Read Marx’s “Capital” at Goldsmiths: everybody is welcome (unless your name is David Willetts)

Capitalism and Cultural Studies – Prof John Hutnyk:

tuesday evenings from january 10, 2012 – 5pm-7pm Goldsmiths RHB 309 Free – all welcome.

No fee (unless, sorry, you are doing this for award – and that, friends, is Willetts’ fault – though the Labour Party have a share of the blame too).

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.

Email me to get the reading Guide. And please watch Citizen Kane before the first lecture, and read the prefaces if you can.

The lectures/seminars begin on Tuesday 10th January 2011 between 5 and 7pm and will run for 10 weeks (with a week off in the middle) in the Richard Hoggart Building (RHB 309), Goldsmiths College. Students are required to bring their own copy of the Penguin, International Publishers or Progress Press editions of Karl Marx Capital Vol I. Reading about 100 pages a week. (Please don’t get tricked into buying the abridged English edition/nonsense!)

Note: The Centre for Cultual Studies at Goldsmiths took a decision to make as many as possible of its lecture series open to the public without fee. Seminars, essays, library access etc remain for sale. Still, here is a chance to explore cultural studies without getting into debt. The classes are MA level, mostly in the day – though in spring the Capital course is early tuesday evening. We usually run 10 week courses. Reading required will be announced in class, but preliminary reading suggestions can also be found by following the links. RHB means main building of Goldsmiths – Richard Hoggart Building. More info on other free events from CCS here:


Update: Please ise this form to send a course evaluation to Sonia.Ali [at] Here.

Course Gen. evaluation form

Kate Murdoch’s home trinkets. Collections and dust. No time like the archive. Get rid of them!

Keeping it together, in two parts (I’ve excerpted the first part and a bit of the second, but lost all the pics which you should see). This is from Artists Talking project blog. These ‘works’ and words seem to touch elegantly on the problems, and pleasures, of trinketization. We just don’t have the time to sort and reflect. I especially like the observations about ‘dust collectors’: from here. via #rosalinddavis

Keeping it Together, by Kate Murdoch

# 1 [20 November 2011]
I spent the summer taking a long hard look at the amount of stuff I have accumulated over the years. To put it into context, I have a lifetime collection of stuff – a lot of stuff! There’s a lot of me

Kate Murdoch, 'Dust Collectors'. in those collections; my life in boxes – books, objects, photographs, memories of places, people, good times, not so good times – my past, secreted away.
It’s been dotted around various parts of SE London over the past five years or so following a house move, in the attics and garages of sympathetic family and friends. My former home had a large attic and an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ philosophy took over – I squirrelled it all away. I always knew I was going to do something with my collection one day and my long term aim has been (and still is!) to have it all in one space – essentially, keeping it together.
Slowly, the boxes found their way into my studio and the unravelling of a lifetime’s accumulation of possessions began. My focus over this past summer was sorting through them. Deciding what to keep versus what to get rid of became the order of many long hot sunny days. I even managed to visit and donate the book ‘Something I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You’ to The Museum Of Broken Relationships – now that felt constructive!
I always knew when I moved into my latest studio that time there was limited – however as ongoing talks and negotiations with the landlords came to an abrupt end some three weeks or so ago, we were given less than 48 hours to leave the premises. A community of artists was ripped apart and has had to find ways of coping with an upsetting & unsettling time. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of emotions – in one way or another, we’ve all been hurting.
I’ve taken solace in stacks of Bunty, Judy, Photo Love and other 1960-80s annuals from the book shelves at home. A therapist might say I’m subconsciously seeking out a happy ending … perhaps I am? I have no doubt however about how the recent chaos has forced me to focus on what’s important – what to keep, what not to keep in all senses of the word has raised its head once more and I’m left questioning again what it is that’s important. The boxes are stacked in a self-storage unit, I’m not even sure what’s in some of them or if the stuff has any relevance to my life as it is now. But I do know that it costs money to keep them there.
Keeping It Together is the start of my journey as a studioless artist. Where do I go from here? Where do I and my ‘stuff’, both literally and metaphorically, fit in? Where will I re-establish my practice and where will I feel more at home, both within myself and in relation to others?

Read the rest of it HERE

and if you don’t follow that link, the dust collecters are:

”Dust Collectors’ was started and completed as a symbol of what in real life my art materials are doing – collecting dust in a self-storage unit in deepest Deptford. ‘Dust Collectors’ is also representative of the reaction from those who have never understood the habit of collecting; those who consider anything not being used in a home as superfluous and unnecessary – ‘bloomin’ dust collectors – get rid of them!’

