Richer and Poorer: Income Inequality

Spring 2016-2017

26250 / 36250

Elaine Hadley

Current political and recent academic debate has centered on income or wealth inequality. Data suggests a rapidly growing divergence between those earners at the bottom and those at the top. This course seeks to place that current concern in conversation with a range of moments in nineteenth and twentieth century history when literature and economics converged on questions of economic inequality. In keeping with recent political economic scholarship by Thomas Piketty, we will be adopting a long historic view and a somewhat wide geographic scale as we explore how economic inequality is represented, measured, assessed and addressed. Readings will include some of the following literature, Hard Times, Le Pere Goriot, The Jungle, The Time Machine, Native Son, Landscape for a Good Woman, White Tiger, and some of the following economic and political texts Principles of Political Economy, The Acquisitive Society, The Theory of the Leisure Class, Capital (Marx and Piketty), The Price of Inequality and Inequality Re-examined. Undergraduate: (B, G, H), Graduate: (18th/19th)