Join us for an afternoon discussion with leading scholars and activists in the struggle to grasp–and abolish–the chains of student debt. We will be joined by co-organizers of the Debt Collective, Astra Taylor and Jason Wozniak, as well as long-time scholar and critic of student debt and the neoliberal university, Jeffrey J. Williams. This show will be co-hosted by contingent faculty organizer Joseph G. Ramsey and UMass Boston labor studies student Lena Durkin.
Astra Taylor is an author, filmmaker, and co-founder of the Debt Collective – the country’s first union for debtors. “We build power among debtors and their allies to turn individual financial burdens into a source of collective leverage—leverage that can be wielded to push for political and economic transformation.”
Jason Thomas Wozniak is an Assistant Professor in the Educational Foundations and Policy Studies Department at West Chester University where he teaches education philosophy and history. Jason co-directs the Latin American Philosophy of Education Society (LAPES), and organizes with the Debt Collective nationally and in Philadelphia where he lives.
Jeffrey J. Williams has spoken about, written on, and worked against the debacle of student debt since the 1990s. He has published a series of essays on it, including “Debt Education: Bad for the Young, Bad for America” (2006), “Student Debt and the Spirit of Indenture” (2008), “The Debt Experience” (in The Debt Age 2018), and “Who’s Responsible for Student Debt?” (2021), in journals academic and mainstream. (Some are collected in his book, How to Be an Intellectual: Essays on Criticism, Culture.) In academic precincts, he has helped build the new field of Critical University Studies, which turns theory to problems under our feet, criticizing the pernicious practices of the neoliberal university, degrading labor, enforcing corporate and financial protocols, reinforcing racism, and escalating massive debt, and he co-edits the book series Critical University Studies from Johns Hopkins University Press. He is a professor of literary and cultural studies at Carnegie Mellon University.