Despite Willa Cather's claims about the incompatibility of art and economics, the majority of her novels are structured by and around economic ecosystems, both capitalist and noncapitalist. This article argues that Cather's sensitivity to the heterogeneity of the American economic landscape allows her to explore sites of anti-capitalist resistance that are often dismissed by traditional Marxists (and postmodern liberals) still wedded to a rigid Hegelian dialectic. Anticipating the insights of analytical Marxists and network theorists as well as the historical trajectory of late capitalism, The Professor's House explores the possibilities of eroding capitalism from within by leveraging the concrete alternatives that already exist within and adjacent to it. Neither capitalist breakdown nor proletariat revolution appear on the horizon of the world Cather's protagonists inhabit; nevertheless, possibilities for potentially revolutionary collective action still exist.

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