26th September 2013

Everyday Debt and Credit: Special Issue of Cultural Studies


Special Issue: Everyday Debt and Credit

Co-edited by Gregory J. Seigworth (Millersville University) and Joe Deville (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Call for Papers

How do ordinary matters of credit and debt circulate through the space-times of the everyday and the intimate? How has their manner of circulation and the nature of their saturation into the lives of borrowers changed in the age of the app, of the mobile interface, of social media? What are the new technologically enabled effects of debt and credit? Where and how is everyday indebtedness felt by its users and inflected in and through the architectures and atmospheres surrounding them? And, further, what are these postures and practices of our emerging economy of debt and credit pointing toward? From the advent of digitally mediated peer to peer lending to credit scores consulted on first dates (calculating risk before date #2), from cloud-connected loyalty cards to mobile payment and wallet technologies, from the multi-pronged and carefully designed affective tactics of debt collectors to the strategies of gamification for savings and personal finance and more – the material and immaterial articulations of debt and credit have woven themselves ever more ubiquitously into the ecologies of the everyday. If the sheer pervasiveness of credit and debt has become a defining feature of our era, we argue that their omnipresence cannot be confronted as merely one more topic for consciousness-raising and ideology critique. From the data-defined subjectivities of instantaneous algorithmic calculations to those age-old debates over the moralities and immoralities of debt to the emergence of redrawn bodily capacities (extended? shrunken?) and institutional/networked accesses (granted? denied?) that arise with evermore technologically-mediated credit/debt relationships, our contributors will reveal how matters of credit and debt must be met in their myriad relational entanglements with both the fine-grained and roughhewn practices of daily life.

Thus, we welcome essays that provide an empirics of indebtedness as it traverses this varied social and material terrain of the everyday. This includes a contextual focus on the specific apparatuses, devices, encounters, dispositions and affects of routine indebtedness and how different forms of credit reach into and attach themselves to domains often coded, as private, domestic, mundane, and non-economic. In attending to the particularities of daily intersections with credit and/or debt contributions might also consider how these mundane mediations of the economic connect to and shape apparent contextual commonalities, how the politics of ubiquitous credit is distributed, and where and in what form resistances, hacks and new debtor publics might be found. The issue aims to be disciplinarily diverse, to potentially include sociologists, anthropologists, philosophers, political economists, cultural theorists, critical analysts of finance, and those working in science and technology studies, while also inviting contributions from designers, architects, managers and activists. We welcome diverse and innovative takes on everyday indebtedness, ranging from (but not limited to) auto-ethnographic accounts to those investigating through a mix of sensory and/or digital approaches to credit & debt practices.

Please contact the editors with a proposal of 500 words presenting an orientation/overview of your angle of approach to this topic by February 15, 2014. Finished articles are also welcome at anytime but of course slight revisions to better address our issue’s themes should be expected.

Final full paper submissions are due no later than July 15, 2014. Articles are generally between 5000-8000 words (double spaced, size 12 font), including abstract and references. An abstract of 300 words (including 6 keywords) must be included for purposes of journal review. Please supply an email address and other relevant contact information with your submission. Multi-author works should clearly designate a corresponding author. Manuscripts must conform to the Harvard reference style. Consult the journal’s Taylor and Francis website for further specifics on formatting and author guidelines.

Send any inquiries, comments, proposals and papers to both co-editors on or before July 15, 2014 deadline: Gregory Seigworth <Gregory.Seigworth@millersville.edu> and Joe Deville <j.deville@gold.ac.uk>.