Fall 2016 - HIST 463W D100

Rebellion and Revolution: Topics in the Theory and Practice of Resistance (4)

Marx & Marxist Histories

Class Number: 5389

Delivery Method: In Person

Overview

  • Course Times + Location:

    We 9:30 AM – 1:20 PM
    BLU 11901, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Mark Leier
    leier@sfu.ca
    1 778 782-5827
    Office: AQ 6010
  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history.

Description

CALENDAR DESCRIPTION:

Explores ideas, people, and movements of social criticism and social justice, stressing history as a way to understand and engage the present. Content may vary from offering to offering; see course outline for further information. HIST 463W may be repeated for credit only when a different topic is taught. Students with credit for HIST 412 or HIST 412W cannot take HIST 463W for further credit when offered with the course topic "Marxism." Writing.

COURSE DETAILS:

Marx and Marxist Histories

Though he died in 1883, Karl Marx remains very much a contemporary figure. When capitalism is in trouble, analysts and activists return to his ideas to understand and challenge the system, while his name is still used as a bogeyman by defenders of “business as usual.” We’ll take up the ideas of Marx and Marxists on topics such as the state, capitalism, class, historical materialism, and alienation. We’ll examine how historians have used Marx to interpret different societies and topics ranging from political economy to popular culture. Since every academic discipline continues to interpret and debate Marx, the course will be of interest to students considering honours work and graduate school as well as those interested in understanding one of our most important critical thinkers.

Marx observed that “philosophers have interpreted the world; the point, however, is to change it,” and our course will be rooted in today’s questions of social justice and activism.

Grading

  • Provisional Grading Scheme: (We’ll define and refine and maybe even change this together)
  • Attendance at seminar 10%
  • Participation in seminar 20%
  • Weekly portfolio work 20%
  • Presentations of portfolio work 15%
  • Other presentations 15%
  • Final analysis of portfolio 20%
  • Instead of a final research paper, students will develop a learning portfolio throughout the course, based on reflection and analysis of the readings and seminar discussions. Students will be encouraged to draw on their own experiences of work and university to interpret the readings. Short presentations on the portfolio and on specific topics will be done in the seminar.

Materials

REQUIRED READING:

Marx, by Corinne Maier and Anne Simon. This is a graphic novel.

Alienation: An Introduction to Marx’s Theory, by Dan Swain. It’s short and clear.

The Communist Manifesto, Phil Gasper, ed. It has other material we’ll read, too.

Capital, abridged edition, David McLellan, ed. It’s much shorter than the original.

Other materials available on Canvas or courseware package.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS