Existential Scarcity: Debt and Ideals of "Natural" Reproduction (UPenn Lecture)
Very excited about my upcoming lecture at UPenn. Hosted by the Collegium Institute and co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, Penn PPE, the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy, and the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society. To be held in a lecture hall at Wharton.
I look forward to the conversation!
This lecture explores how understandings of debt and interest are bound up with assumptions about what counts as reproduction, and how both interest and reproduction reflect anxieties about the scarcity of life and resources. Drawing on alternative labor theories, the paper examines what it means to say that money works to produce more of itself, and whether recent anti-work interventions offer productive insights for reining in the proliferation of debt. Ultimately, a reconsideration of the centrality of productive labor to human identity may provide resources for challenging the centrality of productive, debt-based finance to our economic imaginations.