Spring 2015




26:050:522:02 Topics in American Studies II: Marxist Theory and American Literature

Barbara Foley

Mondays, 5:30-8:10pm

Cross-listed: 26:350:508:02


Description: We shall examine key texts by Marx and Engels setting forth fundamental theoretical concepts: historical materialism; ideology; base and superstructure; dialectics; exploitation and alienation.  We shall study the extension of these concepts by such later theorists and critics as Vladimir Lenin, Georg Lukacs, Bertolt Brecht, Antonio Gramsci, Mao Zedong, Christopher Caudwell, Raymond Williams, Fredric Jameson, and David Harvey.  We shall also investigate the relevance of Marxist theory to feminism (via works of Alexandra Kollontai, Teresa Ebert, Martha Gimenez, and Rosemary Hennessy) and to race theory (via works by Barbara Fields, Lerone Bennett, Angela Davis, and Theodore Allen).


A range of short literary works will be studied throughout the course to illustrate and/or test out various Marxist approaches to an understanding of literary history, literary form, and cultural production.  These texts will be drawn from American literature; authors studied will include  Langston Hughes, Ann Petry, T.S. Eliot, Tillie Olsen, Mike Gold, William Faulkner, Helena Maria Viramontes, E.L.Doctorow, and Ralph Ellison.  The course will thus offer Marxist perspectives on key texts of US modernism, proletarianism, and postmodernism.


26:050:502:01           Research Seminar: Affect, Biopolitics, and Tecnology

Jason Cortes

Tuesdays, 5:30-8:10pm


Description: Waiting for description