Why is so much of the world a hell? The planet burns through continued economic growth. A pandemic spreads as industrial farming and markets grow into hinterlands. Billions of people just scrape by, indebted and miserable, hounded by cops and abandoned by any prospect of employment.
How did we get here? Is it possible to live differently, to end the ongoing catastrophe?
In different times and places during the past 150 years, social revolution has seemed not only possible and desirable, but even probable and imminent. In these “hot” times, the fields of possibility have expanded, both in the concrete organization of social life, and in the imaginations of those affected. In these situations of rupture and possibility, the participants of political and social movements have often mobilized the insights of Marxist thought in revolutionary pamphlets, newspaper articles, speeches, books and films.
What can we learn from these past 19th and 20th century revolutionary movements and their theoretical production? How and why did Marxism re-emerge as a useful outline for political intervention in situations as different as 1917 St. Petersburg and 1967 Detroit? How did these situations re-narrate history, redescribe society, and reimagine utopia? In this class we will approach these larger questions by studying how different revolutionaries have used Marxism to make sense of, reflect upon, and intervene in their specific circumstances. After a survey and discussion of revolutionary writing, our class will turn to our own moment in order to discuss current emancipatory social movements and the role of academia in revolutionary thought.
This class will meet weekly on Tuesday nights (in-person). Classes will be discussion based, with introductory presentations for situating the revolutionary writers we will read in their historical moments. Assignments include brief weekly reading reflections, one in-class presentation, and one end of semester project.
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|Section 1/1||Luca Richardson, Ben Micallef||30||141 Giannini||[Tu] 7:00PM-9:00PM||08/31/2021||Full||--||0|