Louise Seamster

Title & Affiliation
Research Fellow Social and Education Policy Research Program
Assistant Professor Department of Sociology and Criminology

Louise Seamster is a sociologist whose research examines contemporary mechanisms for the reproduction of racial and economic inequality. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology and the program of African American Studies at the University of Iowa. She is also a Nonresident Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. 

Dr. Seamster's research centers on politics and urban development, emergency financial management, debt, and the myth of racial progress. Her first book, The Flint Water Coup: Debt at the End of Democracy (under contract with Columbia University Press), investigates the financial and political causes of the Flint Water Crisis. In parallel, her Flint Email Lab of graduate and undergraduate students is creating a website archive of public government email communications relating to the crisis. Another line of research examines racial disparities in debt. Her work on "predatory inclusion" in student debt has led to extensive policy work, including research informing Senator Elizabeth Warren's student debt forgiveness plan. Her many media appearances include the New York Times’ Ezra Klein Show, WNYC’s The Takeaway, Bloomberg News, and other national outlets.