Thursday, October 05, 2006

Course Outline

This course will take Marx’s Capital Volume One as a core text, reading a chapter or more (80 pages or so) a week supplemented by more recent commentators and examples prominent in the theoretical and practical corpus of cultural studies broadly defined.

[Please note: as this is a lecture course that has not been taught before, some of the weekly reading suggestions are necessarily provisional. Additions and updates may be offered in class. The annotations in square brackets are usually mine – they may be supplemented on the web version of this guide.]

Many of the lectures will include some visual material. Very occasionally this may be a feature film or a longer documentary and on such occasion the screening time will be announced the week before (and usually shown on Tuesday evening in the cinema). At other times a short screening may occur in the second hour of the scheduled lecture.

The main reading will be the relevant chapter or chapters of Capital each week. Do also read the footnotes, they are sometimes quite entertaining (attacks on ‘moneybags’, comments on Shakespeare, notes on bamboo ‘thrashings’, and celebrations of the work of Leonard Horner, factory inspector). The key secondary text, and some supplementary reading or newspaper clippings will be in the reader pack available from the CCS office

Mode of Assessment: This course is assessed by a 5,000 word essay to be submitted to the Centre for Cultural Studies office on a date to be confirmed later.

Week 1.
Introduction –Trinkets. The appearance of wealth as a great collection of Commodities. Consideration is given to how we will read “Marx”, and why.

Spivak, Gayatri 1987 ‘Scattered Speculations on the Question of Value’ in In Other Worlds New York: Methuen

Gayatri Spivak reads Marx carefully, paying attention especially to, translation, of the 18th Brumaire, but also the Manifesto. So that we can not avoid Marx’s importance, his is what Deleuze called a Greatness. Statues – and congealed images. A film text that might be useful here is Citizen Kane and the scene where Kane collects. Marx also starts with commodities but we have to distinguish the method of analysis from the method of presentation. Consideration is given to how we will read “Marx”, and why. Pointing to the key works, the extent of scholarship – and activism – connected to the name of Marx, and the separate (to what extent?) project of Marxism(s). Gayatri Spivak’s speculations can be a guide here, looking at translation, sticking closely to the text, looking at context, metaphor, significance and the protocols of reading. The examples we might take up to start – where Marx starts – involve an immense collection of commodities. Citizen Kane as our totem, where Kane the newsman is the paradigmatic commentator – the purveyor of a vision of the world, provider of information, in a punchy format. Here, with William Randolph Hearst as the figure behind the picture, it is eyewitness news – ‘the whole world is watching’ – which has become the mode of appearance. For me this means today we might start with the circulation of shock images from New York, Iraq Lebanon. What is news? What interventions might be made? The film – Kane – much discussed and might be used as a counterfoil for too easy discussions of the videographic construction of war and truth.

Additional Reading:

Mulvey, Laura 1996 ‘From log cabin to Xanadu: Psychoanalysis and history in Citizen Kane’, in Fetishism and Curiosity, BFI
Mulvey, Laura 1996 ‘Close-ups and Commodities’, in Fetishism and Curiosity, BFI
Bazin, André 1978 Orson Welles: A Critical View, Acrobat Books [this volume contains a foreword from Francois Truffaut and a profile by Jean Cocteau].
Kracauer, Siegfried 1995 ‘The mass ornament’ in The Mass Ornament Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Week 2.
Fetishism, Exotica. The secret of commodities. The fetish is the key concept in the opening chapter of Capital. This mysterious moment has to be contextualized.

Marx, Capital Volume 1 Chapter 1. (pp125-177 Penguin edition).
Derrida 1994 Spectres of Marx London: Routlege, Chapter 3.

