Development of Marxist Thought

Institution: Washington State University

Department: Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs

Course-level: Undergraduate

Format:  Lecture

Position: Assistant Professor

Description: This advanced-level course traces the development of Marxist political thought from the original works of Karl Marx, over classic developments of his thought, to contemporary applications in political theory and philosophy. The course has two central goals. First, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship of the individual subject to the social and political world by engaging with Marxist thought. Second, we critically examine key themes and concepts prevalent in such thought—including alienation, exploitation, exchange- and use-value, class antagonisms, ideology, power, and revolution. The course is organized in three sections. In the first section we critically engage the original works of Karl Marx, covering both his early and late writings. In the second section we study the classic development of his thought in the German (Luxemburg) and French (Althusser) political thought traditions. In the third section, we discuss contemporary applications of Marxist thought in the early Frankfurt School of critical theory, as well as feminist, and postmodern thought.