Bühnen des Kapitalismus: Der Getreidehandel als Wissensobjekt zwischen den Weltkriegen
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AbstractSummary: Capitalism on Stage: Grain Trade as Objects of Knowledge During the Interwar Period. Between 1900 and 1930 the worldwide grain markets attained considerable attention in literature (Frank Norris’ novel The Pit of 1903), cinema (D. W. Griffith’s A Corner in Wheat of 1909), theatre (Bertolt Brecht’s unfinished play fragment Jae Fleischhacker in Chikago, 1924–1926), politics (e. g. Report of the Federal Trade Commission on the Grain Trade, 1920–1926) and economics (e. g. Wheat Studies by the Food Research Institute at Stanford University, 1924–1944). The paper discusses grain trade as objects of knowledge in paradoxical situations and entails a parallel reading of these texts by analyzing their epistemic practices and narrative techniques. Bertolt Brecht’s comprehensive plan to depict the laws of the allocation and distribution of grain markets on stage failed in 1926 and he turned to Marxism. In the meantime economic research focused on the aggregation of statistics relating to world grain supplies and prices. Studies about the relation between changes in the volumes of stocks and phases of trade cycles served furthermore as material for John Maynard Keynes’ abolition of the classical theory around 1930.