ISAW PhD Candidate, Alireza Khounani, to Teach New Course: "Money and Market: Past and Present"

By Hannah McDonald

Headshot of Alireza Khounani Alireza Khounani Undergraduate courses that cover world economic history with breadth and intention are rare, but ISAW PhD Candidate, Alireza Khounani, will teach one of his design this Fall 2020 at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. "Money and Market: Past and Present" interrogates the monetary thought of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment authors as an anchor for comparison and critique with the monetary history of the world, from East Asia to the Americas. The course includes topics from China's Sima Qian, the Han dynasty economic thinker who presented some of the earliest versions of the quantity theory of money, Chinese early experiment with paper currency, sings of capitalistic potentialities in the pre-colonial Mughal India, debt obligations turned money in West Asia, book-keeping turned money in West Africa, the role of elusive credit economy in the Roman Empire, the market systems of the Aztecs, and the success and failure stories of the Oceanic economic colonialism. This course will ask about the current state of research on the ongoing battle between economists, anthropologists, and economic historians of the world, on the origin of money, on the nature of market forces, and on the most fundamental question among philosophers as well as economic thinkers, that of self-interested or altruistic human nature.