Mark Webb

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

New York, Graduate Center, City U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9360

Approve Date

October 5, 2016

Project Title

Webb, Mark, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Crisis on Campus: Student Debt, Risk and the Financialization of Young Futures,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings

Preliminary abstract: Framed by the increasing attention to the financialization of everyday life, this project asks: what new financial subjectivies emerge within a growing student debt crisis and what possibilities do these subjectivties enable or foreclose for millennials today? More specifically, I examine the forms of financial risk that millennial student debtors encounter and embody today, the mechanisms through which risk is transferred from universities to these debtors, and the effects that increased exposure to financial risk has upon the ways that millennial student debtors understand and enact their futures. I explore these themes by studying points of contestation and compliance between student debtors at New York University (NYU) and the institution itself, as well as through observations and interactions with former NYU students with debt as they encounter major financial and life decisions after leaving the institution. Risk is the present day obligation to embrace future uncertainty. This study examine how risk is deployed by financial and educational institutions; how it is embraced, endured and/or evaded by student debtors as they juggle present limitations with future aspirations; and how it might emerge in unpredictable ways and in unexpected places.