Fetishism is our apparent theme. The secret of commodities – the congealed social relationship abstracted in production. Derrida’s Ghosts. The fetish is the key concept in the opening chapter of Capital – which presents the fetish character of commodities as appearance, but more. This mysterious moment has to be contextualized – thinking about why Marx starts with commodities can extend to a comprehension of the plan of the whole; and of the relationship between analysis and presentation. The hauntology of Derrida as a potential interruption offers an instructive protocol of reading, of which, there is no easy one to one correlation. Are the ghosts that haunt today perhaps those of Nepal, or other demons? Saddam’ slipper? Hezbullah? We will look at souvenirs, tourism, exotica and the commodification of culture as trinkets… Michael Palin as out guide.

Additional Reading:

Derrida, Jacques 1999 ‘Marx and Sons’ in Michael Sprinkler (ed) Ghostly Demarcations: A Symposium on Jaques Derrida’s ‘Spectres of Marx’, London: Verso, p213-269
Spivak, Gayatri 1995 ‘Ghostwriting’ Diacritics 25(2): 65-84
Benninton, Geoffrey and Derrida, Jacques 1991/1993 Jacques Derrida University of Chicago Press, Chicago
Phipps, Peter 1998 ‘Tourists and Terrorists’ in Kaur, Raminder and Hutnyk, John eds. Travelworlds: Journeys in Contemporary Cultural Politics Zed books, London
Taussig, Michael 2003 Law in the Lawless Land, New York: The New Press.
Vidal, Gore 2002 Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, New York, Nation Books.
Olalquiaga, Celeste 1999 The Artificial Kingdom: A Treasury of Kitsch Experience. London: Bloomsbury [a sumptuous collection of curiosities – highly recommended gif purchase]
Stewart, Susan 2003 On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection, Durham: Duke University Press
Thomas, Nicholas 1999 Possessions: Indigenous Art/Colonial Culture London: Thames and Hudson
Onesto, Li 2005 Dispatches from the Peoples War In Nepal London: Pluto Press
Week 3.
Market and the trick of Exchange – Exchange value leads us to the market, the site of a transaction where labour is sold to capital in what looks like a fair deal.

Marx, Capital Volume 1 Chapter 2, 3, 4 & 5 pp 178-280.
Bataille 1934 ‘The Notion of Expenditure’ in The Bataille Reader Blackwell 1997

Market and the trick of Exchange – Exchange value leads us to the market, the site of a transaction where labour is sold to capital in what looks like a fair deal. The market is the public theatre of commercial exchange – but herein lies a trick, a feint, a deception that presents the congealed social relation as a relation between things. The false view (of Clifford) that exchange determines production, not production determines exchange. Clifford on objects of fascination. The market as alienation – a whirl of images, of demons, and dream. And of course money – coins, currency, the general equivalent. We also consider the uses of expenditure in Bataille, thinking of Marylin Monroe and the Marshall plan, Hollywood and the sale of war. Transgression and War.

Additional Reading:

Clifford, James 1997 Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
Strathern, Marilyn 1991 ‘Or, Rather, On Not Collecting Clifford’ Social Analysis 29:88-95.
Mauss, Marcel 1926/2000 The Gift. New York: Norton.
Bataille, Georges 1949/1988 The Accursed Share, Volume 1: Consumption. New York: Zone Books.
Bataille, Georges 1985 Visions of Excess: Selected Writings 1927–1939. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Bataille, Georges 1991 The Accursed Share, Volumes 2 and 3: Eroticism and Sovereignty. New York: Zone Books.
Bataille, Georges 1994 The Absence of Myth: Writings on Surrealism. London: Verso.
Bataille, Georges 2001 The Unfinished System of Non-knowledge. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Hollier, Denis 1988 The College of Sociology. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Hollier, Denis 1989 Against Architecture: The Writings of Georges Bataille. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Week 4.
Production – technology, mechanization, machines, the factory… ‘No admission except on business’.

