University of Washington Bothell Professor Talks Taxes Just in Time for April 15th

April 10, 2013

CONTACT: Lisa Hall, 425-352-5461/425-466-7467 (cell),

Bothell, WA – Tax Day is quickly approaching and according to UW Bothell Assistant Professor Camille Walsh, Ph.D., this is the time of year when “we’re all in this together.” After all, we all have to pay taxes. On the days leading up to April 15th, millions of individuals around the country are preparing their taxes and submitting them online or sticking with tradition and heading to the local post office for a late drop-off.

On the other hand, Walsh says taxation was historically used as a tool to separate and segregate, and there is still evidence of that today.

Walsh, who received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, focuses on social justice. Her research examines how the identity of “taxpayer” has helped structure racial inequality in post-Civil War U.S. History. “This can be seen as a boring field, but precisely because of that perception it is a field with a lot of power – a lot of unexamined power,” she says.

In particular, Walsh’s research argues that historically, taxes were frequently deployed as a currency of citizenship in segregated schooling cases and debates throughout this period – regardless of whether legal rights actually attached to taxpayer identity claims. From African Americans seeking equal education to white supremacists defending segregation, an imagined legal identity as taxpaying citizens ultimately constructed and facilitated racialized educational inequality by implying that educational access should rightfully be linked to parents’ or racial communities’ formal tax liability.

For Walsh’s lighter take on Tax Day:

Interviews with Dr. Walsh may be scheduled through UW Bothell communications specialist Lisa Hall using the contact information above.


About UW Bothell: The University of Washington Bothell provides an internationally and nationally-ranked university experience that inspires innovation and creativity. With more than 30 degrees, options, certificates and concentrations, its curriculum emphasizes close student-faculty interaction and critical thinking. UW Bothell builds regional partnerships, inspires change, creates knowledge, shares discoveries and prepares students for leadership in the state of Washington and beyond. For more information, visit