Livia K. Stone
Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationIllinois State U.
Grant numberGr. 10087
Approve DateApril 8, 2021
Project TitleStone, Livia (Illinois State U.) "Anti-Neoliberal Politics in America's Heartland"
Explanations for the rise of an anti-neoliberal political Right in the U.S. tend to emphasize race, class, and gender. These are crucial analytical categories, but they don’t capture the most obvious determining factor that paints our electoral maps red: rurality. This is a category that rural Americans feel deeply as a point of difference, but it is generally trivialized by mainstream popular culture and scholarship alike. This research, rooted in intersectional feminism and critical race theory, seeks to push our theorization of this population beyond aggrieved entitlement through an empirical ethnographic examination of rural Illinois farmers. How does grievance come to be articulated as a particular understanding of (collective) self and how is that articulation used to act in the world? How do white farmers in America’s Heartland understand their economic, political, and cultural plights and what experiences do they draw on to form these understandings? What can we learn about the decline of the neoliberal Right by examining this emblematic population? How is it that when rural Americans were ready to turn against neoliberalism they turned Right instead of Left? Where do we find the disjunctures and commonalities with the revolutionary Left from elsewhere in the continent?