Marx, Capital Volume 1 Chapters 7, 8 & 9. pp283-339.
Penley 1997 NASA/TREK. Popular Science and Sex in America London: Verso pp11-23

Production –technology and mechanization, machines, production and financialization, NASA/Trek – compelling all to adopt our ways, to accept warp drive and manufacture for the sake of profit. ‘No admission except on business’ – the sphere of production suggests a realm apart from the market, in a way probably unsustainable today, but nonetheless formative. The development of the factory, the struggles against mechanization, the rules and regulation of work – and the ideological effort to get us all to accept the bourgeois mode of production. William Gates says Technology can set us free. The representational politics of the future would claim to be progressive, but the plotting of Star Trek and similar confections does not boldly go so far. The Prime Directive and the Borg. Spock and Kirk’s Relationship. The ‘new’, digital media, broadband, hype and flows. Why must the ‘Californian ideology’ shape technocratic imaginings in Europe, the US and the third world.

Additional Reading:
Jameson, Fredric 2005 Archaeologies of the Future: the Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions London: Verso
Church Gibson, Pamela 2001 'You've been in my life so long I can't remember anything else', in Keyframes: Popular Cinema and Cultural Studies. M. Tinkcam & A. Villarejo (eds) London: Routledge
McQuire, Scott 2003 ‘From glass Architecture to Big Brother: Scenes from a Cultural History of transparency’ in Cultural Studies Review 9(1):103-123
McQuire, Scott 2005 ‘Urban Space and Electric Light’ in Space and Culture 8(2):126-140.
Castells, Manual & Peter Hall 1994 Technopoles of the World: The Making of 21st Century Industrial Complexes, London: Routledge
Creed, Barbara 1993 The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis, London: Routledge. Ch 2.
Kuhn, Annette 1990 Alien Zone 1 and 11, London: Verso.
Bogdanov, Alexander1908 Red Star Bloomington: Indiana University Press 1984 [the first Soviet utopia]
Zamyatin, Yvegney 1921 We New York: Harper Collins 1972 [the Russian precursor of many sci fi greats, before Orwell, Burgess, Golding…]
Bulgakov, Michael 1995 The Master and the Margarita New York: Random House [written in 1940, a Russian classic in many genres]

Week 5.
Workers – class composition. Marx spends considerable time in Capital documenting the conditions of the factory. Engels did similar work in Manchester.

Marx, Capital Volume 1 Chapter 10. pp 340-416.
Wright, 2000 Storming Heaven, London: Pluto. Ch 2.

Workers – class composition and workers’ enquiry. Kolinko – call centre communism and the question of organization. Marx spends considerable time in Capital documenting the conditions of the factory. Engels did similar work in Manchester. The regulation of work must be examined, and has released considerable sociological examination and projects on class composition that aims to comprehend, as activist social science, changes in the social and political organization of production.

Additional Reading:
Kolinko 1999 Hotlines: Call Centre Communism -
Fortunati, Leopoldina 1995 The Arcane of Reproduction: Housework Prostitution Labour and Capital, Autonomedia
Kracauer, Siegfried 1930 The Salaried Masses London: Verso 1998
Balibar, Etienne 1994 Masses, Classes, Ideas: Studies on Politics and Philosophy Before and After Marx, New York: Routledge
Reed, Adolf Jr 2000 Class Notes: Posing as Politics and Other Thoughts on the American Scene, New York: The New Press.
Hardt, Michael and Negri, Antonio 1994 The Labour of Dionysius University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.
Gibson-Graham, J.K., Resnick, Stephen A. and Wolff Richard D. 2000 Class and its Others, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
Negri, Antonio 1991 Marx Beyond Marx: Lessons in the Grundrisse Autonomedia, New York
Negri, Antonio 1999 Insurgencies: Constituent Power and the Modern State Massechusetts: University of Minnesota Press
Negri, Antonio 1988 Revolution Retrieved London: Red Notes
Negri, Antonio 2005 Books for Burning: Between Civil War and Democracy in 1970s Italy London: Verso
Thoburn, Nicholas 2003 Deleuze, Marx and Politics London: Routledge
Dunayevskaya, Rosa 1991 Rosa Luxemburg, Women’s Liberation, and Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution Urbana: University of Illinois Press

Week 6. Programme Monitoring Week – no lecture.
Week 7.
Time and Technology - There is a general perception that the time of production is dominated by speed.

