Marxism and Cultural Theory
Created in 1999, this working group promotes the reading and discussion of texts in the field of Marxism and Marxist cultural theory. Our meetings are every other Tuesday at 7 pm, via Zoom. New members are always welcome, and we are open to all disciplines—students and faculty from multiple fields attend regularly.
Readings are selected by the group at the beginning of each semester and made available to group members a week before the meeting. All members are free to suggest a reading, provided that they are willing to present it to the group. We read both classic texts of Marxist thought and more recent work, depending on the group’s interests. Themes of recent interest include the legacy and fate of postcolonial theory; socialist feminism; black Marxist thought; autonomist Marxist traditions; financialization; Marxism’s relationship to queer theory and affect theory; Marxist readings of Native history; Marxist theories of the state; and Marxist literary and art criticism. We also frequently adjust our reading to respond to relevant political and intellectual events, the emergence of Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter; the deaths of Stuart Hall and John Berger; the reemergence of left populism; the coronavirus pandemic; and the centenary of the Bolshevik revolution.
We occasionally organize summer reading groups to tackle larger reading projects; in past summers we have read Marx’s Capital and the Grundrisse and Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century.