Money is the lifeblood of our economies and daily lives. Whether in the technical sense of cash or currency, or in the wider sense of wealth, money is as essential to individuals economic actors as it is central to larger debates over economic policy and social justice. The importance of money has perhaps nowhere been more evident than in 20th-century Germany, whose history was punctuated by the 1923 hyperinflation, the Great Depression, the post-1945 currency collapse, the German-German monetary union of 1990, and the recent introduction of the Euro in place of the D-Mark.
On one hand, the centrality of money is a simple fact of life in market economies. Our willingness to take it for granted is enhanced by the objectifying discourse of economists and politicians, in which money is the measure by which competing priorities can be made comparable. On the other hand, however, money is also a vehicle for metaphorical meanings. Money and ideas about money are closely tied to individual sense of self-worth and identity, and thus impact social interactions and meanings; on a national or international scale, debates about economic priorities can stand in for or camouflage political values, issues and policies.
This panel proposes an interdisciplinary exploration of the metaphorical valencies and uses of money in art, popular culture, social relations and politics in German history. We welcome abstracts for papers from scholars in fields including literary, film and cultural studies, art and music history, history and political science.