Readings in Critical Theory: Marxist Literary and Cultural Criticism

We 6:00PM - 8:30PM / 1325 Cathedral of Learning / CRN 29703

We will look broadly at Marx and Engel's initial formulation of the relation between culture and socio-economic formations, the famous "base/superstructure" problem.  Then we will consider in more depth some of the  elaborations that have followed from this, including essays  or parts of books by Georg Lukacs,  Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Antonio Gramsci, Frantz Fanon (and other  non-Western variants of Marxism), Louis Althusser,  Fredric Jameson, and a reading or readings that would represent Marxist Feminism, TBD but probably  something by Gayatri Spivak.  Two main issues frame the  course: 1) the continuing relevance of the Marxist analysis and critique of capitalism even after the collapse  of socialist and communist political projects supposedly based on Marxism; 2) the concept of cultural revolution.  A final paper is required, and depending on the size of the class, perhaps also a presentation in class. The language of instruction is English

Number of Credits


John Beverly

Course Term


Course Category

Category A: Text and Theory

Course Year