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You are here: Platypus/Platypus history of Marxism readings Fall/Autumn 2011 – Winter 2012 syllabus

Platypus history of Marxism readings Fall/Autumn 2011 – Winter 2012 syllabus

I. What is the "Left?" -- What is "Marxism?"


Chicago (School of the Art Institute of Chicago and University of Chicago) and New York City (New School University and New York University)

Chicago Facebook invitation: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=186447294761195

Saturdays 1–4PM

Starting Sat. Sept. 10:

School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
112 S. Michigan Ave. room 920

Starting Sat. Sept. 17:

New School University New York (New School)
Lang Café, Eugene Lang Building
65 W. 11th St. ground floor (enter at 66 W. 12th St.)

Starting Sat. Oct. 1:

University of Chicago (UChicago)
The Reynolds Club 2nd floor South Lounge
5706 S. University Ave.

Sundays 1–4PM

Starting Sun. Sept. 11:

New York University (NYU)
Puck Building
295 Lafayette St. 4th floor Memorial Room

• required / + recommended reading
Marx and Engels readings pp. from Robert C. Tucker, ed., Marx-Engels Reader (Norton 2nd ed., 1978)


Week A. Sept. 10–11, 2011 (NYU and SAIC only)

• Spartacist League, “The senile dementia of post-Marxism” (2006)
• Moishe Postone, “History and helplessness: Mass mobilization and contemporary forms of anticapitalism” (2006)
• Postone, “Theorizing the contemporary world: Brenner, Arrighi, Harvey” (2006)
+ Postone, “Necessity, labor, and time” (1978)


Week B. Sept. 17–18, 2011 (New School, NYU and SAIC only)

• Juliet Mitchell, “Women: the longest revolution” (1966)
• Clara Zetkin and Vladimir Lenin, “An interview on the woman question” (1920)
• Theodor W. Adorno, “Sexual taboos and the law today” (1963)
• John D’Emilio, “Capitalism and gay identity” (1983)


Week C. Sept. 24–25, 2011 (New School, NYU and SAIC only)

• Richard Fraser, “Two lectures on the black question in America and revolutionary integrationism” (1953)
• James Robertson and Shirley Stoute, “For black Trotskyism” (1963)
+ Spartacist League, “Black and red: Class struggle road to Negro freedom” (1966)
+ Bayard Rustin, “The failure of black separatism” (1970)
• Adolph Reed, “Black particularity reconsidered” (1979)
+ Reed, “Paths to Critical Theory” (1984)


Week 1. Oct 1–2, 2011

• epigraphs by James Miller (on Jean-Jacques Rousseau) and Louis Menand (on Edmund Wilson) on modern history and freedom
• Robert Pippin, "On Critical Theory" (2003)
• Karl Marx, on "becoming" (from the Grundrisse, 1857–58)
• Chris Cutrone, "Capital in history" (2008)
• Cutrone, "The Marxist hypothesis" (2010)


Week 2. Oct. 8–9, 2011

• Immanuel Kant, "Idea for a universal history from a cosmopolitan point of view" and "What is Enlightenment?" (1784)
• Benjamin Constant, "The liberty of the ancients compared with that of the moderns" (1819)
+ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the origin of inequality (1754)
+ Rousseau, selection from On the social contract (1762)


Week 3. Oct. 15–16, 2011

• Max Horkheimer, selections from Dämmerung (1926–31)
• Adorno, “Imaginative Excesses” (1944–47)


Week 4. Oct. 22–23, 2011

• Wilhelm Reich, “Ideology as material power” (1933/46)
• Siegfried Kracauer, “The mass ornament” (1927)
+ Kracauer, “Photography” (1927)


Week 5. Oct. 29–30, 2011

• Leszek Kolakowski, “The concept of the Left” (1968)
• Marx, To make the world philosophical (from Marx's dissertation, 1839–41), pp. 9–11
• Marx, For the ruthless criticism of everything existing (letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843), pp. 12–15


Week 6. Nov. 5–6, 2011

• Marx, selections from Economic and philosophic manuscripts (1844), pp. 70–101
• Marx and Friedrich Engels, selections from the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848), pp. 469-500
• Marx, Address to the Central Committee of the Communist League (1850), pp. 501–511


Week 7. Nov. 12–13, 2011

• Engels, The tactics of social democracy (Engels's 1895 introduction to Marx, The Class Struggles in France), pp. 556–573
• Marx, selections from The Class Struggles in France 1848–50 (1850), pp. 586–593
• Marx, selections from The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852), pp. 594–617


Week 8. Nov. 19–20, 2011

+ Karl Korsch, "The Marxism of the First International" (1924)
• Marx, Inaugural address to the First International (1864), pp. 512–519
• Marx, selections from The Civil War in France (1871, including Engels's 1891 Introduction), pp. 618–652
+ Korsch, Introduction to Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme (1922)
• Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme, pp. 525–541
• Marx, Programme of the Parti Ouvrier (1880)


Winter break readings

• Spartacist League, Lenin and the Vanguard Party (1978)
+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)
+ Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918–19 (1968)
+ Edmund Wilson, To the Finland Station: A Study in the Writing and Acting of History (1940), Part II. Ch. (1–4,) 5–10, 12–16; Part III. Ch. 1–6
+ Tariq Ali and Phil Evans, Introducing Trotsky and Marxism / Trotsky for Beginners (1980)


Week 9. Dec. 3–4, 2011 (New School, NYU and SAIC) / Jan. 7, 2012 (UChicago)

• Marx, selections from the Grundrisse (1857–61), pp. 222–226, 236–244, 247–250, 282–294
• Marx, Capital Vol. I, Ch. 1 Sec. 4 "The fetishism of commodities" (1867), pp. 319–329


Week 10. Dec. 10–11, 2011 (New School, NYU and SAIC) / Jan. 14, 2012 (UChicago)

• Georg Lukács, “The phenomenon of reification” (Part I of “Reification and the consciousness of the proletariat,” History and Class Consciousness, 1923)


Week 11. Dec. 17–18, 2011 (New School, NYU and SAIC) / Jan. 21, 2012 (UChicago)

• Lukács, Original Preface (1922), “What is Orthodox Marxism?” (1919), “Class Consciousness” (1920), History and Class Consciousness (1923)
+ Marx, Preface to the First German Edition and Afterword to the Second German Edition (1873) of Capital (1867), pp. 294–298, 299–302


Week 12. Jan. 28–29, 2012

• Korsch, “Marxism and philosophy” (1923)
+ Marx, To make the world philosophical (from Marx's dissertation, 1839–41), pp. 9–11
+ Marx, For the ruthless criticism of everything existing (letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843), pp. 12–15


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