English 177

Literature and Philosophy: Reading Capital

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2021 Lye, Colleen
TTh 9:30-11

Book List

Marx, Karl: Capital Vol. 1

Other Readings and Media

Please purchase the Penguin edition of Capital Vol. 1. All other readings will be made available on bcourses. 


Why read the first volume of Capital more than 150 years after its initial publication in 1867?  Not only is Marx being seriously and widely read again since the financial crisis of 2008, but Capital Vol. 1 in particular is considered his work most appropriate to our times. Reading Capital today, we’ll see why 20th- and 21st-century radical thinkers on questions of gender, race, colonialism and environmental destruction have sought to build on its concepts and methods or, even in moving past them, feel that they must first be confronted and critiqued anew. The first ten weeks of the course will be devoted to a close reading of Marx. In the last four weeks of the course, we’ll turn to some contemporary thinkers as a way of gaining an introduction to Marx’s continuing critical presence in the radical politics of our time.

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