Critical studies

Critical Studies

Gene Ray
Start: 23 September 2019, 10am

Futures of the Left: Art, Marxism and the Global South

As situated practice, art-making involves an active interpretation of the present. In 2019, two factors leap out for interpretation: ongoing planetary meltdown, which now imposes itself on politics everywhere; and a transnational resurgence of racist and misogynist rightwing politics, a return many are calling “fascism.” How are these two factors related? To approach this question and build shared understanding for informed positions, the Critical Theory seminar will study key concepts from the history of the Left, in context and in relation to the present: capitalism, colonialism and imperialism; nationalism and internationalism; class and its intersections with race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation; indigeneity and settler colonialism; fascism and white supremacism; solidarity and the Global South. Projection of these concepts into the future was key to the Left; what futures for the Left remain visible or imaginable today? As always, work on concepts aims to clarify how political and artistic practices intersect and interact in contemporary situations. Collective reading of texts by Marx, Benjamin, Fanon, Raya Dunayevskaya, Angela Davis, Anne Garland Mahler, Vijay Prashad, and Angela Dimitrakaki; discussion of films TBA.