Lecture course Spring 2011 – Centre for Cultural Studies.
CU71012A “Cultural Studies and Capitalism”
Lecturer: Professor John Hutnyk (tuesdays 4pm-7pm – [lecture/seminar]).
This course involves a close reading of Karl Marx’s Capital (Volume One). The connections between cultural studies and critiques of capitalism are considered in an interdisciplinary context (cinema studies, anthropology, musicology, international relations, and philosophy) which reaches from Marx through to Film Studies, from ethnographic approaches to Heidegger, from anarchism and surrealism to German critical theory and poststructuralism/post-colonialism/post-early-for-christmas. Topics covered include: alienation, commodification, production, technology, education, subsumption, anti-imperialism, anti-war movement and complicity. Using a series of illustrative films (documentary and fiction) and key theoretical texts (read alongside the text of Capital), we examine contemporary capitalism as it shifts, changes, lurches through its very late 20th and early 21st century manifestations – we will look at how cultural studies copes with (or does not cope with) class struggle, anti-colonialism, new subjectivities, cultural politics, media, virtual and corporate worlds.
T Adorno, The Culture Industry
A Ahmad, In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures
M. Taussig My Cocaine Museum
G Bataille, The Accursed Share
K Marx, Capital: Volume One
Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto
G Spivak, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason
S Zizek, Revolution at the Gates: Selected Writings of Lenin from 1917
S Lotringer (ed), Hatred of Capitalism: A Reader
Many of the lectures will include visual material. Very occasionally this may be part of a feature film or a longer documentary and on such occasion the rest of the film should be viewed in the Library. Usually a short screening will occur in the second hour of the scheduled lecture.
The main reading will be the relevant chapter or chapters of Capital each week. Do also read the footnotes, they are sometimes quite entertaining (attacks on ‘moneybags’, comments on Shakespeare, notes on bamboo ‘thrashings’, and celebrations of the work of Leonard Horner, factory inspector). The key secondary text will be in a reader pack available from the CCS office
Mode of Assessment: This course is assessed by a 5,000 word essay to be submitted to the Centre for Cultural Studies office early in May 2011