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The Left Front presents: The Left University of New York

A con­ver­gent project of The Marx­ist Edu­ca­tion Project, Insti­tute for the Rad­i­cal Imag­i­na­tion, and Democ­ra­cy at Work

Class­es for Fall, 2018 to be held at the People’s Forum, 320 W 37 Street

1. Sat­ur­day Crit­i­cal Thought Sem­i­nars start Sep­tem­ber 29th:

The Frank­furt School and the para­dox­i­cal idea of progress: Think­ing beyond Crit­i­cal The­o­ry with Stan­ley Aronowitz (12–2pm): an eight week course -$15 per ses­sion or $100 for all eight ses­sions.

This course will address the idea of progress in His­to­ry through a care­ful and close read­ing of texts from Adorno and Horkheimer. Does progress real­ly exist beyond minor reformist ten­den­cies or is it a major symp­tom of the dialec­tic of enlight­en­ment that dialec­ti­cal pos­i­tiv­i­ty comes to a stand­still? Can we rethink a new prin­ci­ple of hope that can build move­ment pol­i­tics against the cyn­i­cism and pes­simism of the present?

Left to right: Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Ernst Bloch

Marx, Marx­ism and Phi­los­o­phy today: with Michael Pelias (2:15–4:15pm): a ten week course — $15 per ses­sion or $125 for all ten ses­sions.

Marx’s rela­tion­ship to Phi­los­o­phy from the Greek atom­ists through Aris­to­tle to Hegel has been com­ment­ed upon by many in the Marx­ist tra­di­tion. Through a gen­er­al, yet rig­or­ous sur­vey, this class will exam­ine Marx’s use of philo­soph­i­cal mate­ri­al­ism in his ear­ly man­u­scripts as well as a crit­i­cal and ana­lyt­i­cal approach to the schools of Marx­ist phi­los­o­phy that devel­oped with and after the work of Lukacs, Gram­sci, Korsch, and the Frank­furt school through the French exis­ten­tial­ists and struc­tural­ists to the Ital­ian schools from Del­la Volpe to Negri.

Left to right: Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci, György Lukács

Democ­ra­cy and Marx­ism with Peter Brat­sis (4:30–6:30pm): an eight week course — $15 per ses­sion or $100 for all eight ses­sions.

The eth­ic of democ­ra­cy is cen­tral to the project of Marx­ism. This class will exam­ine the con­cept of democ­ra­cy and how it has been incor­po­rat­ed with­in the Marx­ist tra­di­tion. The Marx­ist cri­tique of lib­er­al ‘democ­ra­cy’ and the rela­tion of democ­ra­cy to human cre­ation as well as eco­nom­ic pro­duc­tion will also be inter­ro­gat­ed. Read­ings will include works from Aris­to­tle, Marx, Gram­sci, Pan­nekoek, Lux­em­burg, Cas­to­ri­adis, and Poulantzas.

Left to right: Emory Douglas Illustration, Aristotle, Nicos Poulantzas

*For all three cours­es offered by the Insti­tute for the Rad­i­cal Imag­i­na­tion: $275. For two cours­es, $175.

2. Sun­day Inten­sives: two ses­sions 12 noon-4pm, Sept 30 and Oct 7, with Richard D. Wolff:

1st Sun­day , Sept. 30: Marx­i­an Class Analy­sis: What it is and its Val­ue for Under­stand­ing Soci­ety Today

A Marx­i­an class analy­sis around four areas of inquiry: Cap­i­tal­ist enter­pris­es — mer­chant, indus­tri­al, and finan­cial; House­holds and the State; Glob­al­iza­tion; and Social­ism and Com­mu­nism.

2nd Sun­day, Octo­ber 7: Com­par­ing Marx­i­an to Main­stream (“neo­clas­si­cal”) and Key­ne­sian Eco­nom­ics 

This course aims to explain how these three sig­nif­i­cant yet very dif­fer­ent ways of under­stand­ing eco­nom­ics both reflect and shape mod­ern soci­eties’ polit­i­cal, cul­tur­al, and eco­nom­ic con­flicts.

Read­ings will be dis­trib­uted and Resnick, S. and Wolff, R., Con­tend­ing Eco­nom­ic The­o­ries: Neo­clas­si­cal, Key­ne­sian, and Marx­i­an, MIT Press, 2012 will serve as back­ground to the day long Sun­day sem­i­nar.

*For both inten­sives offered by Democracy@Work, $50. For one inten­sive, $30.

3. Intro­duc­tion to Marx­ism for Women Only with Juli­et Ucel­li

Tues­days, 6:30 to 8:30 pm

10 ses­sions, Octo­ber 2 through Decem­ber 4

We’ll explore some key con­cepts about human beings, soci­ety and his­to­ry, and our rela­tion­ship to the rest of nature. Read­ings will be short and acces­si­ble excerpts from writ­ings by Marx and Engels or lat­er Marx­ists. I believe that this the­o­ry can help us ana­lyze the social and eco­nom­ic real­i­ties and struc­tures we live in–who holds pow­er and how–and fight more effec­tive­ly for lib­er­a­tion.

Some of the cen­tral ques­tions that we’ll address are:

• How did the oppres­sion of women, and the divi­sion of soci­eties into peo­ple who work and oth­ers who exploit them, orig­i­nate and devel­op his­tor­i­cal­ly?

• What are the dri­ving dynam­ics of cap­i­tal­ism that make it make it so pro­duc­tive, inno­v­a­tive, bru­tal and eco­log­i­cal­ly destruc­tive?

• What intel­lec­tu­al tools can help us under­stand industry’s com­plex impacts on our bod­ies, our psy­ches and the nature around us—impacts that cap­i­tal­ists, and peo­ple who think like them, don’t want to see or can­not see?

• What did Marx understand—and not understand—about white suprema­cy and Euro­cen­trism, and how has that analy­sis been deep­ened and mod­i­fied by lat­er Marx­ists?

In a con­tin­u­ing attempt to increase access for those who have been his­tor­i­cal­ly exclud­ed, turned off or silenced by the way this the­o­ry is often taught and dis­cussed, we are offer­ing an intro class this Octo­ber through Decem­ber for women only. Every­one who iden­ti­fies as a woman is wel­come.

Juli­et Ucel­li has taught labor eco­nom­ics and class/race/gender for unions and activists, and writes on Euro­cen­trism in Marx­ist the­o­ry, and Marx­ist under­stand­ings of human devel­op­ment. She also teach­es Marx’s Cap­i­tal, Vol­ume One with The Marx­ist Edu­ca­tion Project.

For More infor­ma­tion : Con­tact Michael Pelias at

Please let us know if you’re inter­est­ed in attend­ing:

One Comment

  1. m pelias m pelias July 19, 2018

    A rad­i­cal and new begin­ning for rad­i­cal ped­a­gogy and thought. The SEMINAR ver­sus MOOC learn­ing

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