The Material Culture Caucus of the American Studies Association wishes to encourage participation in the 2013 Annual Meeting: “Beyond the Logic of Debt: Towards an Ethic of Collective Dissent,” November 21-24, 2013 at the Hilton Washington, Washington, DC. To read the conference Call for Papers please see: www.theasa.net/annual_meeting/page/submit_a_proposal/
Ideas and Abstracts due to the organizers before January 5, 2013.
Areas of interest for material culture studies related to the theme include (but are not limited to):
· Consumerism, including credit, layaway, second-hand shopping
· Money, credit, mortgages, loans, and other forms of currency
· Banks, banking, and the architecture and culture of financial
· Objects/Spaces of poverty and luxury
· Occupy and other movements of dissent against debt or property
· Exhibitions or representations of debt
· Spaces and material culture of academic debt and employment
I wanted to draw reader’s attention to Rolling Jubilee, a project that buys up debt with the explicit intention of abolishing it. As I write this (and this will be long out of date by the time you read this post), $109,507 has been raised to abolish $2,194,957. This is a really significant and transformative use of donation and a growing social movement we can all participate in.
This kind of project, alongside the campaign to withdraw money from mainstream banks (see Bank Transfer Day and Occupy Withdraw) are essentially encouraging a form of consumer activism that has the possibility to effect a genuine transformation or create a genuine financial democracy – the best way of working within the system towards a moral agenda usually kept outside.
Please add more links to similar initiatives in the comments, these examples come from the US and the UK – would be great to build up a comparative repository of initiatives in other places…Greece? Spain?