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Follow the Family? The Cultural Politics of Neo- Liberalism in Scott Walkerís Wisconsin

Follow the Family? The Cultural Politics of Neo- Liberalism in Scott Walkerís Wisconsin
Room 208N, Munk School of Global Affairs 1 Devonshire Place
Time: Apr 24th, 4:00 pm End: Apr 24th, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: Women/Gender, Women & Gender Studies (FAS), United States Studies, Sociology (FAS), Political Science, Humanities, Human Geography (UTSC), History (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), English (FAS), Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in (OISE/UT), Communication, Culture, Information and Technology (UTM), Cities and Humanities, Arts, Culture and Media (UTSC), Anthropology (UTSC), Anthropology (UTM), Anthropology (FAS), 2000-
Lecture by David K. Seitz

The Centre for the Study of the United States Graduate Student Workshop, and The Centre for the Study of the United States present:

David K. Seitz, University of Toronto

Follow the Family? The Cultural Politics of Neo- Liberalism in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin

After mass protests against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's union-busting measures garnered global attention in 2011, Walker cruised to a stunning recall election victory in 2012. Progressive-Left accounts of Walker's win have focused on the glut of outside corporate campaign donations in his coffers, and Democrats' failure to offer an alternative economic vision. While helpful, these "follow the money" explanations neglect neoliberalism's local inflections and cultural dimensions at their analytical and political peril. Instead of offering a causal explanation of Walker's victory, I explore mainstream labour activists' startling use of the trope of "working Wisconsin families" in pro-union appeals. Building on Wendy Brown's (2010) insight about neoliberalism not only as a mode of economic organization but a "way of making souls," I then point to local Left inflections of family and collectivity that might disturb, or even offer glimmers of alternatives, to neoliberalism's intimate incitements to make exclusive attestations of innocence.

David K. Seitz is a Ph.D. student in human geography at the University of Toronto, and participates in the collaborative programs in women and gender studies and sexual diversity studies. His dissertation research explores alternative urban, national and transnational geographies of belonging and critical political community at a predominantly LGBTQ Toronto church. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, David also has a longstanding research interest in the cultural politics of race, gender, sexuality and neoliberalism in the Midwestern United States.

If you have any questions, please call (416) 946-8900. Please register for this event here:


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