Forensics of Capital: Race, Debt, Credit, Risk, and Liability

New School for Social Research: Historical Studies

Liberal Arts

Graduate Course

Degree Students (with Restrictions)

Forensics of Capital

Spring 2022

Taught By: Michael Ralph

Section: A

CRN: 11016

Credits: 3

"This course examines how forms of social difference (that is, age, race, gender, sexuality, ability, generation, and national origin, and more) shape who gets access to capital and how people are governed. In exploring “forensics of capital” as an analytic, we will explore how, from the Enlightenment era to the present, forensic inquiry has been used to determine who owes what to whom in matters of civil and criminal liability. In the process, we will interrogate forensics as a police technology and as a method for managing breaches in modern civil society. As such, we will pay special attention to the way people grapple with alterity (with human difference) through the presence of DNA traces that are inscribed in a crime scene and through patterns of criminal behavior attributed to a distinct population or demographic. We will study how forensic procedures deploy technologies to determine guilt or innocence in a criminal case, and to assess damages in a civil suit, but we will also push beyond this rather more familiar use of the term to deploy forensics as a lens for analyzing and adjudicating emergent forms of value. In the process, we will examine strategies for assessing the value of a human life with specific reference to the role that mechanisms of colonial exploitation, enslavement, and incarceration have played in shaping economic systems, political institutions, and financial instruments. Finally, we will examine how using ""forensics of capital"" as a framework potentially differs from related forms of inquiry (i.e., “racial capitalism,” “slavery’s capitalism,” and “new histories of capital”) that do not always readily appear to be intersectional."

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Historical Studies (GHIS)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 15

Add/Drop Deadline: February 6, 2022 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 17, 2022 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 7:52pm 6/26/2022 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Tuesday

Times: 6:00pm - 7:50pm

Building: 6 East 16th Street

Room: 913

Date Range: 1/25/2022 - 5/10/2022