Episode 5: I’m afraid the middle-class dream is out of reach, especially when I think about student loan debt.
What does the history of debt in the United States teach us about our democracy? What does it mean--to our politics, to our communities, to our well-being—to live with debt? If this “middle class dream” is unreal, how do we envision new horizons for our lives?
Part 1: Interview with Nicole, a postdoctoral fellow at a big-city Ivy League university whose accomplishments as the first in her family to attend college have left her with what feels like an insurmountable debt.
Part 2: Karen Salt (American Studies, University of Nottingham) on histories of debt in the Americas, especially Haiti; Mehrsa Baradaran (Law, Georgia State) on the 20th century history of the racial wealth gap, including Black banks; Lynn Itagaki (English, U Missouri) on the stories we tell ourselves about debt and the new political reality of the “debtor-citizen.”
Part 3: All parties in conversation.