Cultures of Currencies
Literature and the Symbolic Foundation of Money
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This book’s premise is not only the commonly accepted cultural relativity of economic concepts, but also the observation that the current shift in the meaning of concepts like “market,” “currency,” “exchange” and “money” suggests that culture is undergoing a change with unpredictable economic and political consequences. The essays in the book raise basic questions concerning exchange –what is exchanged, who exchanges and how, which kind of currency is used, and indeed what is money and how does it convey and retain value over time. These issues are all classical objects of economic theory, but less often have they been approached from a cultural perspective. Works treating economic and monetary issues from a cultural perspective are few and far apart, and this book aims to contribute to such a perspective with a variety of approaches.
Table of Contents
Introduction Joan Ramon Resina 1 What Does Money Signify? The “transvaluation of values” taking place in the relation between currency and language. Jan Söffner 2 The Cultural Currency of Semiocapitalism. On the General Law of Gift Exchange. Philipp Kleinmichel 3 Social Reconfigurations of Debt-Ridden Societies. David Murillo 4 Money, Society and Trust: Lessons from Crisis. Gabriela Badica 5 Rural Continuities in the Urban Revolution. Ethics of Work, Labor and Pay in the West African Savannah. Till Förster 6 The Bonfires of Money. Capitalism, Memory. and Iconoclasm. Germán Labrador 7 The Libidinal Investments of the Social Field. Elsie Mitchie 8 Unpredictability as an Economic Value Simona Škrabec 9 “Cultural Economy” and “Cultural Economics”: Epistemological and Political Consequences of a Fatal Intertwinement. Giovanni Leghissa 10 “I have sworn an oath, that I will have my bond”: Money. Law, and Pre-Legal Liability in Shakespeare and Kleist. Christian Moser 11 The Alchemy of Money. Money As a Standard of Value. Bruna Ingrao 12 The Troubles of Production. Ezra Pound and Jean Baudrillard on the Symbols of Exchange Joan Ramon Resina
Joan Ramon Resina is Professor in the Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures and the Department of Comparative Literature at Stanford University, where he directs the Iberian Studies Program at the Europe Center.