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Marxism, Science and the Anthropocene
Tue, April 12, 2016 @ 7:30 AM - 9:30 PM$75 – $95
A Study Group convened by Fred Murphy and Steve Knight
Tuesdays, April 12 through June 7, no class May 17
This group will read and discuss classic and contemporary works in the Marxist tradition that address the nexus of capitalism, science, nature, and climate change. The central text will be McKenzie Wark’s Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene, along with selections from Engels’s Dialectics of Nature and work by Donna Haraway, Carolyn Merchant, George Caffentzis, Jason Moore and others. As Wark has noted, “the Western Marxist tradition typically disqualified the sciences as fetishes of the particular, unable to grasp the totality. But climate science in particular takes as its object totality in a quite different sense: the totality of metabolic processes that take place on a planetary scale, and in particular the contribution of collective human labor to those processes. Given what we now know about climate change, the nexus of labor, techne and nature seems like an important one.”
Steve Knight is involved in eco-advocacy as a member of 350NYC, a GreenFaith Fellow working with faith communities, and a certified energy efficiency auditor for multifamily buildings. He has been interested in Marxian analysis and ecosocialism since 2004, when he studied Capital with David Harvey.
Fred Murphy studied and taught historical sociology at The New School and has co-led several MEP courses. His adolescent dream of a career as a research chemist was diverted by the sixties radicalization, but he has never lost interest in the sciences.