AFR 345
Dark Debts: Race, Money and Finance in the Modern World Economy Spring 2024
Division II
Cross-listed GBST 346
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

What does the history of capitalism tell us about the interrelationships of people reduced to ‘commodities’, the accumulation/dispossession of wealth and financial crises? In this course, students engage the relationship between, finance and money and the ‘global color line’. Starting with the timeless work of Eric Williams’ ‘Capitalism and Slavery’ and W.E.B. Du Bois’ ‘The Souls of Black Folk’, we explore how the modern construction of finance has evolved across various periods from chattel slavery, to Jim Crow, colonialism, the post-war era, decolonization, neoliberal financialization to the present. We will also engage contemporary topics like global financial crises, financialization, development finance, reparations, housing, ‘green’ finance in the context of climate change, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for Black and racialized communities. These concerns show the (trans)formations and relevance of finance for social reproduction which have created unprecedented racialized inequality and injustices. This seminar also explains how Black communities have organized and responded to finance capitalism over time and across space. Students will engage with fictional and non-fictional writings, documentaries, scholarly works and popular media.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 3591
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Attendance and Participation including serving as a class discussion leader (25%); 3 themed short response papers (15% each); Produce a podcast episode (30%)
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: If over-enrolled preference to AFR majors and concentrators, and GBST concentrators.
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GBST 346 Division II AFR 345 Division II
Attributes: AFR Black Landscapes

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