Louise Seamster

Louise Seamster is a sociologist whose research examines contemporary mechanisms for the reproduction of racial and economic inequality. She is an Assistant Professor in Sociology and Criminology and African American Studies at the University of Iowa. She earned her MA and PhD in Sociology at Duke University, an MA in Liberal Studies at the New School for Social Research, and a BA at Vassar College.

Dr. Seamster’s research centers on the interactive financial and symbolic factors reproducing racial inequality across multiple domains, particularly in cities. She writes about racial politics and urban development, emergency financial management, debt, and the myth of racial progress. Her current book project investigates the financial and political causes of the Flint Water Crisis. Another line of research examines racial disparities in debt. Her work on “predatory inclusion” in student debt has led to extensive policy advocacy, including research informing Senator Elizabeth Warren’s student debt forgiveness plan. Her work has been published in Contexts, Sociological Theory, Du Bois Review, Social Currents, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Ethnic and Racial Studies, among other academic outlets, and has guest edited five special issues on issues around race.