Fall 2018 - HIST 463W D100

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

Theory Practice Resistance

Class Number: 5196

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 9:30 AM – 1:20 PM
    AQ 5014, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Mark Leier
    1 778 782-5827
    Office: AQ 6010
  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history.



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.


Marx and Marxist Histories

Though he died in 1883, Karl Marx is still 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 ideas such as class, the state, capitalism, historical materialism, and alienation. We’ll see 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 and the world we live in.

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


  • Provisional Grading Scheme: We’ll define and refine and maybe even change this together in class.
  • Attendance at seminar: 10%
  • Participation in seminar: 20%
  • Portfolio work and presentations: 70%
  • Instead of a final research paper, students will develop a learning portfolio throughout the course, based on weekly reflections 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. We’ll talk more about this when we meet. Don’t be scared.



Marx, Freud, Einstein, 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 and cheap.

The Communist Manifesto, any edition will do, including online ones, but the one edited by Phil Gasper has tons of useful stuff in it.

Capital, the translation by Ben Fowkes.

Other materials available on Canvas.

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