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Cultures of wealth, poverty and inequality

FKK research seminar 10 December 2019

  • Cultures of wealth, poverty and inequality

Foto: Geronimo Giqueaux, Unsplash   

Research on economy in the humanities


It’s the Economy, Stupid! The slogan from Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in the 1990s has resounded in numerous contexts including the humanities. “The economy,” however, is not a fixed entity. Current discussions on green economy and the inclusion of the environment in national accounts for instance attest to the contextual and historical dependence of what the economy is. The humanities offer innovative, vital and intimate understandings of the dynamics of economic inequality, wealth and poverty. By looking into its temporal, fictional, and religious entanglements, cultural studies situate the economy in new and unexpected ways. In this seminar, five research projects funded by FKK will discuss how the financial crisis, the (il)legitimacy of global inequality, the disappearance of money, justification of inheritance and business strategies are entwined with narratives, emotions, historical processes and localized cultural practices. This engagement in cultures of wealth and poverty offers civil society and public institutions new insights into the human condition and the many cultural ramifications of economic transactions. 

Research projects discussed


The five research projects, which will discuss economy in the humanities are:

Atreyee Sen (PI)”After money, what is debt?” Indebted urban poor households in emerging cashless economies  investigates the socioeconomic effects of the disappearance of cash and altered practices among urban poor across three continents.

Frederik Tygstrup (PI): Finance Fiction – Financialization and Culture in the Early 21st Century. Looking at finance fiction in its literary, cinematographic and artistic forms, the project gauge how finance fiction represents both the world of finance in all its professional, social and technological complexity and the ways in which finance increasingly impacts our lives.

Christian Olaf Christiansen (PI)An Intellectural History of Global Inequality, 1960-2015, investigates the historical trajectories of ideas about global inequality in the US, India, Ghana and Argentina, looking into changing historical expectations, conceptual transformations, and expanded tolerance levels for inequalities.

Trine Brox (PI) Buddhism, Business and Believers examines the entangled relations between Buddhism and economy, and how Buddhism mediates value and meaning through economic exchanges.

Jacob Ladegaard (PI)Unerned Wealth – A Literary history of Inheritance (1600-2015). Following Piketty’s concern about increasing inequality in the Western world, this project investigates the literary history of inherited wealth and its tensions with ideas about and liberal meritocracy and values of work.

Time and place


10 December 2019 at 13.00-16.30

DPU, Aarhus University, Campus Copenhagen, Tuborgvej 164, 2400 Copenhagen