For this portfolio, identify four concepts from the module and produce a critical account of each (500 words per concept, 2000 words in total). Students should demonstrate an ability to 1) describe the concepts drawing on the existing literature and their own understandings and insights and 2) engage critically with each concept.
FANON AND THE STRUGGLE AGAINST COLONIAL DOMINATION – DR SILVIA POSOCCO
• LEARNING OBJECTIVES
This session offers an introduction to the work of Frantz Fanon. We focus on the first chapter of Fanon’s influential book, The Wretched of the Earth, published in 1961. The book is considered to be a manifesto for anti-colonial movements across Africa and Asia. Fanon’s lucid analysis points to the violence of colonialism and imperialism and theorises ways forward for liberation struggles.
Fanon, F. (1961), ‘Concerning Violence’, The Wretched of the Earth, London: Penguin.
Gordon, L. (2015) What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction to His Life and Thought, London: Hurst.
Greedharry, M. (2011) ‘The Fanonian Psychoanalytic’, in Postcolonial Theory and Psychoanalysis, London: Palgrave McMillan.
Mahone, S. and Vaughan, M. (Eds) (2007) Chapter 1, ‘Introduction’, in Mahone, S. and Vaughan, M. (Eds) Psychiatry and Empire, Basingstoke: Palgrave.
MARX REDUX: POWER, CLASS AND EMPIRE IN MARX’S THINKING
• LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this session you will have undertaken a critical study of Marx’s theory of power, building on themes explored in term 1. In particular, you will have explored the extent to which empire and Eurocentrism left their imprint on Marx’s thinking.
• PRE-SESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich “Part I: Bourgeois and Proletarians” in Communist Manifesto
Karl Marx Chapter 7 in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.
Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich (2005) The Communist Manifesto: A Roadmap To History’s Most Important Political Document, Haymarket, Chicago (useful overview and introduction to the text)
Anderson, K. (2010) Marx At The Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity and Non-Western Societies, University of Chicago Press, Chicago
Ahmed, Aijaz (1992) In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures, Verso, London
Brown, Heather (2012) Marx on Gender and the Family: A Critical Study Haymarket Books, Chicago
Harvey, David (2014) Seventeen contradictions and the end of capitalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press (particularly pp. 62-69 on the contradiction between Capital and Labour) https://tinyurl.com/harveypdf
Robinson, Cederic J. (2000) Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina Press (see especially chapters 2 and 3).
Said, E. (1978) Orientalism, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London
Thompson, E. P. (1967) Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism, Past & Present 38 pp. 56-97. (How conceptions of time shifted once industrial capitalism began, and how working class people resisted this)
Thompson, E. P. (1968) “Preface” in The Making of the English Working Class
Virdee, Satnam (2019) Racialized capitalism: An account of its contested origins and consolidation, The Sociological Review, 67(1), pp. 3-27.
Vogel, Lise (2012) Marxism and the Oppression of Women: Toward A Unitary Theory Haymarket Books, Chicago
Wheen, Francis “Marx and the Working Class” Karl Marx 1999, pp 276-292 (on Marx’s attitudes to actual working class people, and some of his other prejudices)
Wright, Erik Olin (1997) “Class Analysis” in Class Counts, Cambridge.
Horkheimer, M. and Adorno, T. W. 1973 ‘The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception’ in Dialectic of Enlightenment, pp. 120-167.
Not compulsory, but for background reading see also this useful introductory text:
Bronner, S. E. 2001. Critical Theory: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford pp. 51-62 and 77-88
Benjamin, W. ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ in Benjamin, W. 1999 Illuminations Pimlico, London pp. 211-243.
Bottomore, T. 1984. Critical Theory and its Critics Routledge, London pp.
Jay, M. 1974. The Dialectical Imagination: a History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research Heineman, London pp. 173-217
Lowy, M. 2016. Fire Alarm: Reading Walter Benjamin’s ‘On the Concept of History’ Verso, London.
Marcuse, H. 2002. One-Dimensional Man Routledge Classics, London pp 3-20.
FEMINISM, RACE AND CLASS – IEISHA JAMES
This session will explore power through black feminist theory, focusing on three key texts which have made major contributions to the theorisation of race and class. We will read the pioneering speech by the American abolitionist and women’s rights campaigner Sojourner Truth (1797-1883), ‘Ain’t I a woman?’, an alternative (queer) vision of black womanhood in the Combahee River Collective Statement (1977) and the greatly influential historically grounded book by Angela Davis, Women, Race and Class (1981).
In addition, this session will also engage with some of the contributions made by black British feminist movements in the same historical moment of the aforementioned texts. These British contributions speak to the importance of considering geo-political context in relation to the dynamics of power. We will use the seminal text by Beverley Bryan, Stella Dadzie and Suzanne Scafe, The Heart of Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain (1985) to explore the convergences and divergences in black feminism which traverse the Atlantic.
• LEARNING OBJECTIVES
By the end of this week you will:
• Understand some of the key historical developments in the genesis of Black feminisms in the US & UK.
• Be familiar with the key texts associated with Black feminisms and understand their theoretical contributions.
• Be able to identify the key foci of Black feminist activisms and social projects.
• Be able to identify some of the differences between Black feminisms in the US and the UK, and the need to counter the hegemony of US anti-racist/Black feminist narratives.
• Understand some of the key concepts related to feminism, race and class such as (in)visibility, ‘interlocking oppressions’ (intersectionality), “identity politics”, “political Blackness” and US hegemony (re anti-racism/Black feminisms).
• PRE-SESSION ACTIVITIES
Read this week’s readings, watch the pre-recorded lecture and, if you have time, consult the additional resources in preparation for our online seminar discussion.
• 1. ESSENTIAL READINGS
Please read these three short readings before watching this week’s pre-recorded lecture:
1. Sojourner Truth [Isabella Baumfree] (1851) Ain’t I a Woman? Speech.
2. The Combahee River Collective (1977) The Combahee River Collective Statement.
3. Angela Y. Davis (1981) The Legacy of Slavery: Standards for a New Womanhood in Women, Race and Class.
o Please read Chapter 1 (hyperlink above) – if you have time you may find it useful to read the whole book.
o Davis discusses the contributions of Sojourner Truth in ‘Chapter 3: Class and Race in the Early Women’s Rights Campaign.’
o The library has some print copies of Women, Race and Class available – consult the library catalogue for details. Please note, the library currently has a “Click and Post” service available for those who cannot/do not wish to go onto campus. You can find more information on visiting the library in-person on the library website.
• 2. PRE-RECORDED LECTURE
• Week 9 Pre-Recorded Lecture
This lecture is divided into 4 parts, with a total run time of 1hr and 16 minutes which you can watch directly in Moodle via the link above. For full functionality (e.g. to make bookmarks and time-stamped notes), you can view the recordings on the Panopto website by using the blue hyperlink or clicking the arrow icon in the bottom right hand corner of the embedded video.
• 3. ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES (RECOMMENDED)
• I discuss The heart of the race: black women’s lives in Britain in the 4th part of the pre-recorded lecture to provide an alternative socio-political context to that of the three key readings. You are not expected to have read this book but if you wish to you can find some hard copies in the library, please use the link above to consult the library catalogue.
If you have time, you might also wish to consult these highly engaging visual resources which are part of the Black Cultural Archives (Google Arts & Culture) online experience.
• The Black Women’s Movement: A look at the Black Women’s movement and its role within British feminism
• Draft constitution of the Organisation for Women of African and Asian Decent
• Stella Dadzie’s Womonopoly Game