For Tuesday (January 24), we are reading chapter 5 from Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath (this is a pdf). The novel as a whole was published in 1939, and depicts the events surrounding the dust bowl, and the migration of poor farmers to California. It will serve as a brief introduction to Marx, along with the conception of economic/structural power. I’ll post further reflections and reading questions over the next day or two.
Starting Thursday of next week (January 26), we will begin Marx’s “On the Jewish Question.” The topic of the essay has to do with a political question that was quite important in the 19th and early 20th centuries, namely, the question of the role of the Jews in European society. Marx, however, uses this question as a way to think about the concept of citizenship in general, and to engage in a critique of the kinds of rights we saw articulated in the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.”