Robinson Nation

Writing to a comrade in Malaysia about film analysis: there are huge debates about how race is used by particular groups as a smokescreen for varieties of class politics and differential privilege via a colour coded economic hierarchy, with a number of different places. In this scenario a range of different kinds of ‘cultural’ product are required to do a sort of duty to keep the hierarchy more or less in place: game shows, different newspapers, cultural programmes, festivals, markets, documentaries, faith and even NGO forums all add to the ways these things play out. Yet this is not even the beginning of nationalism, itself a colonial game that builds upon far older politics – of city states, development, migrations and trade, the anxiety of Europe along the trade routes, the former strength of Asia in the Indian ocean, the civilizations – India, China, Islam, Africa – all these had a major role in shaping understandings of, and therefore the shifts and changes in, nationalism. I am reading Cedric Robninson’s ‘Black Marxism’ tonight and the end of chapter three is great on this vis a vis Europe. Might be something in that for you too.

“At the very beginnings of European civilization (meaning literally the reappearance of urban life at the end of the first Christian millenium), the integration of the Germanic migrants with older European peoples resulted in a social order of domination from which a racial theory of order emerged; one from which the medieval nobilities would immerse themselves and their power in fictional histories, positing distinct racial origins for rulers and she dominated. The extension of slavery and the application of racism to non-European peoples as an organizing structure by first the ruling feudal strata and then the bourgeoisies of the 14th, 15th and 16th Centuries retained this practical habit, this social convention. And as we shall soon see in Part II, from the 17th Century on, English merchant capital (to cite an important example) appropriated African labor in precisely these terms, that is the same terms through which it had earlier absorbed Irish labour. Moreover, European raciaIism was to undergo a kind of doubling onto itself, for in between the era of intra-European racism which characterized the first appearance of European consciousness and the predatory era of African enslavement, is the almost entirely exogenous phenomenon of Islamic domination of the Mediterranean–the eventual fount of European revitalization and re-civilization. Independent of the historical meshings of European development but profoundly restricting that development – first in literally retarding European social development by isolating it from civil life, science, speculative thought, etc., and then, after four centuries, by accelerating its recovery from the 12th Century onwards – Musilm civilization mapped the contours of the European cultural renaissance. These events were to leave tell-tale marks on Western consciousness: the fear and hatred of ‘blackamoores’; the demonization of Islam; she transfiguration of Muharnmad the Prophet into the anti-Christ. Not surprisingly Europeans, shat is ‘Christendom’, still apprehended in experience recurrences of antipathy towards what became their shared phantasmagora.

In short, there were at least four distinct moments which must be apprehended in European racialism; two whose origins are to be found within the dialictic of European development, and two which are not:

1. the racial ordering of European society from its formative period which extends into the medieval and feudal ages as ‘blood’ and racial beliefs and

2. the Islamic, i.e. Arab, Persian, Turkish and African, domination of Mediterranean civilization and the consequent retarding of European social and cultural life: the Dark Ages.

3. the incorporation of African, Asian and peoples of the New World into the world system emerging from late feudalism and merchant capitalism.

4. the dialectic of colonialism, plantocratic slavery and resistance from the 16th Century forwards, and she formations of industrial labour and labour reserves” (Robinson 1981:83)

See HERE for Cedric’s talks in London.

Today: 28 Nov 2011 CCS PhD seminar special session at 5pm by Joanna Hodge

Today: 28 Nov 2011 CCS PhD seminar  special session at 5pm by Professor Joanna Hodge: ‘Jean Luc Nancy’s excription: between excess and ecstasy’ – because of the occupation we are moving this session to the Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre, in solidarity with the Goldsmiths Occupation that is, its in the occupied space. See


Goldsmiths Occupiers say: ‘We are an open heterogeneous group including Goldsmiths staff, students and many others who believe the university is a public resource that should be open to all. We stand with all those affected by the privatisation agenda and against those who profit from its misery. Goldsmiths is now occupied in solidarity with the UK-wide strike on November 30th and the global occupy movement. We are here because we reject the privatisation of the university, symptomatic of the neo-liberal agenda that permeates all aspects of life. For this reason we have strategically occupied the building housing Goldsmiths’ finance offices, responsible for executing the cuts and the privatisation agenda.. All groups on and off-campus are encouraged to use this space to host meetings, events, and planning sessions for actions on November 30th. Where the current government agenda not only encourages, but enforces the transfer of public resources to private hands we join people worldwide in taking them back!’

More #Goldsmirk HERE and below: