“Cultural Studies and Capitalism”
Lecturer: John Hutnyk, CCS.
This course will take Marx’s Capital Volume One as a core text, reading a chapter a week (Penguin translation), supplemented by more recent commentators and examples prominent in the theoretical and practical corpus of cultural studies broadly defined. A reader of key texts will be provided.
Week 1. Introduction –Trinkets. Commodities. Consideration is given to how we will read “Marx”, and why.
Spivak 1985 ‘Scattered Speculations on the Question of Value’ in Diacritics vol 15 (4).
Week 2. Fetishism, Exotica. The secret of commodities. The fetish is the key concept in the opening chapter of Capital. This mysterious moment has to be contextualized.
Derrida 1994 Spectres of Marx London: Routlege
Week 3. Market and the trick of Exchange – Exchange value leads us to the market, the site of a transaction where labour is sold to capital in what looks like a fair deal.
Bataille 1934 ‘The Notion of Expenditure’ in 1997 The Bataille Reader. Oxford: Blackwell.
Week 4. Production – technology, mechanization, machines, the factory… ‘No admission except on business’.
Penley 1997 NASA/TREK. Popular Science and Sex in America London: Verso
Week 5. Workers – class composition. Marx spends considerable time in Capital documenting the conditions of the factory. Engels did similar work in Manchester.
Wright, 2000 Storming Heaven, London: Pluto.
Week 6. Programme Monitoring Week
Week 7. Time and Technology – There is a general perception that the time of production is dominated by speed.
Heidegger 1955 The Question Concerning Technology New York: Harper Collins 1982.
Week 8. Education – control-reproduction. The workforce has to be trained, taught, brought up. Their runny noses must be wiped.
Fortunati 1996 The Arcane of Reproduction: Housework, Prostitution, Labour and Capital new York: Autonomedia.
Week 9. Circulation, transport, world system, fall of all Chinese walls, compelled to adopt the culture industry,
Adorno 1991 ‘The Culture Industry Revisited’ in The Culture Industry London: Routledge
Week 10. Pre Capitalistic Economic Formations. Marx goes back to origins at the end, but thinks forward. Onwards and Upwards.
Hardt and Negri 2000 Empire Cambridge, Mass, Harvard University Press
Week 11 – revision. Marx, 18th Brumaire London: Pluto Press.