You are on page 1of 6


ACS 782: Seminar in Post-Marxism and its Discontents: Culture, Materialism, and Geography, In and After Cultural Marxism II

We live in an era of crisis and hope. Riots, financial collapse, authoritarian state power, nationalist and white supremacists movements, massive global wealth disparities, ecological crisis, and the privatization of learning suggest some of the elements of this turbulent and precarious moment. Marxist theory and communism now emerge amid attempts to find alternative intellectual perspectives for this new conjuncture. In fact, even the capitalists are digging back through Marx for answers. At this moment, we return to the dominant threads of social theories following the 1968 revolutionary failure and key elements of Marxists and early revolutionary work simultaneously. The hope is to put the old in conversation with the new, to read the foundational texts of our time and the foundational texts of those texts. But, the goal is to do this after a long period of rejection for Marxian work in favor of post-structuralist and post-marxist projects. What intellectual priorities must be kept, revitalized, rethought, or invented for the current crisis? How can we read Marx again, not to find some authentic scriptural meaning (though, correcting misreadings is always a good idea!!) but to find new political openings? If the current crisis is the eruption of much older contradictions, what have been the failures of the last 40 years of intellectual leadership? Where do we go from here?!
Required Texts: (Weekly readings on blackboard)
Jameson, Valences of the Dialectic (1844674630) Buck-Morse: Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History (9780822943402) Adorno/Horkheimer. Towards a New Manifesto (1844678199) Wood, Retreat from Class (1859842704) Deleuze/Guatari. Anti-Oedipus (0143105825) Deleuze/Guatari, Thousand Plateaus (0816614024) Hardt/Negri, Commonwealth (0674060288) Haraway: Simians, cyborgs, and women : the reinvention of nature (9780415903868) Marx, Capital, Volume 1. (0140445684) Sanbonmatsu, John. The Postmodern Prince: Critical Theory, Left Strategy (1583670904) Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977). Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle (Rebel Press)

Optional Texts: (More listed at end)

Useful Resources - - - - -

Postmarxism. 2 Requirements: -Participation and Attendance (30%) -Supplemental Readings Discussions (35%)
Because these debates have progressed (or regressed, depending) and continue to, every week, small groups of you will be leading discussions about the sets of supplemental readings and how they relate to the debates within the course. Sign up for at least four. Prepare your own 1-2 page (single-spaced) discussions of the supplemental text(s) and its engagement with the courses required texts. Contribute to the online glossary and annotated bibliography for the course. Also, prepare a 15min group presentation (w/ a concise handout) for the class.

-Final Paper, 20-25 pages (35%)

This should be a publishable paper but it should also engage with contemporary political issues that relate to themes from the course. The paper should critically explore an issue or the work of one of the authors from the courses required readings. That is, I want you to develop a deep critical analysis of the changing approaches and conditions for the debate over Marxism, Materialism, Communism, freedom, etc. Format your paper in the style of the journal, Antipode.

Schedule (Subject to Change):

Week 1 (25-Aug) Introductions: Discuss(Timothy Brennan, interview re: Wars of Position); (1972 Conversation between Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze):; West and Smiley Poverty Tour; Van Jones American Dream,; the Death of Postmodernism; Adbusters post-postmodernism

Week 2 (31-Aug) 1. Daniel Singer, Prelude to Revolution: France in May 1968. South End Press. (Preface, Intro) 2. Louis Althusser, For Marx (NY: Penguin, 1969), pp. Chpts. 2, 3, 7 (see also Glossary). 3. Louis Althusser, Reading Capital (London: NLB, 1968), Part 1, Part 2 intro, (3&4?) 4. E.P. Thompson, The Poverty of Theory (Merlin Press, 1978), pp. (1-50; Afternote/Postscript, 278-303). Supplementary Readings (Old): Marx, Karl. 1844 Manuscripts (Estranged Labor, Private Property and Communism, The Power of Money, and Private Property and Labour.) Mao, On Contradiction ( Supplementary Readings (New): Hall, S. (1985). Signification, Representation, Ideology: Althusser and the Post-Structuralist Debates. Critical Studies in Mass Communication 2(2): 91-114. Ranciere, Jacques. Althussers Lesson Jim Glassman. (2003). Rethinking Overdetermination, Structural Power, and Social Change: A Critique of
Gibson-Graham, Resnick, and Wolff. Antipode

Week 3 (7-Sept) 1. Michel Foucault, Archaeology of Knowledge (*), (pp1-39). 2. Michel Foucault, Birth of Biopolitics (*), Chapters * (Chpts. Course Summary, Course Context, 1, 3, 8). Supplementary Readings (Old): Marx, Karl. Capital v.1 (So-called Primitive Accumulation) Supplementary Readings (New): Deleuze, Gilles (1962). Nietzsche and Philosophy. Chpt.1, Chpt 3

Postmarxism. 3 Negri, Antonio (interview) Negri on Foucault ( Harvey, Neoliberalism. Chapter 1. Remarks on Marx. Hannah, Matt. Formations of Foucault in Anglo-American Geogrpahy Hannah, Matt. 2011. Biopower, Life and Left Politics. Antipode Elden & Crampton, Intro: Foucault and Geography

