University of Cambridge > > Financial History Seminar > The Global Financial Crisis and its aftermath: a perspective from fiction and some general reflections on inter-disciplinary research

The Global Financial Crisis and its aftermath: a perspective from fiction and some general reflections on inter-disciplinary research

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Duncan Needham.

The presentation will begin with some reflections on the author’s 2021 article ‘The Global Financial Crisis and Its Aftermath: A Perspective from Fiction’. This article explored the global financial crisis through the lens of three literary texts. The abstract for the article is as follows: Since the global financial crisis of 2007-09 academic research has paid considerable attention to understanding the nature of the crisis, its causes and consequences. This is not surprising given the scale and scope of the crisis. Much of this research has been undertaken within social science disciplines. At the same time, the crisis has also been the subject of fiction – novels, poetry and drama and there is also a small body of academic scholarship on fiction relating to the crisis (and on finance in fiction more generally). The purpose of this viewpoint article is to suggest that fiction can offer a new perspective on the global financial crisis and thereby enhance our understanding of it. This exploration draws upon three works of post-crisis fiction: the 2009 play by David Hare, The Power of Yes: A Dramatist Seeks to Understand the Financial Crisis (hereafter The Power of Yes); Other People’s Money, a novel by Justin Cartwright (2011); and Robert Harris’s novel The Fear Index also published in 2011. Its approach is based on close readings of the three texts in question. Finance fiction stimulates a reconceptualization of the global financial crisis as a crisis of innovation and technological change. This article is a viewpoint article. The originality lies in the author’s interpretation of reading the global financial crisis through fiction. The presentation will then broaden the discussion to interdisciplinary research more generally, with a focus on interdisciplinary research involving finance. An early-stage research project focused on misconduct in banking and financial services will be introduced. This study asks whether our understanding of misconduct in finance might be deepened through insights from the discipline of sociology, particularly the sub-discipline of crime and deviance.

This talk is part of the Financial History Seminar series.

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