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Beholden: The Politics and Potential of Debt

  • Hinckley Institute of Politics 260 South Central Campus Drive, Suite 2018 Salt Lake City United States (map)

Neal A. Maxwell Lecture in Political Theory and Contemporary Politics

  • Kennan Ferguson, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Beholden asks why debt is always seen as the antithesis of freedom, and what is lost in privileging the latter over the former.  Freedom, Ferguson argues, is an adolescent aspiration, a pipe dream of pure will and unadulterated self-containment. But why, then, do freedom and its conceptual fellow-travelers, such as liberation, resistance, self-determination, emancipation, and autonomy, reflexively register as "good"? In presuming their unquestioned desirability, political thinkers automatically denigrate those forms of being which fall under the category of indebtedness: bond, promise, association, troth, and other interpersonal connections.


  • Kouslaa T Kessler-Mata, University of San Francisco

  • M. Shadee Malaklou, Beloit College

Free and open to the public

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