OzAsia Festival Keynote: The biography of a coin

The biography of a coin


Thursday 18 September 2014




with Professor Michael Dutton, University of London

Podcast available HERE (mp3 format 21MB)  Powerpoint presentation (pdf format)

In May 1928 the Communist Party produced the first coin of their socialist revolution in the remote, bandit ridden region of Jinggangshan.

Framed by two revolutions: the Mexican revolution against Spanish rule, and the socialist revolution led by the Communist Party of China, this talk maps the journey of the Mexican silver dollar, or ‘Eagle coin,’ as it travelled from the mines of America to the remote hills of China.

Along the way, the coin became the dominant currency of southern and eastern China, Japan and northern Vietnam.  It changed the way the Chinese thought about money, and arguably, the coin helped launch one of the earliest futures markets, and a Communist revolution.

Michael Dutton is Professor in the Department of Politics, University of London and formerly Professor of Political Cultures at the Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University.  Professor Dutton’s research is characterised by a strong interest in contemporary social and cultural theory wed to a specific ‘archive’ called China.



Co-presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and The Adelaide Festival Centre's OzAsia Festival



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