Week 4 (14-Sept) 1. Jean Baudrillard, Mirror of Production (*), Introduction, Chapters 1-2 (pp. 1-83). 2. Jean Baudrillard, Symbolic Exchange and Death (*), Chapters 1, 5, 6. 3. Jean Baudrillard, Ecstasy of Communication (*), Chapter Intro, Ecstasy of Comm, Conclusion. 4. Jean Baudrillard, Simulation and Simulacra (*), Chapter 1 (pp. *). Supplementary Readings (Old): Marx, Karl. Capital v.1 (Chpts 1-3) Debord, Guy. Society of the Spectacle. Supplementary Readings (New): Brown, Wendy. Power without logic without Marx Mitchell, Lie of the Land Smith&Doel. (2001). Baudrillard Unbound. Env&Planning D. Sokal Affair ( Week 5 (21-Sept) 1. Ryan, M. Marxism and Deconstruction 2.Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx (*),Chapters * (pp. *). Supplementary Readings (Old): th Marx, 18 Brumaire Supplementary Readings (New): Jameson, F. Marxs Purloined Letter. Valences. Wood. Retreat from Class. pp New Intro p24 Macdonald-Deconstructions Promise Cusset, French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States Week 6 (28-Sept) 1. Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guatari, Anti-Oedipus (*),Chapters Preface p50. 1. Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guatari, Thousand Plateaus (*),pp ix-25, & Chapters 6, 9, 10, 13 Supplementary Readings (Old): Marx, On the Jewish Question Supplementary Readings (New): Bourg, Julian. (2007). From revolution to ethics: May 1968 and contemporary French thought. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. Negri-on_gilles_deleuze_and.pdf Jameson, F. Deleuzes Dualism. Valences Zizek. Bodies Without Organs. Week 7 (5-Oct) 1. Hall, A sense of classlessness 2. Hall, Intro, NLR-1960 3. Stuart Hall, Hard Road to Renewal (*),Chapters * (pp. *). Supplementary Readings (Old): Lenin, State and Revolution

Postmarxism. 4 Trotsky, Fascism Mussolini, What is Fascism? Supplementary Readings (New): Wendy Brown, Resisting Left Melancholia Boundary 2 26.3 (1999) 19-27 ( Harvey, The present condition Morton, Double Reading of Gramsci beyond the logic of contingency Don, Desk-bound radical Meyerson, Greg. It could happen here. MR. Week 8 (12-Oct) 1. Sources for Gramscis Hegemony 2. Gramsci Reader, Forgacs (Intro, Chpt 5, 6). 3. Laclau&Moufe-POST-MARXISM WITHOUT APOLOGIES-NLR16205 + responses LM-PostMarxismWithoutApologies-NLR16205.pdf Geras-Ex-Marxism-replyLM-NLR16502.pdf Geras-PostMarxism-replyLM-NLR15904.pdf Mouzelis-MarxismOrPostMarxism-replyLM-NLR16306.pdf (Ernesto Laclau & Chantal Moufe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy,Chapter 4 (pp. *).) Supplementary Readings (Old): Antonio Gramsci, Proletarian Culture (sections 1-12), in David Forgacs and Geoffrey Nowell-Smith (eds.) Antonio Gramsci: Selections from the Cultural Writings (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985), 17-54. Some aspects of the Southern Question,+Gramsci,+Some+aspects+of+the+southern+questio n Supplementary Readings (New): Lash, "Power After Hegemony" Language, Agency, and Hegemony: A Gramscian Response to Post-Marxism Glassman, Towards a Gramscian International Labor Geography Davidson, The Uses and Abuses of Antonio Gramsci Week 11 9 (19-Oct) 1. Gayatri Spivak, Can the Subaltern Speak?. 2. Spivak, Critique of Postcolonial Reason, Preface, Chpt 1. 3. Marx, Capital V.1., Chpt. 33 "The Modern Theory of Colonization" Supplementary Readings (Old): Fanon; Wretched of the Earth / retrospective Supplementary Readings (New): Mohanty: Under Western Eyes Revisited Gilroy, Torture and Humanism Green, Gramsci Cannot Speak Anderson, Marx at the Margins

Week 9 10 (4-Nov) 1. Judith Butler, Gender Trouble (Chpt 1 & Conclusion), 2. Butler, Zizek, Laclau, Contingency, Hegemony, Universality (Intro, Questions, Restaging, Class Struggle) 3. Fraser-Heterosexism, Misrecognition And Capitalism- A Response To Judith Butler-Nlr22407

Postmarxism. 5 Supplementary Readings (Old): Georg Lukcs, Reification and the consciousness of the proletariat, from History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1968, translated by Rodney Livingstone), pp. 83-214. Supplementary Readings (New): Hall, Who needs identity Subjectivity after Judith butler Wilchins, why identity politics really, really suck. Reecia, Body.

Week 10 11(26-Oct) 1. Donna Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women (Intro., Chpts 1, 7, & 8). Supplementary Readings (Old): Marx, German Ideology
Supplementary Readings (New): Pile, Emotions and affect in recent human geography Ruddick, Politics of Affect Gilles Deleuze. (1992). Postscript on the Societies of Control. Clive Barnet, (2008). Political affects in public space: normative blind-spots in non-representational ontologies. Transactions of the IBG.

-----------BELOW, STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION-----------------Week 12 (10-Nov) 1. Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri, Commonwealth (*),Chapters * (pp. *). Supplementary Readings (Old): Spinoza, Ethics Supplementary Readings (New): st Zizek, 1 as Tragedy (pdf) Harvey: An Exchange, Feminist Response to Empire (New Left ReviewVerso. Debating Empire) Week 13 (18-Nov) 1. Bifo, The Soul at Work. Supplementary Readings (Old): Marx, Grundrisse (selections) Supplementary Readings (New): Postone Olwig, Representation and Alienation in the political landscape New Materialism Latour Week 14 (24-Nov) No Class- Thanksgiving Week 15 (1-Dec) 1. Susan Buck-Morse, Haiti, Hegel, and Universal History Supplementary Readings (Old): TBA Supplementary Readings (New): TBA

Postmarxism. 6

Wednesday 16-December, FINAL PAPERS DUE