Marxism and Critical Theory

Marxism and Critical Theory

Lectures: 30

Seminars: 0

Tutorials: 0

ECTS credit: 3

Lecturer(s): prof. dr. Dolar Bahovec Eva

The syllabus includes key concepts of Marxism and their application to history of ideas and to new developments in contemporary critical theory.

Main topics:
- Key concepts of the history of ideas.
- Key concepts of Marxism.
- Introduction to critical theory of and to developments in contemporary critical theory.
- The idea of the great chain of being; hierarchy of the five senses; the gaze in history and its role in contemporary culture; the history of the body and the body in everyday life; the role of history of ideas in philosophy and for the question of the Enlightenment; the role of Marx and Freud.
- Marx, Engels and Marxism; the end of German classical philosophy; critique of Hegel and the Hegelians; Marx's critique of political economy; Engels's critique of anthropology; history of Marxist movement; the role of Korsch, Lukacs, Gramsci, Althusser, etc.; possible applications to feminism.
- Critical theory; reception of Marx; Adorno and Horkheimer; Marcuse's critique of Soviet Marxism; grounding of Marxism in psychoanalysis; critique of neofreudian revisionism; Reich's critique of psychoanalysis; Reich, mass psychology of fascism and schizophrenia; Adorno and his analysis of fascism; Benjamin's analysis of history and art; Žižek's analysis of fetishism etc.
- What is Enlightenment?; Rousseau and his role in the Enlightenment; Kant and his answer to the Enlightenment question; critical theory and dialectic of the Enlightenment; Kant and Foucault; relation between the Enlightenment question and the question on revolution; Foucault and his answer to the question What is critique?; feminism as Enlightenment project.
- What is revolution?; revolution in science; the role of Copernican revolution; political revolutions; importance of the French revolution; Rousseau and the French revolution; Marx and the proletarian revolution; reform or revolution; the role of Luxemburg, Trocki etc.; revolution and gender; sexual revolution.
- What is critique?; Kant and the role of his critiques; Foucault's critique of Kant; Foucault and Deleuze; Deleuze and his critique of Kant; Deleuze and Nietzsche; Nietzsche's new image of thought against traditional or dogmatic image of thought; mistake, illusion and stupidity; Deleuze on Marx and Freud; Deleuze, Guattari and the importance of their critique of Marx and Freud; capitalism and schizophrenia; materialist psychiatry; the concept of desiring production; the problem of Asian mode of production; the concept of the original state; savages, barbarians, civilized people; the concept of schizoanalysis and micropolitics; molecular revolution; minority literature and minority feminism; power and resistance, gender and sexual difference.
- Ideas and ideologies; the concept of idea in history of ideas and in philosophy; the concept of ideology in Marxism; camera obscura of ideology; Althusser on Marx and Freud; Lacan's return to Freud; Lacan and Marx; Balibar and Marx's philosophy; Balibar and the problem of citizens of Europe; Žižek's concept of ideological phantasm; Jameson's critique of multiculturalism; Marxism and postcolonialism.
- The role of feminism; Marx, Engels and material production; production of things and production of people; division of labour and gender; exchange of goods and exchange of women; critique of Lévi-Strauss in Beauvoir and Althusser; Beauvoir and her critique of historical materialism; the concept of the second sex; class struggle and the war between the sexes; body, power, gender; the role of Marxism in feminist movement; the role of later Althusser and his aleatory materialism; materialism and feminism.

The investigation of main topics is put in the wider context of the question 'What is Enlightenment?', and that of contemporary critical theoretical discussions.