Social Text dossier on Debt

  • Deadline:
    Oct. 15, 2011, 5 p.m.

Debt is arguably the central economic and political issue of our times.  Since the recession triggered by the crisis subprime mortgage crisis in 2008, political economists have spent much time bringing to light the arcane financial instruments (e.g. Collateralized Debt Obligations) that have driven the crisis. Yet relatively little attention has been paid to the questions which debt and credit raise for culture and everyday life.
    To address these key issues of our time, Social Text is publishing a dossier of essays on debt that builds on recent work by Michael Denning and the Yale Working Group on Globalization and Culture.  Questions addressed in the dossier include the cultural meanings of debt in relation to the histories of migration, nation-building and state violence, to discourses around nature and intellectual exchange, as well as to the narrative structures that construct and reframe the meanings of debt in daily life.
    To deepen and extend this discussion, Social Text is issuing a call for visual works relating to the culture(s) of debt. Preference will be given to web videos of less than 5 minutes, though Social Text is also interested in other visual works that can be presented online, such as site-specific Internet based work, short photo essays with or without text, and image based documentation of works.
    Please direct submissions to by October 15, 2011.