Newswise — Annie McClanahan is on a crusade to change the way we think and talk about debt.
"Debt is a defining feature of economic life today that is new," says McClanahan, assistant professor of English at the University of California, Irvine. "We need to start a new conversation about debt that severs the connection between debt and shame."
No stranger to debt herself, McClanahan accrued $90,000 of student debt over the course of earning her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D.
Her first book, Dead Pledges: Debt, Crisis and 21st Century Culture (Stanford University Press, 2016), explores the ways that U.S. culture - including novels, poems, photojournalism and even horror movies - has responded to the financial collapse of 2008.
"If you think about our political and economic lives not in terms of race or class, but simply in terms of debt, there's a large number of people who fall into that category," she says. "Rather than seeing debt as a source of shame and social isolation, it is something that can bring people together politically."
McClanahan is an assistant professor of English at the University of California, Irvine.