SENK seminar with Knut Christian Myhre
Forms of Ethics, Shapes of Finance: Ethnographic Explorations of the Limits of Contemporary Capital
Abstract: In this seminar I will present an overview and introduction to a new research project entitled ‘Forms of Ethics, Shapes of Finance: Ethnographic Explorations of the Limits of Contemporary Capital’. The project is financed by the Research Council of Norway and is carried out at the Department of Ethnography, Numismatics, and Classical Archaeology in the Museum of Cultural History of the University of Oslo. The project explores how ethical arguments and notions are used to shape international financial capital. Its case of study is the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global – better known as the oil-fund – which currently is the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. The project studies how different actors employ different ethical arguments and notions to delimit the flows of finance, and how these arguments and notions are justified with reference to different environmental, social, and political concerns. In this way, the project investigates how contemporary notions and practices, like ‘custodial finance’ and ‘responsible investment’ are constituted and carried out. It moreover aims to the shed light on how these notions and practices extend out of longstanding economic concepts, such as ‘the public good’, ‘fiduciary responsibility’, and ‘prudence’. The project thus aims to analyze how the ethical and the economic are mutually defining phenomena in contemporary finance.
Knut Christian Myhre is a researcher in the Department of Ethnography, Numismatics, and Classical Archaeology at the Museum of Cultural History of the University of Oslo. Myhre graduated from the same university with a degree in philosophy and social anthropology before receiving MPhil and DPhil degrees in social anthropology from the University of Oxford. Myhre has longstanding research experience from rural and urban areas of Tanzania, and has previously held posts at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden, and at the University of Oslo. He has also been affiliated with an ERC-funded research project at the University of Bergen.
The seminar will take place in the seminar room on the 3rd floor, Frederiks gate 2 - entrance from the side door on Kristian IVs gate - ring the doorbell for the third floor.
After the seminar there will be room for informal conversations and drinks.