Why Marx Matters

This seminar will elucidate the fundamental tenets of Marx’s philosophy, as well as their importance for understanding and transforming the contemporary world order. It will begin by explaining key concepts like historical materialism, class struggle, alienation, the labor theory of value, ideology and revolution. It will then briefly discuss a few of the important debates in the deep and broad history of Marxism in order to explore some of the ways that Marx’s work has been interpreted and transformed by subsequent generations. Finally, the course will focus in on what Marxist analysis has to contribute to contemporary debates and struggles by demonstrating how it can help us understand phenomena such as the environmental catastrophe, the increasing social inequality of globalization, the carceral state and its relationship to electoral democracy, the military-industrial-academic complex, institutional racism and gender inequality. Although the course will be directed at a lay audience, it will pedagogically build up its analysis in such a way that it will also serve the interests of those with a working knowledge of Marx and Marxism.

Facilitators: Gabriel Rockhill and Emre Çetin Gürer

Nota bene: all of the sessions will be recorded and made available in the case that participants cannot attend due to work or other obligations. Participants can also submit their questions via e-mail, allowing for anyone to participate in the course, even if they are not available at the precise times indicated below.
Friday, November 22, 2020
7-8 p.m. EST
Initial meeting, introductions and preliminary discussion

Saturday, November 23, 2020
10 a.m.-2 p.m. EST
Online participation in the lecture Why Marx Matters at Incite Seminars in Philadelphia

Sunday, November 24, 2020
5-6 p.m. EST
Q & A regarding the lecture Why Marx Matters
6-7 p.m. EST
Final discussion and wrap-up

Readings: (pdfs are available here)

  • Karl Marx, “Theses on Feuerbach”
  • Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, “Manifesto of the Communist Party”
  • Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The German Ideology (excerpt)
  • Eduardo Galeano, Upside Down (excerpt)
  • Barbara Foley, “Intersectionality: A Marxist Critique”

Cost: Pay-what-you-can, up to $90

We are committed to making our alternative educational offerings available to anyone who feels they can benefit from them, regardless of their ability to pay. We trust you to contribute what you can currently afford. Please do bear in mind that a seminar costs nearly $1000 in labor and expenses to run. The Critical Theory Workshop is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit, which means that your contribution is tax-deductible. Moreover, any proceeds that are generated will go to supporting the work of scholars subjected to academic repression and/or institutionalized precarity.


Please fill out this brief form and pay below in order to register.

Why Marx Matters: A 3-Day Online Seminar


If your economic situation necessitates that you register at a reduced rate, please use the button below, and be sure to “buy” the proper amount. For example, if you can afford to pay $70, enter “7” in the box, if $50, “5,” etc. If you need to take the no-cost option, it is still necessary to register here. You can also pay with Venmo by sending an e-mail request to criticaltheoryworkshop@protonmail.com. Thank you!

Why Marx Matters: A 3-Day Online Seminar