Marx, Capital Volume 1 Chapter 13, 14 & 15. pp 439-592 [skim some]
Heidegger 1955 The Question Concerning Technology New York: Harper Collins 1982.

Time and Technology - Framing and Environment. Ticker tape and typewriter, Luddites (Reading Heidegger on Technology). Guattari Radio. Control – Burroughs cut ups and sound against control. Malaysia detention camps, ISAs – aid to the civil power.
There is a general perception that the time of production is dominated by speed. The ticker tape which recorded stock prices in 1867 (when Capital 1 was published) would fill a room in seconds given the volume and rapidity of change if functioning today. Does technology speed things up – or are we missing something that a certain Mr Ludd grasped long ago: technology is not just a tool, but a danger (qualified in various ways vis a vis Hiedegger). There are examples of machines that are social rather than technological – and these should give us cause for concern. Add to this the ways the technological becomes a threat, a means of coercion, a restriction surrounding us all – from the Atomic Bomb research centre at Los Alamos (Uncle Bill’s school) to the space and arms race R+D, which will lead us on (next week also) to social control and the concentration camps, from Mafeking to Guantanamo… Sonic opposition to the modes of control is considered.

Additional Reading:
Castells, Manuel and Peter Hall 1994 Technopoloes of the World: the making of 21st Century Industrial Complexes London; Routledge.
Burroughs, William S 1970 ‘Rapping on Revolutionary Techniques’ in Burroughs Live New York: Semiotext(e), pp 150-157.
Burroughs, William S 1982 ‘The Cut-up Method of Brion Gysin’, Re:Search #4/5:34-37.
Lydenberg, Robin 1992 ‘Sound Identity Fading Out: William Burroughs’ Tape Experiments’ in Wireless Imagination, Kahn and Whitehead (eds), MIT Press, pp 409-437.
Bertolt, Brecht 1993 ‘The radio as an apparatus of communication’, in Radiotext(e) New York: Semiotext(e) 16.
Walter, Benjamin 1993 ‘Theatre and radio: Towards the mutual control of their work of instruction’, in Radiotext(e) New York: Semiotext(e) 16.
Felix, Guattari 1993 ‘Popular free radio’, in Radiotext(e) New York: Semiotext(e) 16.
Critical Ensemble, 1994 The Electronic Disturbance, Video and Resistance, New York: Autonomedia
Augaitus, Diana and Lander, Dan 1994 Radio Rethink: Art, Sound and Transmission, Banff: Walter Phillips Gallery.
Attali, Jacques 1985 Noise: the Political Economy of Music, Man Uni Press.
Marcuse 2005 Heideggerian Marxism Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press
Meszaros, Istvan 1995 Beyond Capital: Towards a Theory of Transition London: Merlin Press
McQuire, Scott 2006 ‘Technology’ Theory Culture and Society 23(2/3): 253 - 265
Hartly, George 2003 The Abyss of Representation: Marxism and the Postmodern Durham: Duke University Press
Zizek, Slavoj 2002 Revolution at the Gates: Selected Writings of Lenin from 1917, London: Verso

Week 8.
Education – control-reproduction. The workforce has to be trained, taught, brought up. Their runny noses must be wiped.

Marx, Capital Volume 1 Chapter 16, 17. pp 643-667 and 23, 24. pp 711-761.
Fortunati, Leopoldina 1996 The Arcane of Reproduction: Housework, Prostitution, Labour and Capital New York: Autonomedia. Ch 4.

