English 166

Special Topics: Marxism and Literature


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Spring 2019 Gonzalez, Marcial
MWF 2-3 106 Wheeler

Book List

Berger, John: Lilac and Flag; Eagleton, Terry: Marxism and Literary Criticism; Melville, Herman: Billy Budd, Sailor and Other Stories; Olsen, Tillie: Yonnondio: From the Thirties; Plascencia, Salvador: The People of Paper

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader

Description

In the early 1990s, the Marxist literary theorist Fredric Jameson responded to critics who were at once proclaiming the emergence of a capitalist “new world order” and asserting the death of Marxism.  Jameson wrote: “It does not seem to make much sense to talk about the bankruptcy of Marxism, when Marxism is very precisely the science and the study of just that capitalism whose global triumph is affirmed in talk of Marxism’s demise.”  Two-and-a-half decades later—and with the political, economic and environmental contradictions of the “new world order” now in plain sight—students of literature will certainly benefit once again from reassessing the appropriateness of Marxism not only for the critique of social systems and political practices, but for the study of literature and culture, as well. This course will provide the opportunity for such a reassessment by focusing on the ways that Marxist social thought in the past century has contributed to theories of literature and culture. To be clear, this is not a comprehensive course on Marxist theory, which would be impossible to teach in a one-semester undergraduate course. At most, the course will introduce some of the basic concepts employed by Marxist critics in the study of literature and some of the debates among Marxist scholars surrounding those concepts. The goal of the course is to provide a general introduction to the range of Marxist analysis and critique in contemporary literary and cultural studies. Most of our reading will be compiled in a course reader. We will read some classical works of Marxist scholarship as well as some contemporary critical works. We’ll also ground our study of Marxism by reading and discussing selected works of literature. The course will require a substantial amount of reading and writing. Class participation is also required.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

spring, 2020

166/2

Special Topics: The Literature & Art of Incarceration

166/3

Special Topics: Moby-Dick

166/4

Special Topics: Pomo: Exploring the Landscape of Postmodernism

166/5

Special Topics: American Humor: Books & Movies

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Special Topics: Art of Writing: Grant Writing, Food Writing, Food Justice

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Special Topics: Arthurian Romance

fall, 2019

166/1

Special Topics: Getting Global: Literature & Film of an Expanding & Unequal World

166/2

Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film

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Special Topics: Writing as Social Practice

166/4

Special Topics: Literatures of the Asian Diaspora in America

166/7

Special Topics: Charles Dickens

166/8

Special Topics: Green Thought in a Green Shade

166/9

Special Topics: New Orleans

166/11

Special Topics: The Works of Vladimir Nabokov

Naiman, Eric
spring, 2019

166/1

Special Topics: Gothic

166/4

Special Topics: Poetry and Prose of Race and Social Class

166/5

Special Topics: Asian American Literature - World, Nation, Locality

166/6

Special Topics: Realism, Then and Now

166/7

Special Topics: Anton Chekhov

Muza, Anna
fall, 2018

166/2

Special Topics: Alfred Hitchcock

166/3

Special Topics: Journeys: British World-Building, c. 700-1700

166/4

Special Topics: "this morning's minion": Sonic Mysticism in Gerard Manley Hopkins and Emily Dickinson

166/5

Special Topics

spring, 2018

166/1

Special Topics: Comedy & Violence

166/2

Special Topics: Romantic Science

166/3

Special Topics: Classical & Renaissance Drama

166/4

Special Topics: Marxism & Literature

166/5

Special Topics: Emily Dickinson

166/6

Special Topics: Speculative Fiction

summer, 2018

166/1

Special Topics: Speculative Fictions, Possible Futures

166/2

Special Topics: Games of Thrones, Medieval to Modern

fall, 2017

166/3

Special Topics: Black Science Fiction

166/4

Special Topics: Writing Poetry and Nonfiction, Writing as Social Practice

spring, 2017

166/1

Special Topics: Marxism and Literature

166/2

Special Topics: Studies in Literature and Environment (Shelter and Weather)

166/3

Special Topics: Slavery and Conspiracy

166/4

Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film

166/5

Special Topics: Modern Irish Literature


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