Asbestos populism in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest

Arthur Rose*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

69 Downloads (Pure)


This essay considers the changing relationship between asbestos and populism, as both terms travel across different semantic contexts. It argues that this dynamic relationship can help to outline a populist ecology, through which resource actors such as asbestos play a more significant role than either populist leaders or their people anticipate. Drawing on David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest as a site for examining the implications of this asbestos-inflected populist ecology, the essay suggests new ways of linking the recent populism of Donald Trump to an older, more articulate populism, exemplified by Pierre Trudeau.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-354
Number of pages17
JournalSafundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2020


  • Infinite Jest
  • asbestos
  • populism
  • Donald Trump
  • Pierre Trudeau


Dive into the research topics of 'Asbestos populism in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this