on Finance and Culture.

The project includes a collaboration between staff at the Universities of Manchester, Southampton and Edinburgh and the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art in Sunderland, is facilitated by £87,000 follow-on funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. They curated an exhibition entitled ‘Show Me the Money! The Image of Finance, 1700 to the Present' that opened at the NGCA in May/June 2014, before moving to the Chawton House Library, the John Hansard Gallery and Manchester's People's History Museum.

I now lead the team, that also includes Helen Paul from Southampton's Economics Department and James Taylor from Lancaster, with a new large AHRC project entitled The History of Financial Advice.


Contact Info

University of Southampton Avenue Campus
Faculty of Humanities, University of Southampton
SO17 1BF United Kingdom
Social Media and Websites

Selected Publications


Show me the money: the image of finance, 1700 to the present (ed with Paul Crosthwaite and Peter Knight) (Manchester: Manchester UP, 2014)

Literature and Globalization (ed with Liam Connell) (London: Routledge, 2010)

This collection is the first to map the complex ways in which literature has contributed to the interdisciplinary debates surrounding contemporary models of globalization. Its three sections provide a survey of the key positions within globalization studies, an account of the reception of globalization studies within English studies, and a range of case studies exploring how globalization has impacted upon the reading, teaching and writing of contemporary literature.

Teaching Modernist Poetry (ed with Peter Middleton) (London: Palgrave, 2010)

This collection of essays offers new ways of teaching the long history of 20th and 21st century modernisms. It addresses issues including modernism and science, modernism and gender, modernism and race, digital poetry, creative writing and the modernist inheritance.

Money, Finance, and Speculation in Recent British Fiction (London: Continuum, 2007)

This book examines the range of strategies that contemporary fiction has offered for revealing, countering, and qualifying the disabling mystification sustained by money’s ‘fictiousness’ - its ability to be everywhere and nowhere, everything and nothing. It suggests that contemporary fiction has interrogated this powerful rhetoric through making apparent the self-revelations inherent in the dissembling languages of discipline and pleasure that have persistently constructed and supported the money economy. It draws on the contemporary economies of Keynes, Friedman and Hayek and reads them against novels including Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger, Martin Amis’ Money, and Alan Hollinghurst’s Line of Beauty.

Democracy in Contemporary US Women’s Poetry (New York: Palgrave, 2007)

‘American Literary Readings in the 21st Century’ series, ed by Linda Martin-Wagner.

This book analyses the contributions of contemporary women poets to discussions about the democratic tradition in US literary culture. It reads the increasingly public interventions of women poets through recent gender theory, specifically debates about citizenship and publicness, and suggests that this poetry offers new kinds of democratic cultures and possibilities. Poets examined in the work include Susan Howe, June Jordan, Lyn Hejinian, Leslie Scalapino, Rita Dove, Carolyn Forche, Harryette Mullen, and Juliana Spahr.



The cosmopolitan coin; what Modernists make of moneyModernism/ Modernity (2016): 1-28.

'Paradise falls: a land lost in time': representing credit, debt and work after the crisisTextual Practice 28. 7 (2014): 1181-1198. doi: 10.1080/0950236X.2014.965466

'Hit your educable public right in the supermarket where they live': risk and failure in the work of William GaddisNew Formations 80 (2013): 179-193. doi: 10.3898/nEWF.80/81.10.2013

Imagining the market: a visual historyPublic Culture 24.3 (2012): 601-622. doi: 10.1215/08992363-1630690

Money’s doubles: reading, fiction, and finance capitalTextual Practice 26.1 (2012): 115-133. doi: 10.1080/0950236X.2012.638766

Desire and disease in the speculative economy: a critique of the language of crisisJournal of Cultural Economy 4.3 (2011): 301-315. doi: 10.1080/17530350.2011.586851

In cite of the wall: democracy, poetry and the twenty-first century public (in special issue: The Fates and Futures of FeminismCritical Matrix 16.1 (2007). 

Taking the Maggie: money, masculinity and sovereignty in British fictionModern Fiction Studies 53.4 (2007).

'Blasts of language': changes in oral poetics in Britain Since 1965, Marsh, Nicky, Middleton, Peter and Sheppard, Victoria, Oral Tradition 21.1 (2006): 44-67.

"Peddlin Noh Puerile Parchment of Etninicty": questioning performance in new black British poetry, Marsh, NickyNasta, Susheila (ed.), Wasafiri 45 (2005): 46-51.

Go Grrrl: The Zine and the Postliterary, Marsh, Nicky, Fagan, Kate (ed.), 2.2 (2004).

Infidelity to an impossible task: postmodernism, feminism and Lyn Hejinian’s 'My Life', Feminist Review 74.1 (2003): 70-80. doi: 10.1057/


Book Sections:

Seeing is believing: a visual history of the gold standard, in Credo Credit Crisis: Speculations on Faith and Money, ed. Aidan Tynan, Laurent Milesi, and Christopher John Muller (Lanham, US: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016).

‘t’was only a balloon’: seeing and satire in the cultural history of money, in Cultural History of Money: Vol 5 (London, GB, Bloomsbury Press, 2016), 1-19.

Debt and credit, in Show me the money: the Image of Finance, 1700 to the present, ed Paul CrosthwaitePeter Knight, and Nicky Marsh (Manchester, GB, Manchester University Press, 2014).

The corporation of terror: risk and the fictions of the ‘financial war’, in Criticism, Crisis, and Contemporary Narrative: Textual Horizons in an Age of Global Risk, ed Paul Crosthwaite (London: Routledge, 2011), 145-161.

Agonal states: Maggie O'Sullivan and a feminist politics of visual poetics, in The Salt Companion to Maggie O'Sullivan, ed Chris Emery (Cromer, GB, Salt Publishing, 2011), 76-93.

"This is the only time to come together": June Jordan’s publics and the possibility of democracy, in Still Seeking an Attitude: Critical Reflections on the Work of June Jordan, ed Valerie Kinloch and Margret Grebowicz (Oxford: Lanham, Maryland, Lexington Books), 15-31.