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This volume provides a transdisciplinary examination of debt, as a human construct that spans history, sociology, law, economics, graphic design, religion, environmental science, politics, and more. Written for an undergraduate audience, this text is ideal for provoking classroom discussions that not only point out the gravity of the social and environmental crises we face in the twenty-first century, but also seeks to set students free to create innovative solutions. Examinations of climate change, the carceral state, housing, health care, education, and social justice are presented from varying perspectives of debt. Why does such a persistent deficit of care permeate so much of our lives? Whom do we owe? Where are the offsetting credits? Often regarded as a constraint on our ability to meet the challenges of our day, this volume reimagines debt as a social construct capable of empowering people to organize sustainable prosperity for all.

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  1. 1.

    Margaret Atwood. (2008). Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth. Toronto, ON, Canada. House of Anansi Press Inc.

  2. 2.

    Chapter 3 of Atwood’s text is titled “Debt as Plot”.

  3. 3.

    Ferguson, Scott. Declarations of Dependence. Lincoln, NE. University of Nebraska Press. (2018).

In my first experience contributing a chapter for an edited volume, its editor Julia M. Puashunder would close her correspondences with the “honored authors” using the valediction, “With the highest appreciation for your noble gift of care.” These words always struck me as not only very kind but also especially appropriate for the work that goes into the development of scholarship. So I thank Dr. Puashunder for her words, and I too would like to express my gratitude and appreciation for all those who helped bring this edited volume to life, with the highest appreciation for your noble gift of care.

Specifically, I am very grateful to Palgrave Macmillan for launching this endeavor and granting the contributors the opportunity to share their creative scholarship. I’d also like to thank SUNY Conversations in the Disciplines, SUNY Cortland President Erik Bitterbaum, Provost Mark Prus, Dean Bruce Mattingly, the Campus Artists and Lecture Series, my colleagues in the Economics Department, as well as, Mavis Lefever, Sandra Wohlleber, Tom Frank, and Liz Speziale for supporting this project financially, professionally, and logistically. Special thanks go out to my colleagues and the contributors who have made this volume possible. I am humbled and privileged by the opportunity to learn from each of you both during the development of this project and beyond. Thank you to Nikolay Karkov, Jeremy Jimenez, and Evan Faulkenbury for their support in developing this project’s grant proposal and call for chapter proposals, and thank you to Brian Barrett, Scott Moranda, Howard Lindh, and Jena Curtis for teaching me the ropes of the CICC and giving me the confidence to take on the role of chair.

I’d also like to thank my colleagues at the Global Institute for Sustainability, President Fadhel Kaboub, Research Director Mathew Forstater, and Micheal J. Murray for supporting this project and providing helpful feedback from the very beginning. In addition, I need to express my gratitude and appreciation to the crew at the Modern Money Network and Money on the Left Editorial Collective for their inspiring efforts to bring the worlds of money and the humanities together. As part of that inspirational force, special thanks to Jakob Feinig for his sharp editorial eye and uncanny ability to help me write what it is I am trying to say.

And finally, thank you to my wife and partner Sara and my boys Ned and Spencer for the endless care and love they have and continue to give to this, admittedly at times, grumpy political economist. I am so very grateful to have so many supportive and brilliant people in my life!

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Correspondence to Benjamin C. Wilson .

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Wilson, B.C. (2022). Introduction. In: Wilson, B.C. (eds) Care, Climate, and Debt. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-96354-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-96355-2

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