Since its emergence,
capitalism has evoked powerful responses for and against, not simply as a theoretical economic model, but because it penetrates all aspects of life
in a society, deeply shapes and constrains our circumstances, and influences our convictions, actions, and even imagination. At the same time it gives
us little time to reflect, as the continuous adaptation to markets, consumer demands, expansions, and financial and political crises imposes on us
an ever–faster, dizzying pace of change in society and culture. All branches of the humanities and the arts have been grappling with understanding
and probing the blessings and curses of capitalism and with deciphering this humanly–created system. Since ideas, productions, and expressions also,
in one way or another, enter the market and its ever shifting demands, interpreting capitalism has become a distinctively challenging process.
When do capitalist ideas begin to take hold in societies and how have interpretations and assessments of capitalism changed over time? How can it be
critically assessed? Do academics enjoy the freedom to distance themselves from this system? How do artists, writers, and critics deal with market
forces in their cultural contributions and how do they respond to the idea of "art as commodity"? What is the relationship of art and market demands
in creative yet commercial fields, such as architecture and product design? How have religious practices and doctrines interacted with, critiqued, or
fortified capitalism? Has capitalism replaced religion, as some critics claim? Are there viable alternatives to capitalist approaches? What is behind
such associations as capitalism and democracy and capitalism and freedom? Join us when we go beyond stock prices and market analysis and open up broader
questions about the system that pervades society today.