HAA 73 - Money Matters

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2022

Evridiki Georganteli

Money is everywhere. As both an abstract construct and a material entity, money makes the world go around. Since before the invention of writing, money has been a common facet of everyday life, informing how we think and how we act. The course explores how societies across human history have made, used, and valued money in divergent ways. We will consider money as an object of aesthetic appreciation, an ethical problem, an architect of social relations, and environmental disruptor, a tool of political resistance, and much more. How has coinage design been a function of money's role as a political, religious, and cultural symbol? Is money a measure of value, and how does it align with other potential values, such as religious, moral, and aesthetic ones? Is it ethically neutral or an instrument of moral vice or virtue? What were the debates surrounding the rise of paper money beginning in the eighteenth century? How was money used as a tool of political resistance during the suffragette movement? Does money get recycled, and what is the environmental cost of different money forms today? What are the links between art, literature, theater, cinema, and money?