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Deprovincialising Marxism Reading Group

July 25, 2019 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm BST

Ambitions to correct the marginal status of anti-colonial and non-Western writings within academic reading lists have hastened with calls to decolonize curricula taking hold across disciplines. The struggle around knowledge production in Western academia has become an important site for rehabilitating the supposedly anachronistic politics of anti-colonialism. Yet the status and legacy of Marx and Marxism within such a standoff has become hard to determine. On the one hand Marxism is accused of bearing the indelible markers of a distinctly Eurocentric perspective over world history at the same time as it is widely accepted that Marxist theory and practice was inextricably entangled with anti-colonial and independence movements throughout the 20th century.
In this light, Harry Harootunian has been singular in advocating for the deprovincialisation of Marxist theory and history. In his Deprovincializing Marx, Harootunian contends that the centered status ascribed to the trajectory of “Western Marxism” within Marxist discourse and its ongoing influence over historical narrativizations of anti-capitalist opposition has belied the location from which such reflections arose. As such the terminus point for all Marxist political and theoretical projects seem to end with that of the West. Yet situating “Western Marxism” within the uneven development of global capitalist relations as a theoretical reflection of a particularly advanced modality of capitalist subsumption, forces us to interrogate the historical and material basis of its generalising prognostications and foreclosed political pathways. With this in mind, Marxist theory and practice emerging from non-Western contexts provide a variety of conceptual frameworks and horizons that register the multi-polarity of capitalist development.
This reading group seeks to rehabilitate the internationalism of Marxist theory and history with monthly focused readings of non-Western Marxisms spanning various disciplinary contexts. Each session will be thematically organised with a series of lengthy extracts taken from some of the major texts of non-Western Marxism and a number of secondary sources providing context. The introductory session will look at a number of conceptual frameworks for thinking Marxism’s place within the post/neo/decolonial situation.
The reading group is open to all but a basic knowledge of any context of Marxist theory or history will be useful. The spirit of the group will be to introduce new theoretical, cultural and political traditions to Marxist readers with the genuine ambition of upending our common sense about what constitutes Marxist theory, history and practice.
Conceptual frameworks for deprovincialising Marx reading list:
– Harry Harootunian – “Deprovincializing Marx” in Marx After Marx: History and Time in the Expansion of Capitalism
– Sections from José M. Aricó – Marx and Latin America
– Tina Mai Chen, David S. Churchill, and Susie Fisher – “Material Matters: Recognizing the Confluence of World History and Historical Materialism” in The Material of World History
August: Pan-African perspectives of the Communist International
George Padmore – “Communism and Black Nationalism” in Pan-Africanism or Communism The Coming Struggle for Africa pp. 289 – 381
Walter Rodney – The Russian Revolution: A View from the Third World
Dayo F. Gore – Radicalism at the Crossroads: African American Women Activists in the Cold War
Margaret Stevens – Red International and Black Caribbean
Communists in New York City, Mexico and the West Indies, 1919-1939
September: Modes of production debates
Utsa Patnaik et al – Agrarian relations and accumulation: the ‘mode of production’ debate in India
Jairus Banaji – Theory as History Essays on Modes of Production and Exploitation
Aiden Foster-Carter – The Modes of Production Controversy
October: Japanese Value Form Theory
Samezō Kuruma – Marx’s Theory of the Genesis of Money: How, Why, and Through What is a Commodity Money?
Kōzō Uno – Principles of political economy : theory of a purely capitalist society
Makoto Ito – “The Development of Marian Economics in Japan” in Value and Crisis: Essays on Marxian Economics in Japan
Elena Lange – Failed Abstraction – The Problem of Uno Kōzō’s Reading of Marx’s Theory of the Value Form
‘Start at Your Work Place’ Elena Lange on Japanese Marxism
November: Communism and the Muslim World
Maxime Rodinson – Marxism and the Muslim world
Matthieu Renault – The Idea of Muslim National Communism: On Mirsaid Sultan-Galiev
M.S. Agwai – Communism in the Arab East
Suliman Bashear – Communism in the Arab East 1918 – 1928
Ivar Spector – The Soviet Union and the Muslim World 1917 – 1958
Alexandre A. Bennigsen & S. Enders Wimbush – Muslim National Communism in the Soviet Union A Revolutionary Strategy for the Colonial World
December: Liberation Theology
Enrique Dussel – Beyond Philosophy: Ethics, History, Marxism, and Liberation Theology
José Miguez Bonino – Christians and Marxists The Mutual Challenge to Revolution
Gustavo Gutiérrez – A theology of liberation: history, politics, and salvation
Christopher Rowland – The cambridge companion to liberation theology
January: Non-Western Marxist Philosophy:
José Carlos Mariátegui – sections from An Anthology
Tosaka Jun – A Critical Reader
Trần Đức Thảo – Phenomenology and Dialectical Materialism
February: Post-Independence Struggles in Africa
Claude Ake – Revolutionary pressures in Africa
Nzongola-Ntalaja – Revolution and counter-revolution in Africa : essays in contemporary politics
Christine Obbo – African women : their struggle for economic independence
Mai Palmberg – The struggle for Africa
Mohamed Lamine Gakou – The crisis in African agriculture
Bade Onimode – A political economy of the African crisis
Fantu Cheru – The silent revolution in Africa : debt, development and democracy
March: Roads to Neoliberalism
Verónica Gago – Neoliberalism from Below Popular Pragmatics and Baroque Economies
Iyko Day – Alien Capital: Asian Racialization and the Logic of Settler Colonial Capitalism
Hyun Ok Park – The Capitalist Unconscious From Korean Unification to Transnational Korea Rethinking Racial Capitalism: Questions of Reproduction and Survival
Intan Suwandi – Value Chains: The New Economic Imperialism
Utsa Patnaik, Sam Moyo, Issa G. Shivji – The Agrarian Question in the Neoliberal Era: Primitive Accumulation and the Peasantry
Readings will be uploaded here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cXB4apZMcphenZc9a5v4tmdG1qlD3GVZ1ytGxFe5N34/edit?usp=sharing



July 25, 2019
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm BST
Event Category:
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