Women's Studies Quarterly

Articles from Vol. 42, No. 1/2, Spring

After Slavery
That Jugal, internal world theater that shows up for a minute serially-poor but extravagant, as opposed to frugal-is blackness, which must be understood in its ontological difference from black people who are, nevertheless, (under) privileged insofar...
An Honest Day's Wage for a Dishonest Day's Work: (Re)Productivism and Refusal
Thirty years after publishing the pivotal "Wages Against Housework," Silvia Federici revisited reproductive labor and its central role in the "unfinished feminist revolution": "The concept of'reproductive labor'recognizes the possibility of crucial alliances...
An Ode to the Debt Resistor from the Debt Resistors' Operations Manual
Everyone is affected by debt, from recent graduates paying hundreds of dollars in interest on their students loans every month, to working families bankrupted by medical bills, to elders living in "underwater" homes, to those taking out payday loans...
Beloved Citizens: Toni Morrison's Beloved, Racial Inequality, and American Public Policy
Toni Morrison's classic novel Beloved (1987) provides a lens through which to examine how social assistance shapes African American freedom. One dominant interpretation of the novel has been that it implicitly argues for the importance of recognizing...
Debt and Its Social Entrapments
Between 1997 and 2012, nearly two hundred thousand agriculturists committed suicide in India.1 Most official reports, studies, and testimonials considered indebtedness and the burdens of debt defaulting to be the key reasons for such distress.2 Yet indebtedness...
Debt, the Precarious Grammar of Life, and Manjula Padmanabhan's Harvest
Life an debt freedom not yet-Mutabaruka, "Life and Debt"What is a debt, anyway? A debt is just the perversion of a promise. It is a promise corrupted by both math and violence.-David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 YearsIn the first epigraph above, Jamaican...
Douloti the Bountiful
-Where have you come from, Somni?-They brought me from Barha village.-Did they say they would marry you?-Why should they? I was already married.-Already married?-Yes yes. And I have my man at home.-How did you come?-Was there another way? My man took...
Editors' Note: The Teaching Poor
To admit to one's own poverty and debt, as an academic, is to step into a minefield of shame and self-doubt, even within feminist circles. To be sure, many feminist scholars have labored intensely to document structural economic injustice around the...
"Even a Freak like You Would Be Safe in Tel Aviv": Transgender Subjects, Wounded Attachments, and the Zionist Economy of Gratitude
what are you?? if your not a male or a female, perhaps something in between?? then can you explain to me your ridiculous & ignorant hate against the only country in the Middle-East that someone like you could live a peaceful life, almost without...
Feminist Indebtedness
C. H. Browner and Carolyn Fishel Sargent's Reproduction, Globalization, and the State: New Theoretical and Ethnographic Perspectives. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011.Michelle Murphy's Seizing the Means of Reproduction: Entanglements of Feminism,...
Gendered Transactions: Identity and Payment at Midcentury
According to company lore, the idea for Diners' Club1, the first "universal charge card," emerged in 1949 when FrankX. McNamara, aNew York City businessman, was dining out with a client and realized that he had forgotten his wallet at home. He was able...
Global Health: The Debts of Gratitude
It permits us always to say: "Careful, you think there is gift, dissymmetry, generosity, expenditure, or loss, but the circle of debt, of exchange, or of symbolic equilibrium reconstitutes itself according to the laws of the unconscious; the generous'...
Global Warming Blues
The ocean had a laughwhen it saw the shoreI said the ocean had a big big laughwhen it saw the shoreit pranced on up the boardwalkand pummeled my front doorThere's no talking to the waterfull of strength and saltno, there's no bargaining with waterso...
Habitual Exit
Amy placed the brown package along with the rest of the mail on the circular coffee table. She expected her five-year-old to grab and pull the parcel, but Janie remained in place, her cotton pajamas with pink and green frogs sagging off her tiny frame....
Illiberal Promises: Two Texts on Immigration and Moral Debt
Mimi Thi Nguyen's The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages. Durham: Duke University Press, 2012.Lisa Marie Cacho's Social Death: Racialized Rightiessness and the Criminalization of the Unprotected. New York: New York University Press,...
Introduction: Life and Debt
Give back the life I gaveyou pay me my money downso there's no questionI did it for love for anythingbut desireput a tarnished nickel in my dishso the guard will knowwhen he comeswith a bleeding chickentied to his wristwith a bitter promisethat we are...
Lean Back: Lessons from Woolf
A while back, a colleague and I were rehashing the anticipatory buzz and backlash inspired by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's then forthcoming Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. My colleague, knowing that I work on Virginia Woolf's writing, speculated,...
March 1969
Seated in the pews the best man whose arms draped the groom's shouldersPassed a flask of hundred-proof grain from inside his tuxedo pocketA mother fondled her fake pearls, walked the aisles trying to find a soloistAsked the guests: Who can sing His Eyes...
Poverty, Middle-Class Poverty, and the Tyranny of Debt: Excerpt of "Poverty" by Ira Steward, 1873
Below is a selection from an essay titled "Poverty," written by Ira Steward, a machinist turned labor organizer who was a key founder of Grand Eight Hour League of Massachusetts. Steward was an influential activist and a leading American figure in the...
Speculative Technologies: Debt, Love, and Divination in a Transnationalizing Market
Four young women with love on their mind are waiting to learn about their future. It's a summer afternoon in a neighborhood of Tuzla, a city in northeastern Bosnia. The waiting room is filled with old sofas, well loved and bent out of shape by a history...
The Debt of Memory: Reparations, Imagination, and History in Toni Morrison's Beloved
This essay focuses on Toni Morrison's groundbreaking novel Beloved and examines the issue of reparations in economic, affective, and historical terms. Beloved, I claim, addresses these debts via fiction by delving into the recesses of traumatic memory....
The Discreet Transient
The Formerly Middle Class1 (FMC) nomenclature is used to describe a subset of the population once operating within a middle-class lifestyle, driven from that economic milieu during the financial and housing foreclosure crisis beginning in the late 2000s....
The Kind of Life You Always Wanted
You have finished what you set out to,given upon desire, preferringthe silent commerceof unwinding wirefrom a spool,and you have invited sadness,like a child hidingunderneath a boathouse,called catastrophe a horsethat waited for you to ride him,too tiredto...
The Scissors of Debt: Comments from Southern Europe
The debt crisis and austerity policies are hitting the societies of Europe's Mediterranean periphery, particularly Portugal, Greece, and Spain, hard. With the onset of the economic crisis, a whole growth and development model based on low wages and property...
Trading Credit for Debt: Queer History-Making and Debt Culture
Once you start to see bad debt, you start to see it everywhere, hear it everywhere, feel it everywhere.-Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black StudyIf you had gone to the opening of Rare & Raw: Queer History...
Twenty-First-Century Debt Collectors: Idle No More Combats a Five-Hundred-Year-Old Debt
Self-determination. Survival. Sovereignty. These are the principles driving the Idle No More movement and the ideas that have consistently driven Indigenous peoples in North America to fight against their colonizers' destructive designs on their bodies,...
"Unspeakable Things Unspoken": Reflections on Teaching Beloved
She said, that when the officers and slave-hunters came to the house in which they were concealed, she caught a shovel and struck two of her children on the head, and then took a knife and cut the throat of the third, and tried to kill the other,-that...
Woman Is an Object without History (and Other Reflections upon Reading David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years offers a longue durée, longer than most, through the lens of debt. Debt is an institution older than money, Graeber reminds us, and excavating the historical and anthropological record of the emergence and...
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