Public Programs And Events

Bonds and Boundaries of Debt: Towards an Interdisciplinary Research Agenda

Bonds and Boundaries of Debt: Towards an Interdisciplinary Research Agenda

Wolff Conference Room, Room D1103, Albert and Vera List Academic Center
General Public 

Amna Akbar, Destin Jenkins, Julia Ott, and Caitlin Zaloom will discuss Bonds and Boundaries of Debt.

This event brings together scholars interested in the history, anthropology, and legality of debt. It asks participants to use one story/case study to theorize what is similar and distinct about various forms of indebtedness. Does the collective, non-consensual conscription of the public (residents, taxpayers, citizens, and non-citizens) as debt servicers render public debt fundamentally different from debts incurred through share copping, corporate borrowing, and consumption? To what extent are modern forms of debt peonage, what law and political economy scholars term “criminal legal debt,” less about capital accumulation and more about revenue generation for municipalities in a national race to the bottom? How useful is the public/private dichotomy (i.e. public and private debt)? How applicable are the tactics and strategies at the heart of the Strike Debt movement to breaking free from other forms of indebtedness?

The objective is to think about the relationship of different forms of indebtedness to the history of capitalism, and the role debt plays within contemporary capitalism. To that end, Amna Akbar, Destin Jenkins, Julia Ott, and Caitlin Zaloom will have developed short texts (no more than 10 pages). But rather than present those papers, we offer the audience a series of questions for discussion. 

Presented by the Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies at The New School for Social Research.



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