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