“The Visible God”: Money and Society(2)

Term: Spring 2009

Subject Code: GANT

Course Number: 5325

This course aims to introduce students to the various theories of money’s social power through the centuries.  We will explore theorists who have considered money as a sociological object—from Aristotle to Marx to Derrida. In order to prepare students for investigating the role and use of money in their own ethnographic research, we will attend, in particular, to theories that focus on the relationship between money and the construction and transgression of legal and social borders. Money “does” many things in society that are separate from its role in daily exchange; by way of studying typical practices involving money such as hoarding, indebtedness, banking and counterfeiting, we will investigate money’s impact beyond the economic sphere within which it famously operates. Though this is not a course in economics, we will turn to certain classic texts in economics as they relate to conceptualizations of personhood and sovereignty in the use and governance of money.

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