Spring 2022

Marxist Theory for Uncertain Times

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-440


Pavel Machala (Section 01)


Periodically, both individual societies as well as the larger world in which they are situated face complex, profound and alarming uncertainties and crises.  The opening paragraph of the Communist Manifesto emphasizes that in such uncertain times, social conflicts would often end “either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.” Antonio Gramsci reminds us that in such times, “[T]he crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”  Today we may well be witnessing one such disconsolate period. In this seminar we will study the ways various twentieth-century as well as current Marxist thinkers (Theodor W. Adorno, Louis Althusser, Antonio Negri, Cornel West, Angela Davis, Nancy Fraser, John Bellamy Foster, and Slavoj Žižek, to name just a few) approach this complicated subject.

Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Machala.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Independent research. Students with documented disabilities who will require accommodations in this course should be in consultation with Accessibility Services and reach out to the faculty member as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations can be made in a timely manner.


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in January 2021, Spring 2022