Race, Empire, and the Crisis of the Subprime

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Predatory lending of subprime mortgages targeting the most economically vulnerable minority communities helped trigger the current global financial crisis. This special issue of the journal American Quarterly explores the ways in which subprime becomes a racial signifier in the current debate about the causes and fixes for a capitalism itself in crisis. It signifies both the accumulated dispossession of racial exclusion in the twenty-first century gilded age in the United States and Global North more broadly, as well as the imperial ambitions of three decades of U.S.-led neoliberal rule over the Global South. Essays are divided into sections: debt, discipline, and empire; the pathologies of debt; and security, space, and resistance in the post-racial urban setting. Focusing on race and empire, that is, on racial and global subjugation, the contributors expose the ethical-political underpinnings of the current global financial crisis. Contributors include: Radhika Balakrishnan Jordan T. Camp Paula Chakravartty Ofelia Ortiz Cuevas Sophie Ellen Fung Daniel J. Hammel James Heintz Bosco Ho Zachary Liebowitz Tayyab Mahmud John D. Marquez Pierson Nettling C. S. Ponder Sarita Echavez See Shawn Shimpach Denise Ferreira da Silva Catherine R. Squires Michael J. Watts Elvin Wyly