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CLS2250 - Post-Marxist Critical Theory

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Matthew Ryan


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


This unit will introduce students to contemporary discussion and debate about Marxist and post-Marxist critical theory. It will examine:

  1. Western Marxism's founding moment in the work of Lukacs and Gramsci.
  2. The early work of the Frankfurt School (Adorno, Horkheimer, Benjamin).
  3. The debates over New Left Marxism in the 1960s and 1970s (Althusser, Marcuse, Sartre, Williams).
  4. Various 'post-Marxist' responses to the politics of cultural 'difference' (Habermas, Eagleton, Jameson, Spivak, Zizek). Each of these will be examined for their respective accounts of the relationships between art, culture and society.


At the conclusion of the unit, students should be able:

  1. To demonstrate some familiarity with recent debates in Marxist and post-Marxist critical theory.
  2. To articulate the analytical skills, theoretical vocabularies and conceptual apparatuses studied in the unit.
  3. To write clear, grammatically and syntactically appropriate, independent essays on the various topics provided or chosen for assessment.


Essay (2500 words): 50%
Examination (2 hours): 50%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week