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The following is a transcript of a talk given by Prof. Dick Bryan at the launch of Risking Together: How Finance Is Dominating Everyday Life in Australia by Dick Bryan and Mike Rafferty on 29 June 2018. The cartoons by Amelyn Ng were inspired by Dick and Mike’s paper titled ‘Political Economy and Housing in the Twenty-first Century – from Mobile Homes to Liquid Housing?’ published in Housing, Theory and Society (2014).
Household financialisation cartoon by Amelyn Ng

This is the third book Mike and I have written together. The previous one, Capitalism with Derivatives: A Political Economy of Financial Derivatives, Capital and Class, was a significant turning point for us. It pointed to a politics around finance but we really couldn’t frame how that politics might develop. It was too hard to see. Since then, developing that politics has been our focus.

That earlier book got an interesting response. People in the crypto-token world, I’ve now found out, seem to love it. Our classical Marxist comrades are indifferent to hostile.

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The following is a transcript of a talk given by Prof. Lisa Adkins at the launch of Risking Together: How Finance Is Dominating Everyday Life in Australia by Dick Bryan and Mike Rafferty on 29 June 2018.

Photo of Prof. Lisa Atkins by Andy Roberts

First of all I’d like to congratulate Dick and Mike on their wonderful achievement and say that it is a great honour for me to be involved in the launch of the book.

What makes Risking Together such a great book?

It brings together Dick Bryan’s and Mike Rafferty’s work on finance and society that many of us have had the pleasure of hearing about in papers and presentations over recent years. But Risking Together is more than just a gathering of this recent work. It presents a compelling argument about how finance is implicated in major social changes that have taken place in Australia over the past 30 to 40 years. As this suggests, one of the many virtues of this book is that it is as much a work of sociology as it is of political economy. But unlike most sociological accounts, Bryan and Rafferty place finance at the very heart of social change. In fact, they argue that to understand the ways in which Australian society has changed we need to ‘think like finance’. In other words, to understand society now we need to understand the dynamics and operations of finance.

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Vicky Gray has been helping at SUP for the last six months. She is finishing a combined degree in music and English literature, and planning to work in publishing.

What have you been working on at SUP?

Every week I’ve been given a different task with a different book, which has been great in enabling me to gain a glimpse of what needs to be done in most stages of the publishing process, as well as insight into the broad range of works that SUP publishes. I’ve helped with so many different books that it’s difficult to pinpoint just a few! However a couple of standouts include formatting and proof-reading David C. Thomas’s fascinating The Ebb and Flow of the Ghurid Empire and Jenna Mead’s edition of The Broad Arrow by Oliné Keese, as well as copyediting parts of Mutiny, Mayhem, Mythology: Bounty’s Enigmatic Voyage by Alan Frost. Since this is my first experience working within a publishing company, I began with very little knowledge of how the process works, but from being given such a range of tasks, I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge that will be invaluable in the future.

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We speak with David Thomas, author of The Ebb and Flow of the Ghurid Empire, about his interest in the archaeology of Afghanistan, digging robber holes and the future of archaeology.


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What sparked your interest in archaeology?

Travelling across Europe as a kid with my parents – we visited a lot of great museums. One year, they gave me a book called Archaeology of the World by Courtlandt Canby, which has a picture of Machu Picchu on the front cover – I was hooked after reading that.

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Kimbearlea-Smith.jpgWe have been thrilled this year to have as part of our team Kimberlea Smith, who joined us as a publishing intern through the Australian Publishers Association Internship Program, funded by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. Since joining SUP in July, Kimberlea has worked across our list on a range of marketing, editorial and production tasks, all with incredible energy, meticulousness and curiosity. It has been fantastic for us to have an extra pair of hands and eyes -- and her questions and insights have helped us to see our publishing practices afresh. Kimberlea's internship finishes this week. As we say thanks and good luck, we asked her to tell us about her experience as a publishing intern, her plans for the future, and her dream literary road-trip companion.


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It has been quiet on this blog recently, but not in the SUP office. We've been busy planning for 2018, steering assorted books through editorial and production -- and launching some exciting new releases.
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Simon Chapman (left) and First Dog on the Moon (aka Andrew Marlton) sign books and cartoons at the launch of Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Communicated Disease.

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We speak with Christine Townend about her journey as a political activist for animal welfare, uncovering the motivation for her new book A Life for Animals. Townend also discusses the changes she has observed in society's attitude towards animal welfare within Australia and the major concerns she sees that still need to be addressed in this area.
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Discussion about publishing and new books from Sydney University Press and University of Sydney authors
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