Money on the Left

Word, Image, Praxis

Keynote Speaker: Mathew Forstater
For the Children: Toward Sustainable Prosperity and Global Citizenship

Guest Speaker: Kaniela Ing, Hawaii State Representative and Democratic Socialist Candidate for Congress (Video Conversation with Alex Williams)

Featuring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Beyond Crowdsourcing: hitRECord & the Question of a Digital Commons (Video Conversation with Scott Ferguson and Rohan Grey)

Location: University of South Florida (Tampa, Florida)
Date: April 6 - 7, 2018
Hosts: Scott Ferguson & William Saas

Sponsor: Modern Money Network: Humanities Division

Co-Sponsors: Modern Money Network, Department of Humanities & Cultural Studies (University of South Florida), Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity, Muma College of Business, USF Humanities Institute, Department of Communication (University of South Florida), School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies (University of South Florida)

Conference Description

Money on the Left is an interdisciplinary conference designed to inaugurate a new scholarly organization and project: the Humanities Division of The Modern Money Network (MMN). Leveraging the vast theoretical and methodological repertoire of the humanities, MMN’s Humanities Division discloses the ways that modern money and cultural expression together shape the world in order to imagine a just and sustainable future.

Crucially, the Humanities Division grounds humanistic inquiry in the insights of neochartalism, or Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). Whereas orthodox Liberal political economy envisions money as a private, finite, and decentralized exchange instrument, MMT insists that money is a boundless public utility that can be mobilized to serve all. Affirming MMT’s capacious understanding of money, the Humanities Division critiques Liberalism’s damaging influences on collective thought and practice, while disclosing fresh social, cultural, and environmental histories rooted in MMT’s complex and salutary perspective. With this, the Division seeks to not merely describe money’s previous articulations, but also transform its perceived historical conditions and potentials across the globe.

The Humanities Division’s first conference invites individual presentations that revisit money’s historical role and significance on the left. Money has long stymied leftist imaginaries. Equating the monetary instrument with private exploitation and fiscal policy with redistributive reform, leftist political culture too often reifies Liberal political economy’s bankrupt foundations and forecloses money’s problems and powers of collective provisioning. Money on the Left redresses this fraught legacy by problematizing and recuperating the left’s past engagements with money. Drawing upon diverse disciplines and methods, the conference aims to develop rich neochartalist inquiries into discourse (word), aesthetics (image), and informed activity (praxis), and to do so across heterogeneous sociohistorical contexts.

Please contact Scott Ferguson ( or William Saas ( with questions.

Parking Map