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Wall Street and Public Culture of Finance

Semester and Year FA 2016
Course Number IDSEM-UG1912
Section 001
Instructor Melissa Fisher
Days M
Time 6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Units 4
Level U
Foundation Requirement   SOC



Wall Street has been imagined as a site of democracy, capitalism, and the pursuit of the American Dream; it has also been imagined as a place of immorality, filled with greedy global elite male financiers taking advantage of the “99 percent”. This seminar will consider how capital, culture, and power shape understandings of Wall Street in the popular imagination, and how people’s everyday practices reshape that understanding. Drawing on a variety of texts –anthropological, sociological, political-economic, historical, literary, and cinematic – we will examine the ways new forms of capital produce financial subjects, class difference, and crisis, within the global economy. We will also explore the ways “Occupy Wall Street” as well as the solidarity economy and other movements are recapturing the radical imagination and the possibilities of new forms of resistance to capitalism. Using interdisciplinary methodologies such as fieldwork, archival research, and literary analysis students will produce short papers and one research paper that allows them to take advantage of conducting research in New York City.

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)