Cedric J. Robinson: Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition (1983–)

8 February 2021, dusan

“In this ambitious work, Cedric Robinson demonstrates that efforts to understand black people’s history of resistance solely through the prism of Marxist theory are incomplete and inaccurate. Marxist analyses tend to presuppose European models of history and experience that downplay the significance of black people and black communities as agents of change and resistance. Black radicalism must be linked to the traditions of Africa and the unique experiences of blacks on western continents, Robinson argues, and any analyses of African American history need to acknowledge this.

To illustrate his argument, Robinson traces the emergence of Marxist ideology in Europe, the resistance by blacks in historically oppressive environments, and the influence of both of these traditions on such important twentieth-century black radical thinkers as W. E. B. Du Bois, C. L. R. James, and Richard Wright.”

Foreword by Robin D. G. Kelley
Publisher Zed Press, London, 1983
487 pages

Second edition
New Preface by the author
Publisher University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, 2000
ISBN 0807848298, 9780807848296
xxxiii+436 pages

Third edition, Revised and updated
New Preface by Damien Sojoyner and Tiffany Willoughby-Herard
Publisher University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, 2021
ISBN 1469663724, 9781469663722
liii+436 pages

Commentary: Robin D. G. Kelley (Boston Review, 2017), .

Reviews: Cornel West (Monthly Review, 1988), Black Perspectives roundtable (2016): Paul Hébert, Joshua Guild, Jennifer L. Morgan, Carole Boyce Davies, Austin McCoy, Robyn C. Spencer; Bedour Alagraa (CLR James Journal, 2018), Austin Smidt (PPE Sydney, 2020), Minkah Makalani (Boston Review, 2021).

Publisher
WorldCat (2nd ed.)

PDF (2nd ed., 2000, 14 MB)
PDF (3rd ed., 2020, 4 MB)

See also Robinson’s An Anthropology of Marxism (2001).

Leigh Claire La Berge: Wages Against Artwork: Decommodified Labor and the Claims of Socially Engaged Art (2019)

7 February 2021, dusan

“The last twenty years have seen a rise in the production, circulation, and criticism of new forms of socially engaged art aimed at achieving social justice and economic equality. In Wages Against Artwork Leigh Claire La Berge shows how socially engaged art responds to and critiques what she calls decommodified labor—the slow diminishment of wages alongside an increase in the demands of work. Outlining the ways in which socially engaged artists relate to work, labor, and wages, La Berge examines how artists and organizers create institutions to address their own and others’ financial precarity; why the increasing role of animals and children in contemporary art points to the turn away from paid labor; and how the expansion of MFA programs and student debt helps create the conditions for decommodified labor. In showing how socially engaged art operates within and against the need to be paid for work, La Berge offers a new theorization of the relationship between art and contemporary capitalism.”

Publisher Duke University Press, Durham, NC, August 2019
ISBN 1478004231, 9781478004233
xiii+261 pages

Review: Noni Brynjolson (Field, 2020).

Interviews with author: Andreas Petrossiants (e-flux, 2018, podcast), Wen Zhuang (LA Review of Books, 2020), Andreas Petrossiants (Brooklyn Rail, 2020), Pierre d’Alancaisez (New Books Network, 2021, podcast).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (11 MB)
Internet Archive (multiple formats)

Avery F. Gordon: The Hawthorn Archive: Letters from the Utopian Margins (2018)

21 January 2021, dusan

“The Hawthorn Archive, named after the richly fabled tree, has long welcomed the participants in the various Euro-American social struggles against slavery, racial capitalism, imperialism, and authoritarian forms of order. The Archive is not a library or a research collection in the conventional sense but rather a disorganized and fugitive space for the development of a political consciousness of being indifferent to the deadly forms of power that characterize our society. Housed by the Archive are autonomous radicals, runaways, abolitionists, commoners, and dreamers who no longer live as obedient or merely resistant subjects.

In this innovative, genre- and format-bending publication, Avery F. Gordon, the “keeper” of the Archive, presents a selection of its documents—original and compelling essays, letters, cultural analyses, images, photographs, conversations, friendship exchanges, and collaborations with various artists. Gordon creatively uses the imaginary of the Archive to explore the utopian elements found in a variety of resistive and defiant activity in the past and in the present, zeroing in on Marxist critical theory and the black radical tradition. Fusing critical theory with creative writing in a historical context, The Hawthorn Archive represents voices from the utopian margins, where fact, fiction, theory, and image converge.

Reminiscent of the later fictions of Italo Calvino or Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project, The Hawthorn Archive is a groundbreaking work that defies strict disciplinary, methodological, and aesthetic boundaries. And like Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination, which established Gordon as one of the most influential interdisciplinary scholars of the humanities and social sciences in recent years, it provides a kaleidoscopic analysis of power and effect. The Hawthorn Archive’s experimental format and inventive synthesis of critical theory and creative writing make way for a powerful reconception of what counts as social change and political action, offering creative inspiration and critical tools to artists, activists, scholars across various disciplines, and general readers alike.”

Publisher Fordham University Press, 2018
ISBN 0823276325, 9780823276325
xii+472 pages

Interview with author: Krystian Woznicki (transversal, 2019).

Review: Eddie Bruce-Jones (Race & Class, 2019).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (46 MB)