Please join us Wednesday February 19th in Van Metre Hall room 322 in Arlington from noon to 1 PM for the first presentation of our Spring Brown Bag series. Dr. Char Miller will present “Another £ of Flesh: Financial Algorithms and Sadness”
In his 2014 Tanner Lectures, Eric Santner critiqued the busy bodies of modern democratic subjects. The dispersed mystical body of the king, in his account, became the busy body of the modern monetary subject. “In The Merchant of Venice,” he writes, “a play written in the midst of England’s transformation into a mercantile society, the way of all flesh long exemplified by the rise and fall of kings begins to be registered as the weight of all flesh, the rise and fall in the value of the substance of value.” Too busy making money that does not need to be made, he argues, we should unplug from this system. Financial money is not just busy market activity, I claim, it is historically enmeshed with social affect and emotion. The opening line of Merchant, for example, questions the social knowledge of ‘sadness’ and offers an account of financial risk as a way to understand that emotion. In this chapter, drawn from a larger examination of the political power of money, I claim that financial concepts provided the terms of self-accounting we continue to use to explain our emotional life. Relying on Shakespeare’s insights into the relationship between early modern money (often as debt) and accounts of emotional experience (especially sadness) this chapter treats algorithmic money in an emotional and affective vein. Monetary and emotional calculations, I find, often follow similar algorithms.
Please note that this event will also be available via video conference in Fairfax, Johnson Center room 311D. For those who cannot be at either campus, it will be streamed live online at: https://gmu.webex.com/gmu/j.php?MTID=m22489daf9620a12115152e2f476a3359. If participants use this service, they can join by: Meeting number (access code) – 642 989 536. You can also join the event via phone using the following number: 1-202-860-2110 USA Toll. During the presentation if anyone encounters an issue with the WebEx live streaming please contact us at 703-993-5580.
For additional information, please contact Caroline Wesson (firstname.lastname@example.org).