Education – control-reproduction and the Arcane of Reproduction. Racism as education for division of labour. Injustice, Sammie and Rosie, New Cross Fire, television – the manufacture of sanctioned ignorance through documentary. Education and reproduction. The workforce has to be trained, taught, brought up. Their runny noses must be wiped. Discipline. Order. The family, sexuality, education, health, morality and other topics not ‘strictly’ considered in the wage relation must be considered. Ahh, the worker under capital is “free” in a double sense!

Additional Reading:
Arendt, Hannah 2000 ‘Total Domination’ in The Portable Hannah Arendt, Penguin books
Agamben, Giorgio 1999 Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive, Zone books
Film 2001 Injustice, (Dir. Ken Fero & Tariq Mehmood)
Fero, Ken and Mehmood, Tariq 2001 ‘The making of Injustice’ Red Pepper, July 2001
Harper, Graeme 2001 Colonial and Postcolonial Incarcerations London: Continuum.
Foucault, Michel 1975 Discipline and Punish Harmondsworth: Penguin 1977
Sharma, Sanjay & Ash Sharma 2000 ‘So far so good…’ La Haine and the poetics of the everyday’, in Theory Culture and Society, 17(3):103-116
Kovel. Joel 1997 Red Hunting in the Promised Land London: Cassell [documents the extermination campaigns against communists worldwide]
hooks, bell 1995 Killing Rage, Ending Racism, London: Penguin
Wright, Steve 2000 ‘“A love born of hate” Autonomist rap in Italy’, in Theory Culture and Society, 17(3): 117-135
Ignatiev, Michael and William Wimsatt 1998 ‘I’m Ofay, You’re Ofay’ Transition: The White Issue, 73:176-198.
Gordon, Paul 2001 ‘Psychoanalysis and Racism: the Politics of Defeat’ in Race and Class, 42(4):17-34.
Gilroy, Paul 1987 There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack, London: Routledge
Hall, Stuart et al 1978 Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order, London: Macmillan
San Juan, E. Jnr 2002 Racism and Cultural Studies: Critiques of Multiculturalist Ideology and the politics of Difference Duke University Press
Spivak, Gayatri 1989 ‘In Praise of “Sammie and Rosie Get Laid”’, in Outside in the Teaching Machine, New York: Routledge, 1993.
Spivak, Gayatri 1991 ‘Strategy, Identity, Writing’, in The Post-Colonial Critic, Sarah Harysym (ed), Routledge, New York.
Taussig, Michael 1993 ‘The Golden Bough: the Magic of Mimesis’ in Mimesis and Alterity, Routledge: pp44-58.
Gramsci, Antonio 1971 Selections from the Prison Notebooks New York: International.
Derrida, Jacques 2004 Eyes of the University Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Week 9.
Accumulation, division, Circulation, transport, world system, fall of all Chinese walls, compelled to adopt the culture industry. Urbanization, Lumpenization.

Marx, Capital Volume 1 Chapter 25 pp 762-870
Adorno 1991 ‘The Culture Industry Reconsidered’ in The Culture Industry London: Routledge

Circulation, transport, world system, the reserve army of labour. Capital v Capital. Credit. The sphere of culture – and politicization… The cultural industry or the creative reservation – immaterial labour or lumpenization… Music and representation in the reading of MTV: ‘Dog-Tribe’, ‘Rebel Warrior’ videos, ‘Naxalite’ track. What is important about representation studies in the context of cultural differences? What are the limits to cultural politics via the tube? What is the role of critics in the Culture Industry? The visibility of culture versus the politics of redress will be assessed, addressed and finessed.

