In his 1906 work, “Why is there no socialism in the United States?,” German sociologist Werner Sombart famously mused that American socialism had been ship-wrecked “on reefs of roast beef and apple pie.” While the relative affluence of American workers certainly impacted Leftist organizing at that time, there is a storied history of socialist thought and practice in the United States that nonetheless warrants attention. Grounded in the writing of American socialists, but opening a window into international socialist praxis, this course will explore the shifting grounds of socialist thinking and activism from the mid-19th century to the present. We will engage with a wide-range of debates over: political strategy (e.g. ‘reform versus revolution’); the emergence of fascism; the revolutionary agent(s); the linkages between oppression and exploitation; the relationship between production and social reproduction; the nature of the state; and the realities of imperialism and colonialism. By the end of the term, we will aim to provide an updated answer to Sombart. Or, perhaps, to reframe his question.
-practice "close reading" of dense theoretical texts
-enhance your understanding of 20th century history
-examine the intricacies of socialist political ideologies
-write several essays that require you to contextualize and stake out a position in intra-socialist debates
Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Previous coursework in SCT. Please email 1-2 paragraphs on 1) why you want to take this course, 2) how it aligns with your interests, and 3) why it furthers your plan to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Course Level: 4000-level
T/F 2:10PM - 4:00PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 18
Course Frequency: One time only
Categories: All courses , Politics , Fully In-Person