Paul Nadal
Princeton University

I am an Assistant Professor of English and American Studies at Princeton University. My courses include “Asian American Literature,” “Global Novel,” “Model Minority Fictions,” and “World Scale.” I also teach a graduate seminar on Marxist literary theory, which introduces students to historical materialist methods for writing about the economic mediations of culture. 

My recent article, “Cold War Remittance Economy”︎ American Quar­terly 73.3 (2021), received the 1921 Best Essay Prize, which is an­nually awarded by the American Lite­rature Society for "the best article in any field of American literature."

I am also an Elected Delegate (2020-2023) for the CLCS South­east Asian and South­east Asian Diasporic at the Modern Language Association.

︎︎ nadal@princeton.edu


What can literature tell us about political economy and what can political economy tell us about literature?

I am an inter­disciplinary scholar working at the inter­section of literature and economy, with a parti­cular focus on Asian American and Philippine Anglo­phone literature. I read across literary and economic history and bring archival research to the study of the novel, developing a multi­scalar reading practice that ela­borates historical meaning contextually and in the form of the works themselves.

I bring these research interests together in my current book project, “Remittances, Literary & Economic,” the first sustained inquiry into the conver­gence between novels and remittances, or the money that migrant workers send home. Theorizing the concept of remittances as a heuristic for reading the interconnection between people, ideas, texts, and value, the book uncovers the surprising role that English-language lite­rature played in the twentieth-century trans­formation of the Philippines into one of the world’s largest labor export economies. Excerpts of the book manuscript have been delivered as lectures at Harvard University, New York University, the University of the Philippines, and the American University of Beirut.

My second project extends my ongoing interest in literary and economic history through a dual study of neoliberalism’s racial forms and Asian American literary emergence, tracing today’s digitally-driven knowledge economy to Cold War-era debates about race, family, time, and neoliberal human capital formation.