Unpayable Debt: Capital, Violence, and the New Global Economy raises critical questions about the role of debt in contemporary capitalism; the relationship between debt, migration, and violence; and the emergence of new political and cultural identities, particularly among subordinated groups. The project's members, which include scholars, filmmakers, and journalists, examine the politics of information asymmetry—a lack of data and conceptual tools—and how this might undermine social mobilization in impoverished communities, peoples, and countries.
The interdisciplinary group compares recent and landmark cases such as Puerto Rico, Argentina, Greece, Spain, and U.S. cities like Detroit as well as other spaces that have been historically affected by debt. The project will also develop a web platform to disseminate existing information, facilitate public engagement, and increase discussion about the politics of debt.
The project’s directors are Sarah Muir, Term Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Barnard College, Columbia University and Frances Negrón Muntaner, Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Columbia University.
See the press release for the working group's digital PRSyllabus explaining the Puerto Rican debt crisis.
Unpayable Debt is seeking a Graduate Assistant for the 2017-18 academic year.
The graduate assistant provides administrative support and general program assistance to the project director and is responsible for
• Assisting in planning and organizing group meetings, events, conferences, publications or other output
• Ordering lunch for, setting up for, and cleaning up after meetings
• Working with project director to secure locations for public events and arriving early at event to coordinate chair arrangements, name cards, and Audio Visual Services (microphones/videotaping).
• Submitting to Finance Manager receipts and backup for project-related expenses (travel, lunches, etc.)
• Submitting to Finance Manager completed W-9 and DOB (date of birth) for U.S. citizens and W-8 and passport scans for internationals for payments of vendor vouchers, reimbursements, speaker honorariums
• Submitting to Finance Manager complete travel needs and necessary passport scans for ticket purchases
• Submitting to the Communications Manager updated fellows and project director information, affiliations, titles, and photos for website
• Submitting to the Communications Manager a list of all planned meetings and events in a timely manner so they can be promoted
• Submitting to the Associate Director materials for the annual report each Spring
• Writing blog posts covering working group public events and submitting to Communications Manager in a timely fashion.
• Maintaining a dropbox subfolder in the CSSD Dropbox account and deposit there all project documents, publications, and reports
• Submitting to Communications Manager posters designed for public events or requesting a freelance designer
• Photographing working group public events or requesting hired photographer
• Submitting to Communications Manager any news or achievements of working group members
Please submit a cover letter and resume to email@example.com.
Narratives of Debt