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New York City and the Experience of Modernity

Online: Zoom link will be provided to registered participants

This is a seminar about New York City and its people. It is not a study of architectural styles and objects, - although the physical stuff of cities does play a role -, but it is a course about the experience of the way in which modernity builds and destroys cities.

Modernity is a historical force. It is messy. In architecture history modernity is usually narrated as an interplay between the combined forces of the Industrial Revolution and capital, with social upheaval, explosive population growth and immigration as its result...

$30 – $60

Recurring

Fifth Summer of Noir: Last session this week (Derek Raymond and Denise Mina)

Online: Zoom link will be provided to registered participants

For the last four summers, the MEP Literature Studies Group has delved into a wealth of noir fiction. This year our six selections will take us deep into the underbelly of capitalism – good for reading at the beach, on the subway, a train, boat or plane, or in your favorite reading chair safely at home.  Join in for the last two books.

$15.00 – $25.00

Recurring

New York City and the Experience of Modernity, Fall session

Online: Zoom link will be provided to registered participants

In the year 1877, the signals were given for the rest of the century; the black would be put back; the strikes of white workers would not be tolerated; the industrial and political elites of North and South would take hold of the country and organize the greatest march of economic growth in human history. They would do it with the aid of, and at the expense of, black labor, white labor, Chinese labor, European immigrant labor, female labor, rewarding them differently by race, sex, national origin, and social class, in such a way as to create separate levels of oppression – a skillful terracing to stabilize the pyramid of wealth.” —Howard Zinn

This is a seminar about New York City and its people. It is not a study of architectural styles and objects, - although the physical stuff of cities does play a role—but it is a course about the experience of the way in which modernity builds and destroys cities.

$10.00 – $70.00
Recurring

Grundrisse: The Chapter on Money (The first two notebooks)

Online: Zoom link will be provided to registered participants

“Forces of production and social relations - two different sides of the development of the social individual - appear to capital as mere means, and are merely means for it to produce on its limited foundation. In fact, however, they are the material conditions to blow this foundation sky-high...” —Karl Marx, The Grundrisse

$10.00 – $20.00

Disputing the Deluge with Darko Suvin joined by Editor Hugh O’Connell and special guests

Online: Zoom link will be provided to registered participants

Darko Suvin’s writings from the early 2000s investigate the function of literary genres and reconsider the relationship between science fiction and fantasy, the essays collected here highlight the value of science fiction for grappling with the key events and transformations of recent years. Suvin’s interrogations show how speculative fiction has responded to 9/11, the global war on terror, the 2008economic collapse, and the rise of conservative populism, along with contemporary critical utopian analyses of the Capitalocene, the climate crisis,COVID19, and the decline of democracy. This collection allows new generations of students and scholars to engage directly with his work and its continuing importance and timeliness.

$4.00 – $14.00

A People’s History of Detroit

Online: Zoom link will be provided to registered participants

Mark Jay and Philip Conklin outline the complex sociopolitical dynamics underlying major events in Detroit's past, from the rise of Fordism and the formation of labor unions, to deindustrialization and the city's recent bankruptcy. They demonstrate that Detroit's history is not a tale of two cities—one of wealth and development and another racked by poverty and racial violence; rather it is the story of a single Detroit that operates according to capitalism's mandates.

$7.00 – $11.00

The Embrace of Capital with author Don Milligan

On-Line via Zoom New York, NY

The "spectre of communism" which Karl Marx confidently evoked in 1848 is now nothing more than a ghostly and ghastly nightmare, without form or substance. This is because working people have developed a love-hate relationship with capitalism. They hate insecurity, inequality, and greed, and love civic and political freedom. They love mass consumption, and accept the logic of commerce. Barreling along through wars, revolutions, epidemics, and crises of all sorts, working people in their millions have consistently dumfounded and dismayed the left, by their refusal to countenance any alternative to the capitalist mode of life. We have to ask: Is it possible to reverse this reality, and once again talk of the necessity of communism?

$3.00 – $11.00

Facebooking the Anthropocene with Bob Ostertag

On-Line via Zoom New York, NY

Video available: https://youtu.be/EG2B_Vf1KZY
Bob Ostertag's new book, Facebooking the Anthropocene in Raja Ampat: Technics and Civilization in the 21st Century, offers a deeply intimate portrait of the cataclysmic shifts between humans, technology, and the so-called natural world. Amid the breakneck pace of both technological advance and environmental collapse, he explores how we are changing as fast as the world around us—from how we make music, to how we have sex, to what we do to survive, and who we imagine ourselves to be. And though the environmental crisis terrifies and technology overwhelms, Ostertag finds enough creativity, compassion, and humor in our evolving behavior to keep us laughing and inspired as the world we are building overtakes the world we found.
Video available at https://youtu.be/EG2B_Vf1KZY

$5.00 – $12.00

Jean Jaurès and the Socialist History of the French Revolution

On-Line via Zoom New York, NY

Video available: https://youtu.be/mtT8owRC5Fw
Jean Jaurès's magisterial work, A Socialist History of the French Revolution, has endured for over a century as one of the most influential accounts ever published. Mitchell Abidor's abridged translation of the original six-volume work makes this new edition truly accessible to an Anglophone audience. Geoff Kurtz, author of a 2014 biography of Jaurès, joins Mitch for a conversation about the History and the author's life and times.

$5.00 – $12.00

Climate Justice and Socialist Strategy with Jason W. Moore

Video available on YouTube

Video available at https://youtu.be/2nZ9xgNn35A
Jason W. Moore addresses the missed opportunity for a program of planetary justice as the “Environmentalism of the Rich” came to the fore after 1968 and overshadowed Martin Luther King, Jr.’s appeal for radical action against capitalism’s “triple evils” of racism, militarism, and class exploitation. As King underscored in his final months, justice cannot be effectively pursued piece by piece. The “whole society” with and within the web of life must be reinvented, inasmuch as we are “all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny.”

$5.00 – $12.00

Recurring

The Political Writings of Marx and Engels: Social Classes, Revolution, and Human Freedom

On-Line via Zoom New York, NY

This group will read and discuss original texts by Marx and Engels about their theory of class struggles as the motive force of human social evolution and the modern working class as the political antagonist of the capitalist system - the class that has the power, by abolishing itself, to usher in a society beyond class exploitation.

$60 – $90

Recurring

Iran Awakening: Novels by Iranian Women

Online: Zoom link will be provided to registered participants

The winter 2023 series of the MEP Literature Group focuses on Iranian women writing since the 1978-79 Revolution whose stories are set in Iran in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will read three novels from the 1920s to the present: 'The Gardens of Consolation,' by Parisa Reza; 'Women Without Men,' by Shahrnush Parsipur; and 'Man of My Time,' by Dalia Sofer.

Free – $90
Recurring

The Political Writings of Marx and Engels: Part II, Surveys From Exile

Online: Zoom link will be provided to registered participants

This group is reading and discussing original texts by Marx and Engels about their theory of class struggles as the motive force of human social evolution and the modern working class as the political antagonist of the capitalist system. The primary text is the anthology 'Karl Marx: The Political Writings,' recently published by Verso. In this part 2, we will be reading the "Surveys From Exile" section, which begins with "The Class Struggles in France 1848-1850" and takes us through Marx's articles on the Civil War in the United States.

$60.00 – $90