Readings, and Related Inspirations

My Foray Into Marxism


I just changed my ‘about’ page to reflect the changes that are happening in this blog.

I formally welcome you all to my comprehensive study response blog – where I will write my thoughts on the readings I am doing for my comps.

Just to give you an idea of where I’m going with this – my comprehensive exams are divided into 2 categories: Material Theory and Visual/Digital Rhetorics – all with emphasis on Critical Pedagogy.

I have no idea what I’ll write my dissertation on at this point, but I have been told by a reliable source that I’ll figure it out as I read – and  think she’s right (thank you Laurissa!).

So I decided, in order to create a solid base, I would begin by reading some post-Marxist theory. I’m about 7 sources into my list and so I’m going to break up my thoughts on those seven into several entries. Below, I address a little Eagleton.

Patterns I’m noticing that I am most interested in in the vein of post-Marxist theory have to do with production/reproduction, value, and the myth of individual freedom.

Terry Eagleton, in the intro to his book Marxist Literary Theory, says “Part of the crisis of Marxism would seem to be that it is no longer easy to say what counts as being a Marxist, if indeed it ever was” (3). This claim makes me feel a lot better because I’ve never known what people mean when/if they claim to be Marxist. Marxism, Eagleton explains, is a body of work, not a man. It is not just Das Capital, and it does not actually solve anything. He also claims, curiously to me, that “If postmodernism is right, then Marxism is wrong.” I assume this has to do with the structural nature of Marxism and its birth in the Modernist traditions.

What I’m wondering at this point  is – How is Marxism at play in our developing futures? – I will come back to this question again when I get to Jameson – I’m sure you ‘Marxists’ out there may know what I’m going to say already – you’ll just have to wait.

So that’s what I’m starting with now – but this week, I will cover Marx/Engels, Benjamin, My New Crush Raymond Williams, Alick West, more Eagleton, and some Frederic Jameson.

Please feel free in joining me on this journey into my comps and I welcome any of your perspective shifting questions, or comments about my thoughts.

8 thoughts on “My Foray Into Marxism

  1. Hey hey. I wrote an annotated bib on Marxism for one of CT’s courses. I can share it with you, if you’d like. I could also go on and on and on…

    • Joe!! I would Love Love LOVE to see your annotated bib AND have a really boring conversation about it at some point. And also we need to do a trivia night some time this summer.

  2. Postmodernism isn’t specific enough to be right or wrong unless one redefines it in a way that could never lead to much consensus. Eagleton was specific though, so I guess he gets to be wrong. I often feel that way after reading things he’s said, despite his ability to often say smart things that are probably right. Maybe he meant post-structuralism (which is a small part of postmodernism)?

    • I think post-structuralism and post-modernism can definitely be conflated, depending on your angle. And… as with all the isms, it’s all about perspective, right?

      • They can be, but post-modernism can mean something utterly else too, which… vague-ifies.

  3. Well, don’t I feel special for getting a shout-out! 😉 Good luck “comps-ing!” I actually enjoyed it…as sick as that sounds.

  4. Pingback: Marx, Engels, and the Real | valerievisual

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