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Debt Working Group Inaugural Meeting

Wed, 10/26 · 5:00 pm6:30 pm · 216 Aaron Burr Hall

Humanities Council; Department of Anthropology

The Debt Working Group brings together faculty, graduate students, and staff who are interested in studying debt from an interdisciplinary perspective. The group addresses issues such as the history and legitimacy of sovereign debt; the (un)sustainability and fairness of consumer debt; the logics of colonial and ecological debts; the affective valences of debt as they appear in debates about reparations/repair; debt as a language of morality and as a narratological device; the plural temporalities and spaces of debt; and debt as a tool of governance and subjectivation.

During the 2022-2023 academic year, the group will meet six times. We will invite speakers from Princeton and other institutions who have done groundbreaking research on debt to share their methods and findings.

First Session: “A conversation on the politics of debt.” In this session, we will introduce the group members, discuss our academic year plans, and begin our conversation. To establish common ground for the discussion, we have selected a few texts to read in advance:

  • Two chapters from David Graeber’s Debt: The First Five Thousand Years, which is a great and provocative introduction to the moral and political questions surrounding debt.
  • Two texts by Denise Ferreira da Silva, who recently published her book, Unpayable Debt, and who will be one of our guest speakers in the spring.

Please come even if you cannot get through all of the readings in time for the meeting.

For more information and readings, please contact organizers Nicolás Sánchez-Rodríguez (Society of Fellows, Spanish and Portuguese) at nico.sanchez@princeton.edu, JahAsia Jacobs (Anthropology) at jfjacobs@princeton.edu, or Alberto E. Morales (Program in Latin American Studies, Anthropology) at alberto.morales@princeton.edu.

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