Course Guide for lectures on Marx’s Capital 2013

Lecture course on Marx’s “Capital” at Goldsmiths: everybody is welcome

Capitalism and Cultural Studies – Prof John Hutnyk:

tuesday evenings from january 8, 2013 – 5pm-8pm Goldsmiths Room 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).

****** weekly course reading guide is here: Cap and cult studs outline013********

This course involves a close reading of Karl Marx’s Capital (Volume One).
90 minute lectures, 60 minutes discussion
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.
****** weekly course reading guide is here: Cap and cult studs outline013********

The lectures/seminars begin on Tuesday 8th January 2011 between 5 and 8pm and will run for 11 weeks (with a week off in the middle) in the Richard Hoggart Building (Room 309), Goldsmiths College. You are required to bring their own copy of the Penguin, International Publishers/Progress Press or German editions of Karl Marx Capital Vol I. We are reading about 100 pages a week. (Please don’t get tricked into buying the abridged English edition/nonsense!)

Note for interview on politics of art.

That diagnostic that says political art is not useful, or is only useful as a part of an explicitly political project is almost as bad as that which insists that politics have an aesthetic. The old slogan If I can’t dance it’s not my revolution, which I do actually have on my wall at home, is too often an alibi for forgetting that art – and dancing is art here – has been wholly recuperated by the culture industry such that even the fantasy of art for art sake – obscure dancing at the back of the hall – is also bound up with the entrance fee, the music cd sales, the charts, the Internet sites upon which bloggers lol at your awkward moves, and the merely escapist illusion that time away from work, which is only afterall, recovery time, is somehow anti-capitalist. Dancing is through and through reified.

What art is not recuperated? Perhaps only dancing around the bonfire of the gallery artistes, chanting ‘let it blaze let it blaze’ – apologies to Virginia Woolf.

GAZA: Refocusing Resistance – how the resistance in Gaza has refocussed the Arab Spring

This is an event that seeks to understand the latest develoments of the Palestinian resistance and its ramifications for the region from an anti imperialist internationalist perspective.

This event will discuss how the Palestinian Resistance of deploying Fajr5 missiles has impacted the regional struggle against zionism and imperialism, but will ALSO discuss how our struggle is international, that Gaza, Palestine is inextricably connected to all our fronts of struggle across the world, that is why we will also be bringing in the African perspective and struggle into this event.

Speakers (more speakers tbc):

GHADA EL-NAJJAR, (speaking in personal capacity via skype) from Gaza, Palestine. Front line nurse during Second/Al-Aqsa Intifada and senior Oxfam in Gaza.

SAMEH HABEEB, editor of the Palestinian Telegraph from Gaza, Palestine

ROSHAN MUHAMMED SALIH, prominent Press TV correspondent and presenter

FRED DAHLMANN, Brussels based Pan Africanist analyst and activist

DAN GLAZEBROOK, independent journalist

SUKANT CHANDAN, Sons of Malcolm (Chairperson)

JOHN HUTNYK (Introduction)


This event is an initiative of Sons of Malcolm

Event Information

Location: cinema, Richard Hoggart Building
Department: Centre For Cultural Studies
Time: 21 December 2012, 18:00 – 21:30

Stiegler at Goldsmiths

If anyone’s up for some neuroscientific critique of capitalism in the spring term, Bernard Stiegler’s next lecture series might be your thing. As usual, the course will run on Wednesdays for five weeks after reading week, Feb 20th to Mar 20th, 2-5pm, RHB 137/LGB Council Room. All lectures (2-4pm) will be open to the public.
This year’s blurb:
With the stochastic technologies developed by Google and the deep transformation of the process of transindividuation in which the becoming of languages consists, combined with the development of the neuro-economy and neuro-marketing which allow to arrange psychical automatisms with digital and technological automatisms and control behaviours through the ‘reptilian’ brain, the psychopower which has dominated the twentieth century is replaced by a neuropower. Is it possible in such a situation to imagine another arrangement between brains, algorithms and digital retentions leading to a noopower and overcoming the toxicity of the neuropower structurally drive-based? We will try to investigate those questions by reading Frédéric Kaplan, Nicholas Carr, Paul Glimcher, Maryanne Wolf, Eric Kandel and some other thinkers of our times or of the XXth century – such as Lev Vygotsky.

Rachel Rye Convergence

A great abstract for an upcoming must see talk by Rachel (jan 2013, goldsmiths – stay tuned), posted (with permission) because it sums up some of the best that CCS does. The sort of thing that also was described here.

In February 2012 No Borders London, along with students and academics, held a week-long Convergence at Goldsmiths. The aim was to share knowledge and experiences relating to trans-national migrant and activist struggles against the border regime. Numerous discussions by activists, academics, migrants rights groups and organisations took place, direct actions occurred simultaneously at various sites away from the Convergence, films were screened, stories were told, food was cooked, childcare was provided, plans were made, friendships and alliances were formed, debates, disagreements and grievances were aired. My proposal is to present for discussion some reflections on what happened when No Borders converged within the academic space of the university. These reflections are based on my own close involvement as an organiser throughout both the planning stages and the actual week of events. I will consider the event in relation to previous border camps to highlight both the advantages and disadvantages of staging such a meeting at a university campus.

The 2012 No Borders Convergence offered a valuable opportunity to examine the challenges of bringing scholars and militant activists together within the institutional space of the university. As an event, the Convergence attempted and – to some extent – succeeded in creating a productive clash of activist struggles with critical academic scholarly research. In my presentation I will argue that a one-off event is not enough to bridge divides across research and activist practice and that the challenge now is to discuss how, when and where to stage the next Convergence-style event. How might it be possible to bring scholars, activists, migrants, humanitarian and charity workers together into productive connection again? Should such events be a priority in other institutions where researchers are working on the issue of migration and migrant activism? Is there really such a divide between the militant activist and the academic, or are many in No Borders in fact more closely connected to academic research than it might first appear? What does it mean to assume the ‘activist identity’ and how can this role be usefully problematised?

Rachel Rye

PhD student, Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths

Automation! Time allocation

While I hear weird rumours of staff in other colleges being asked to document their activity in half hour chunks, at goldsmiths we think in grand percentages. Eg, of the 120 hours you worked this week, how much of that was on directly funded research council postgraduate support etc.

I fill in the forms as required, so was thrilled to receive the following message:

Dear John,

As you know, during the last Academic Year we conducted a Time Allocation Survey, sending survey requests out to Academic Staff electronically for the first time in the hope that this would reduce the admin burden on departments. However, the return rate that we have achieved (57%) across the College is below the level that we need (circa 80%) to satisfy the Research Council UK regulations. To try and increase the return rate a final reminder is being sent out for all the outstanding forms for the whole year.

You have received this email because you still have a number of surveys that you need to complete (there are 0 outstanding from 8 issued). You will have already received an automated email reminder for each outstanding survey

Ha ha ha ha!

(there are mitigating circumstances, of course, but the wording of this note is just priceless. I have asked for my 100% reliability reward prize money to be deposited in the usual off shore account.)

And a few minutes later:

Dear John,

You will have just received an email from me (with the subject ‘Time Allocation Survey Reminder – Summary’) telling you that you have some outstanding time allocation survey returns to complete. The email will then go on to say that you have 0 returns outstanding. Please ignore the reminder, the automated system has generated an email to everyone, whether they have completed all their returns or not.

My apologies for any confusion.

Nothing if not thorough. All good.