(Re)Reading Capital: Critical Repetitions

deadline for submissions: 
September 20, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
ACLA 2019 - American Comparative Literature Association

The global economic crises of the past twenty years have been accompanied by academic revaluations of Marx in economics and the social sciences, as well as a “return to Marx” in popular discourses concerned with economic justice and political activism. During this same period, however, literary studies has witnessed a turn away from Marxist historicism and ideology critique toward “post-critical” methodologies that emphasize weak theories over strong theories, textual surfaces over historical depths, description over suspicion. If, as readers like Louis Althusser and David Harvey have made clear, the (re)reading of Capital helps bring new, interdisciplinary knowledges into view, what kinds of critical theories and interpretive methodologies might emerge when we re-read the book alongside these co-emergent turns toward and away from Marx? How might Capital’s twofold nature (as both a scientific analysis of a mode of production and a demonstration of a critical methodology) help literary scholars think the value and significance of literary texts without having to trade history for immediacy, content for form, collective for individual experience? What insights might the self-aware performance of reading Marx reading generate in the interdisciplinary between-spaces of economics, literary studies, cultural studies, and the social sciences? And finally, of what use might these knowledges be for resisting the intensification of social and economic inequality, climate catastrophe, and the transatlantic recrudescence of white supremacy and fascism? With these questions in mind, we invite papers that both intersect with and depart from traditional readings of Capital, reassess age-old presumptions and dogmatisms about Marx’s work, and/or come at the text from overlooked, oblique, or even obscure perspectives.

Paper proposals must be submitted through the ACLA online portal at https://www.acla.org/annual-meeting by 9am EST on Thursday, September 20. The 2019 ACLA annual meeting will be held from March 7-10, 2019, at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Please contact seminar organizers James Fitz Gerald (jfitzge4@binghamton.edu) or Robert Wilson (robertpaulwilson@gmail.com) with any questions.

Link to seminar: https://www.acla.org/rereading-capital-critical-repetitions