Following “Genius for Sale! Artistic Production and Economic Context in the Long 19th Century”–a conference held at Wolfson College in May 2014–this website aims to continue an interdisciplinary conversation about the historical relationship between creative output and economic forces.
There is a small but growing body of work in the humanities and social sciences that either actively considers the economic context in its analysis of the arts, makes use of quantitative methods to study the arts or does both things simultaneously. Examples of this kind of work include studies in English literature by Franco Moretti and William St Clair, work in musicology by Cyril Ehrlich, and in the history of art by economist David Galenson. Currently, however, there is an insufficient dialogue between humanities scholars and this growing body of innovative work with the potential to challenge widespread myths and established historiographies.
Artsandecon.com aims to be a hub for people interested in these issues. It can do this in several ways. First, it will draw attention to and list scholars from a number of disciplines working in this area. In addition to providing an ever-growing a list of resources and recommended reading, it will be a blogging platform for scholars interested in at this interdisciplinary intersection. Finally, this website will hopefully serve as the web presence of future conferences–like “Genius for Sale!”–that bring scholars together in person.