The Fictions of Finance
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This issue of Radical History Review takes stock of finance capital and its operations, both material and symbolic, and surveys recent developments in the historiography of capitalism.
Courtney Fullilove reads the penny press to reveal how popular critiques of commodity speculation ignited the New York City flour riot of 1837. Alyosha Goldstein analyzes the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, passed to settle the federal government’s debts with African American farmers and Native American tribes and also to foreclose more thorough reparations of racial capitalism and its costs. Questioning the archives appropriate to finance, Jordana Rosenberg and Britt Rusert mine Samuel Delany’s Nevèrÿon, a four-volume fantasy series published between 1979 and 1987, for traces of the origins of financialization.
Leigh Claire La Berge ruminates on why, and to what ends, finance capital has so often been defined as abstract and complex. Max Haiven asks how post-Fordist celebrations of creativity—from venture philanthropy to creative cities—have come to embody the financialized logics of the creative and the derivative.
Colin Matthes and Áine Phillips play with themes of debasement and resilience in the shadows of finance capital.
Hannah Chadeayne Appel talks with activist-scholar David Graeber about debt, finance, and the genealogies of the present.
Derek Nystrom and Robert Wosnitzer discuss the films Up in the Air and The Artist, respectively, as meditations on labor. Matthew Garrett engages with two new monographs on the history of capitalism in the United States.