Holly Hanson
314 Skinner
538-2094
Hhanson@mtholyoke.edu
Office Hours: Wednesday 2-4, and by appt.
History 301
MONEY IN HISTORY

Money in History, a 300 level colloquium, will explore the process of commodification of non-market economies. We will look at Andean societies in the first century after conquest, the creation of industrial wage-labor in Europe, and the consequences for a number of African societies of the transition from exchanges based on social relationships to exchanges based on cash. We will focus on the complexity of these transformations-the interaction of culture, power, and material resources in processes of economic and social change. We will read some of the classic works of economic anthropology and Marxist and feminist analyses of commodification, and consider how various theories work for our case histories.

Readings for the course will come out of the following:

We will begin with Mauss, The Gift, with perhaps a little bit of anthropology critiquing Mauss at that point. (I plan to use Bourdieu and Strathern, but I may decide to postpone some of that until later on in the semester.) We will spend about a month on the process of the commodification of labor in the Andes, and the consequences of the creation of markets that link Andean societies to Spain. Then we will do a week on Sewell: exactly how did the social relations of production change with industrialization: what was happening, slowly, inside the process we think of as absolute? We will spend a few weeks on West African societies that in the pre-colonial period had elaborate markets but labor systems that were not commoditized: for this I will use Paul Bohannan, Jane Guyer, and Sara Berry. In the East Africa unit, I will use Parker Shipton, Sharon Hutchinson, and my own work, and there are really interesting parallels to be drawn with the Andes. I have to figure out how to make this a 300 level class and not a graduate level one, but somewhere in the mix we'll be looking at the analytical categories: what aspects of the historical process get left out by Marxists, feminists, et. al.?

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