Additional Reading:
Derrida, Jacques 2002 Rogues: Two Essays on Reason Stamford: Stamford University Press 2005.
Derrida, Jacques 2001 Paper Machine Stanford: Stanford University Press 2005
Harvey, David 2003 Paris: Capital of Modernity New York: Routledge
Cleaver, Eldridge 1972 ‘On Lumpen Ideology’ – republished from The Black Scholar, Nov-Dec, 1972 at
Adorno, Theodor 1994 The Stars Down to Earth and Other Essays on the Irrational in Culture, Routledge
Harris, David 1992 From Class Struggle to the Politics of Pleasure: the Effects of Gramscianism on Cultural Studies London: Routledge
Situationist International 1966 ‘On the Poverty of Student Life’ in Situationist International Anthology, Berkeley: Bureau of Public Secrets, 1981, pp 319-336.
Sharma, Sanjay et al 1996 Dis-Orienting Rhythms: The Politics of the New Asian Dance Music, [chs 1, 2, 6 & 9] London: Zed Books.
Kalra, Virinder et al 1999 ‘Music and politics’, in (special issue) Postcolonial Studies. 1(3). Especially the Ko Banerjea chapter which was also published in Kaur and Hutnyk, 1999 Travel Worlds: Journeys in Contemporary Cultural Politics, Zed books.
Sharma, Sanjay et al 2000 ‘Music and Politics’ (special section), in Theory, Culture and Society, 17(3) [especially Virinder Kalra’s chapter].
Kalra, Virinder 2000 ‘Vilayeti Rhythms: Beyond bhangra’s Emblematic Status to a translation of Lyrical Texts’ in Theory, Culture and Society 17(3):80-102
Lipsitz, George 1994 Dangerous Crossroads: Popular Music, Postmodernism and the Poetics of Place, [chs 2 & 6] London: Verso
DeCurtis, Anthony 1999 'Lost in the supermarket: Myth and commerce in the music business', in Stars Don't Stand Still in the Sky: Music and Myth, London: Routledge

Week 10.
Pre Capitalistic Economic Formations. Marx goes back to origins at the end, but thinks forward. Onwards and Upwards.

Marx, Capital Volume 1 Chapter 26-33
Hardt and Negri 2000 ‘World Order’ in Empire Cambridge, Mass, Harvard University Press

Pre Capitalistic Economic Formations, Enclosures, transition, poor laws, great expropriation, slavery, plunder, Imperialism and war. Bougainville as example. The plunder of the third world, resource extraction, profiteering and piracy require a more sophisticated analysis then the simplified version of labour theory of value read off from Capital as blueprint for comprehension. Marx was never so easy.

Additional Reading:
Anon 2000 ‘Peace on Bougainville?’ in Do or Die, 8:201-207. (R)
Moody, Roger 1991 ‘Bougainville: the Island Revolt’, Plunder, Partizans, p62-76
Federici, Silvia 2004 Caliban and the Witch: Women, The Body and Primitive Accumulation New York: Autonomedia.
Klein, Naomi 1998 No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, (pts 1 & 4) Flamingo
Zimmerman, Patricia 2000 States of Emergency: Documentaries, Wars, Democracies, (esp chs 4 & 5) Univ of Minnesota Press
Adorno, Theodor 1969‘Critique’, in Critical Models, New York: Columbia Univ Press 1998
Mattelart & Siegelaub 1979 Communication and Class Struggle, 2 Vols IG/IMMRC
Amin, Samir 1976 Imperialism and Unequal Development, New York: Harper and Row.
Shanin, Teodor 1983 Late Marx and the Russian Road: Marx and the Peripheries of Capitalism New York: Monthly Review Press

Week 11 – revision. Marx, 18th Brumaire London: Pluto Press. details tbc.

The edition of Marx’s 18th Brumaire that came out in 2002 with Pluto Press, co-edited by Goldsmiths’s James Martin, is well worth a read and might usefully constitute revision for this course, as well as giving a fine example of a close analysis of political intrigue. Further suggestions will be offered on the Trinketization website:

Additional Reading:
Lotringer Sylvere 2001 Hatred of Capitalism New York: Semiotext(e)
Avakian, Bob and Martin, Bill 2005 Marxism and the Call of the Future Chicago: Open Court

µ John Hutnyk – August 2006

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