Category Archives: Public Events

Course on “Why Marx Matters”

See below for information on an upcoming course, which will be both online from 11/22-11/24 (https://criticaltheoryworkshop.com/why-marx-matters-11-22-11-24-19/) and in-person on 11/23 if you are in Philadelphia (https://criticaltheoryworkshop.com/why-marx-matters-11-23-19/).

This seminar will elucidate the fundamental tenets of Marx’s philosophy, as well as their importance for understanding and transforming the contemporary world order. It will begin by explaining key concepts like historical materialism, class struggle, alienation, the labor theory of value, ideology and revolution. It will then briefly discuss a few of the important debates in the deep and broad history of Marxism in order to explore some of the ways that Marx’s work has been interpreted and transformed by subsequent generations. Finally, the course will focus in on what Marxist analysis has to contribute to contemporary debates and struggles by demonstrating how it can help us understand phenomena such as the environmental catastrophe, the increasing social inequality of globalization, the carceral state and its relationship to electoral democracy, the military-industrial-academic complex, institutional racism and gender inequality. Although the course will be directed at a lay audience, it will pedagogically build up its analysis in such a way that it will also serve the interests of those with a working knowledge of Marx and Marxism.

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Presentation: Art and Theory Program

I am very pleased to have the opportunity to present with Jennifer Ponce de León at the International Art and Theory Program in New York tomorrow, April 18th, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. We will be discussing third cinema and the limits of decolonial theory in the framework of our ongoing research on aesthetics and revolutionary politics.

Seminar on Aesthetics in Philadelphia

I will be giving the seminar below on March 23rd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Incite Seminars in downtown Philadelphia, in collaboration with the Critical Theory Workshop.

AESTHETICS: TOWARD A RADICAL HISTORY

 This seminar will explore some of the most vexing questions in the history of aesthetics: What is art? How does it relate to the ‘real’ world of politics and society? How has it developed and changed over time? It will examine some of the responses given to these questions by major thinkers like Georg Lukács, Herbert Marcuse, Jean-Paul Sartre, Susan Sontag and Jacques Rancière. This will lead to a broader interrogation into the very presuppositions that structure these types of questions, as well as their answers, thereby opening space for a tectonic shift in our understanding of aesthetics, its social roles, and its history.

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In its broadest sense, this shift will lead from an understanding of aesthetics as having a more or less fixed nature to one in which it is radically historicized by being recognized as a dynamic social product of certain cultures. Examining the networks of production, circulation and reception operative in what is called art in the modern ‘Western’ world, with an eye to its variations across time, space and social strata, this course inspects how the European world has developed—and then attempted to universalize—a very unique concept and practice of aesthetics, which is bound up in various ways with colonial expansion and the capitalist exhibition of symbolic goods.

Reading: Gabriel Rockhill, Radical History & the Politics of Art
Recommended Film:  Chris Marker and Alain Resnais, Statues also Die

Date: Saturday, March 23, 10am-2pm
Registration: Click here