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Lunch Series Talk: Prof. Devin Kennedy

September 16, 2021 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Rewiring Wall Street: Institutions, Workers, and the Making of Electronic Stock Markets: 1950-1975
STS Lunch Seminar with Devin Kennedy, PhD, Assistant Professor, History
Thursday, September 16, 12:30-1:30 pm, via Zoom

Access via Zoom

Between 1950 and 1975, stock markets reemerged as central venues for economic life in the United States as more and more American institutions—from labor union pension funds to university endowments—invested in corporate shares. This talk explores the historical coproduction of two factors in this development: on one hand, new understandings of expert-administered institutional investment as a tool to democratize corporate power and distribute industrial profit; on the other, the emergence of computational tools and digital technologies for managing investment risk and market operations on Wall Street. Providing an overview of STS work on financial markets, I describe my ongoing book research on the historical entanglement of computerization and financialization in the US after World War II.

Kennedy Poster (PDF)


Investors watch stock prices at a retail brokerage house during the 1962 Flash Crash (aka the “Kennedy Slide”) (John Dominis for LIFE)

Suggested additional reading:

MacKenzie, Donald. “A Material Political Economy: Automated Trading Desk and Price Prediction in High-Frequency Trading.” Social Studies of Science, December 6, 2016, 0306312716676900. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306312716676900.

Ott, Julia C. “‘The Free and Open People’s Market’: Political Ideology and Retail Brokerage at the New York Stock Exchange, 1913-1933.” Journal of American History 96, no. 1 (June 2009): 44–71. https://doi.org/10.2307/27694731.


September 16, 2021
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
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