AAG 2019, Washington, D.C. 3rd-7th April 2019
Debt: Coping, Supporting, Overcoming, Resisting and Enduring

The reallocation of risk from collective institutions and employers to 
households and individuals is producing forms of financial insecurity not well 
captured by conventional metrics of poverty and inequality. This downward 
distribution of social risk is also productive of new markets, financial 
practices, and, along with them, spiraling levels of debt. This session seeks 
papers examining coping strategies and practices of mutual support arising in 
response to conditions of indebtedness.

Our interpretation of “debt” is broad, encompassing its personal, state and 
social forms. We also understand debt as relational – not only with respect to 
debtor-creditor relations – but also in connection with broader social 
processes that cross scales and borders, including evictions, low quality work 
and unemployment, heightened precarity, failing state social support networks, 
and migration.

We are interested in alternative frameworks of mutual solidarity, dependency 
and obligation developed and maintained to sustain life. These might include: 
existing and new types of social networks, collective forms of practice that 
are ‘quiet’, hospitality networks and broader narratives of ‘sanctuary’, local 
organisation of pro-bono and peer-to-peer legal advice, and new types of 
economic provisioning.

We invite papers exploring the creation, maintenance, as well as failure, of 
mutual support and the plural methods through which individuals and groups 
endure and potentially enact change in broader political, social and legal 
arenas. We also invite papers that take a critical perspective on the 
relationship between mutual aid and the circumstances – colonial and state 
violence, political-economic crises – that necessitate its expansion.

Please submit your abstract (max. 250 words) to Christopher Harker 
(christopher.har...@ucl.ac.uk<mailto:christopher.har...@ucl.ac.uk>), Mark Kear 
(mk...@email.arizona.edu<mailto:mk...@email.arizona.edu>) and Richard Johnson 
(rljohn...@email.arizona.edu<mailto:rljohn...@email.arizona.edu>) by October 
21, 2018.

Mark Kear PhD | Assistant Professor
School of Geography and Development
University of Arizona
ENR2 Building, Room S515
P.O. Box 210137
Tucson, Az 85721

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