American Studies and the University of Debt
American Quarterly, Volume 66, Number 2, June 2014, pp. 283-287
6 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2014
Date Written: June 28, 2014
Response to 2013 American Studies Association Presidential Address by Curtis Marez.
In his presidential address, Curtis Marez articulates an ambitious double project for himself and for the field: to “center collective dissent to student debt in American studies” and “to outline an American studies version of critical university studies.” As the address unfolds, he successfully demonstrates that many of the richest areas of scholarship in American studies in recent decades — such as explorations of the constitution of racial, gendered, and class subjectivities, identities, and hierarchies; and the transnational processes and relations in which the United States is situated — could and/or should, if they have not done so already, engage debt, and in particular “student debt,” “university debt,” “the university of debt,” as a constitutive force such that “the contemporary regime of university debt constitutes a form of racialized and gendered settler colonial capitalism.”
Keywords: debt, American Studies, dissent
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