Calls for Contributors

Call for Contributors for September 2017 Issue on “Poverty”

The Activist History Review invites proposals for articles that address the theme of “poverty” to be featured in the September issue.

The Activist History Review invites proposals for articles that address the theme of “poverty” to be featured in the September issue.

U.S. cultural norms have long justified the striking inequities of American capitalism as the result of differing individual work ethics, determination, and chutzpah. When future historians write the history of 2017, we hope that one of its defining characteristics will be a rejection of poverty as normative. Tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthy have been the defining feature of the Republican legislative agenda under President Trump. And while voters may flock to embrace what they see as “austerity for others,” blaming poor folk for their plight, the number of people involved means that most of us can only escape the problem for so long. Indeed, this is a key reason why GOP efforts to repeal the ACA have been so difficult. Most Americans realize that repeal would leave them significantly worse off.

income inequality graph
American household income by percentile. Income inequality is a significant problem that can’t be solved by blaming the poor or minority groups. Courtesy

Today, we see poverty illustrated in a variety of ways. Sometimes it’s through the euphemistic “working class” Trump voter, the “undeserving” fast-food worker, the “lazy” SNAP beneficiary, or the “thug.” We’re taught to see poverty as individual, except for the (white) “working class,” and as the result of personal failure.

People Living in Miserable Poverty
Photo captioned “People Living in Miserable Poverty.” White poverty has often been depicted through a uniquely sympathetic lens. Courtesy Library of Congress.

Yet American poverty in the 21st century is entangled with race, class, sex, gender and age. It is at once the Appalachian Trump voter and the families in Flint; the millennial coping with student debt and the retiree with dwindling Social Security benefits. TAHR seeks essays that examine the historical roots of these expressions of poverty.

Human poverty amidst Nature's Wealth
Image of a Puerto Rican man titled “Human Poverty Amid Nature’s Wealth,” meant as a slight on racialized minorities’ work ethic. Courtesy Library of Congress.

Proposals should be no more than 250 words for articles from 1250-2000 words, and should be emailed to William Horne by Friday, August 18th at 11:59 PM. Please also include a short bio of no more than 100 words.

We here at The Activist History Review are always working to expand and develop our mission, vision, and goals for the future. These efforts sometimes necessitate a budget slightly larger than our own pockets. If you have enjoyed reading the content we host here on the site, please consider donating to our cause.

William Horne, Executive Editor of The Activist History Review, is a PhD candidate at The George Washington University researching the relationship of race to labor, freedom, and capitalism in post-Civil War Louisiana. His research interests include systems of power revolving around concepts of race, labor, incarceration, capitalism, and the state. He is a former high school teacher, barista, and warehouse worker and is an avid home gardener. His dissertation, “Carceral State: Baton Rouge and its Plantation Environs Across Emancipation,” examines the ways in which white supremacy and capitalism each depended on restricting black freedom in the aftermath of slavery. He can be followed on Twitter at @wihorne.

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