Marxism and the Historical Imagination

History 283.001

Spring 2006
206 Wheeler
Day & Time: 
W 4-6

This reading seminar has two purposes: first, to explore the impact of Marxism on the writing of history, through an examination of a selected number of protean texts by major figures in Marxian tradition, along with some important interpretive treatments. Second, since Marxism was an international movement and discourse par excellence, we will also look at its spread and impact on historiography outside its Atlantic homeland. Here we turn to Japan--home to a vital and influential Marxian tradition as well as a key medium for the transmission of Marxism to China--as the major case study. The reading list is still a work-in-progress, but major works to be read MAY include: Marx and Engels. ";The Communist Manifesto";; Marx, ";The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte";; Engels, ";The Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State'; Lukacs, ";History and Class Consciousness'; Gramsci, ";Selections from the Prison Notebooks"; and ";On the Southern Question.";

Among the interpreters, we will read selections from Leszek Kolakowski, Martin Jay and Perry Anderson, and perhaps Andrzej Walicki. Materials on Japan will include E. H. Norman, ";Japan's Emergence as a Modern State";; translated texts or excerpts from Kawakami Hajime, Yamada
Moritar?no K? Tosaka Jun, and Nakano Shigeharu; and monographs or essays by Andrew Barshay, Laura Hein, Miriam Silverberg, Peter Duus, Irwin Scheiner, and George Beckmann, among others. Students interested in Marxism, historiography, or modern Japan are welcome.

Students who wish to use the course to satisfy the seminar requirement in Japanese history (280F) may do so, through the addition of supplementary readings on Japan. Interested students should contact Andrew Barshay prior to the beginning of the term.