January 2021

Marxist Theory for Uncertain Times

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-440

Moodle site: Course


Pavel Machala (Section 01J)


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    Interterm semester 2020/21    Professor Machala

If Overenrolled: Preference given to Political Science Majors


Online Only


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in January 2021, Spring 2022