Futures of finance and society, 2018
University of Edinburgh, 6-7 December

Organisers: Nathan Coombs, Tod Van Gunten
Keynotes: Donald MacKenzie, Annelise Riles, Gillian Tett
Sponsors: Edinburgh Futures Institute/University of Edinburgh

Call for papers available here


Ten years on from the global financial crisis, the settlement between finance and society remains ambiguous. Regulation has been tightened in traditional areas like banking, against a backdrop of fiscal austerity and the proliferation of new monies, financial platforms and investment vehicles. Building on the success of the Finance and Society Network’s previous ‘Intersections of finance and society’ conferences, ‘Futures of finance and society’ asks what new social, organisational and political forms are emerging and what direction they should take.

This two-day event, based at the University of Edinburgh’s historic Medical Quad, aims to deepen dialogue between the diverse disciplines contributing to the field of ‘finance and society’ studies. It seeks to develop new synergies between political, sociological, historical, and philosophical perspectives. In addition to providing a venue for presenting ongoing empirical and theoretical research, contributors are invited to propose and debate potential solutions for improving financial stability, expanding financial inclusion, and mitigating inequalities associated with financialisation.

The conference is organised through the Finance and Society Network (FSN), in association with the journal Finance and Society, the Edinburgh Futures Institute, and the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science (SPS).

Confirmed keynotes:

  • ‘Finance studies twenty years after Callon’, Donald MacKenzie (University of Edinburgh)
  • ‘Financial citizenship: Experts, publics, and the politics of central banking’, Annelise Riles (Cornell Law School)
  • ‘Financial cultures and financial crises’, Gillian Tett (Financial Times)

Contributions are invited in two formats:

  • Papers; abstract of up to 300 words
  • Panels; abstract of 100 words plus 3-4 paper abstracts up to 300 words

Themes on which we encourage contributions include:

  • Sociology of financial markets
  • Finance and social theory
  • Finance and inequality
  • Heterodox economics and finance theory
  • Gender and finance
  • Derivative and structured finance
  • Central banking and shadow banking
  • Financial crises, past and present
  • Financial regulation and state activism
  • Temporality, historicity, futurity, fictional expectations
  • Financial modelling and forecasting
  • Theology and finance
  • Finance and social reproduction
  • Finance and neoliberalism
  • New perspectives on financialisation
  • Financial markets and the digital economy
  • Financial technology
  • Money, financial markets, and psychoanalysis
  • Popular cultures of finance
  • Financialisation and contemporary art markets
  • Contemporary art practice in the age of finance

Please submit abstracts and proposals by 1 September 2018 to Nathan Coombs and Tod Van Gunten at the following address: futuresfinancesociety-at-gmail-dot-com

The editors of Finance and Society are encouraging paper submissions from conference participants.
For more information on the journal please visit: http://financeandsociety.ed.ac.uk

More information on last year’s FSN event is available on the 2017 conference website: https://intersectionsfinancesociety.wordpress.com/

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I am pleased to announce a new addition to the LSE’s summer school offerings. A course on the Social Studies of Finance. See here for the website.

The course builds on the very positive experience that Yuval and I had in Columbia Business School with “From Bodies to Black-Scholes.” This was a one-day course in 2008 for graduate students from Chicago, Cornell, or Berkeley. (Interestingly, now some of them are on the faculty at some of those institutions.)

The new course, however, is primarily meant for undergraduates in social sciences: sociology, anthropology, management, psychology or economics. Or recent graduates. Some students may have limited professional experience in banking or consulting. But most will probably not. It is an academic course, with classes almost every morning and seminars almost every afternoon. There is a ton of readings, an exam and a grade. And an LSE certificate at the end.

The aim of the course is to give students a firm grounding the social studies of finance. This includes: the notion of performativity, the role of material devices, and the ways these complement social networks and institutionalist approaches to markets. We are going to teach the award-winning papers, including this one and this one. The social studies of finance is the most exciting new intellectual development in sociology in the past years. Do you think I’m exaggerating? Check out a citation analysis impact here. And the regulatory impact here.

So who’s teaching this? I will be teaching most of the lectures, sometimes with guest lecturers – hedge fund managers from the City. We might even have a trip to the city, to see those banks and funds on site. Yuval Millo will be teaching in it too: even though he moved for a professorship at the University of Leicester, he’ll be here. We’re also lucky to have Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra (sociology, LSE), specialist on the London Stock Exchange. And we will be using the textbook written by Donald MacKenzie, Material Markets.

In sum: come and join us! The LSE Summer School is a phenomenal intellectual experience, and this new course will give you an original perspective on how financial actually markets work. If you have questions, feel free to write to me at d.beunza@lse.ac.uk

New SSF Blog (French)

December 19, 2009

Finanz und Gesellschaft is the new blog of the Social Studies of Finance Association (French).