MSS2024    Podcasts    Videos   Seminars   About   Situations   Contact   Cart  

Program and Links to Readings:

** Click on each title to open a link to the text
** For a calendar view of this page, click here

July 2

Welcome and Opening Dinner

Dinner: Mylos (Local Specialties)

July 3

Midday Seminar Week 1 (12:00 - 2:00 PM)
Class and Race in Capitalism

Racial Capitalism and Marx

A. Kiarina Kordela


Cedric Robinson, Chapter 1: "Racial Capitalism: The Nonobjective Character of Capitalist Development," in Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition (1983) [University of North Carolina Press, 2000], 9-28.

Jodi Melamed, “Racial Capitalism,” in Critical Ethnic Studies, vol. 1, no. 1 (Spring 2015): 76-85.

John Bellamy Foster, Hannah Holleman, and Brett Clark, “Marx and Slavery,” in Monthly Review, vol. 72, issue 3 (July-August 2020)

Dinner: Acri (Mixed Grill)

July 4

Midday Seminar Week 1 (12:00 - 2:00 PM)
Class and Race in Capitalism

Surplus Value and Surplus Labor

A. Kiarina Kordela


Nick Nesbitt, excerpt from the chapter “Reading Capital In the Caribbean,” in The Price of Slavery: Capitalism and Revolution in the Caribbean [Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2022], 62-94, and also the equation formulating the example on page 96.

Kordela, A. Kiarina: excerpt from „Capital, Or, Information. Affective Labor, Historical Materialism, and the Convergence of Forces and Relations of Production,” in Szymon Wróbel and Krzysztof Skonieczny (Eds.) Many Regimes of Capital in the Postdigital Age, [Routledge 2023, 26-45]; 40-44 (read only the highlighted passages)

Walter Benn Michaels, “The Political Economy of Anti-Racism,” in Walter Benn Michaels and Adolph Reed Jr., No Politics but Class Politics, London: Eris Press, 2022, 101-114.

Evening Seminar Week 1 (7:00 - 9:00 PM)
The German Ideology

Reading the German Ideology, Reading Marx

Bruno Guli, Paul Reynolds


Arthur CJ (1974 – 2nd edition) ‘Editor’s Introduction’ The German Ideology (updated version- Part One with selections from Parts 2 and 3 and Supplementary texts edited and with an introduction by CJ Arthur) London: Lawrence and Wishart/ New York: International Publishers p 4-34

Carver T (2013) The German Ideology Never Took Place

Carver T and Blank D (2014) ‘Chapter 1: Manuscripts and Politics’ in A Politica History of the Editions of Marx and Engels; German Ideology Manuscripts. London: Palgrave Macmillan. P1-6

Dinner: Emborios (Seafood)

July 5

Midday Seminar Week 1 (12:00 - 2:00 PM)
Class and Race in Capitalism

The Invention of the White Race

Sean Ahern


Theodore Allen–

“White Blindspot” (1967) pp163-182 - 19 pp

“The Most Vulnerable Point” (1972) - 7 pp

“Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery” (1975, 2006) 25 pp

Introduction to Vol I Invention of the White Race (1994) 15pp

The Anatomy of Racial Oppression Chap 1 Vol I (1994) 26pp

Base and Superstructure (2004) 3 pp to - 97 pp

Dinner: Mylos (Imam and Roast Pork)

July 6

No Seminar

Dinner: Mouragio (Souvlaki place on the port)

July 7

No Seminar 

Dinner: Acri (Seafood)

July 8

Midday Seminar Week 1 (12:00 - 2:00 PM)
Class and Race in Capitalism

Intersectionality and the War Machine

Sandro Mezzadra


Mezzadra, “Intersectionality, Identity, and the Riddle of Class”

Hardt and Mezzadra, “A Global War Regime”

Burden-Stelly, C (2020) “Modern U.S. Racial Capitalism: Some Theoretical Insights,” Monthly Review 72 (3), July – August

M. Hardt and A. Negri, Empire, Twenty Years On, in “New Left Review”, 120, 2019, pp. 67-92.

Evening Seminar Week 1 (7:00 - 9:00 PM)
The German Ideology

Normativity as Ideology: From Foucault to Marx and Engels

Matteo Polleri

The class stresses the frontal opposition between Michel Foucault’s “genealogy” of “norms” and Karl Marx’s “critique of ideology,” questioning whether this should be considered a fundamental point of divergence between Foucault’s analysis of power and the Marxist theories of capitalism. In the first part, we will discuss the specific critical points on which this divergence is commonly based, focusing on Foucault’s epistemological and ontological objections to the Marxist notion of ideology. In the second part, we will problematize the frontal opposition between Foucault’s “genealogy of norms” and the Marxist “critique of ideology.” By commenting on some of Foucault’s writings of the 1970s, I will suggest that Foucault’s objections to the Marxist critique of ideology conceal his creative use of Marx’s and Engels’ insights. The class thus introduces students to one of the main conceptual alternatives underlying contemporary conversations in critical theory: the alleged opposition between the critique of social norms inspired by Foucault and the Marxist critique of ideology.


Foucault, M. (1972), “The Discourse on Language”, in Foucault, M., The Archaeology of Knowledge, New York: Pantheon Books.

Engels, F., Marx, K. (1998), The German Ideology, New York: Prometheus, first notebook.

Harcourt, B. E. (2011), “Radical Thought from Marx, Nietzsche and Freud, through Foucault, to the present”, University of Chicago Legal Forum, 2011,

Suggested readings:

Foucault, M., History of Sexuality: The Will the Knowledge, London: Penguin.

Althusser, L. (1971), “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses”, in Althusser, L., Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, New York City: Monthly Review Press.

Montag, W. (1995), “‘The soul is the prison of the body’. Althusser and Foucault 1970-1975”, Yale French Studies, 88, 1995: 53-77.

Dinner: Pixida (Barbeque, above the old port)

July 9

Midday Seminar Week 1 (12:00 - 2:00 PM)
Class and Race in Capitalism

Black Surrealism

Kristin Lawler


Robin D. G. Kelley, Race Rebels, Introduction, “Writing Working Class History from Way, Way Below,” and Chapter 1, “Shiftless of the World Unite!”

Abigail Susik, Surrealist Sabotage and the War on Work, Chapter 1, “Genealogy of the Surrealist Work Refusal”

Robin Kelley, Freedom Dreams, Chapter 6, “Keeping it Surreal: Dreams of the Marvelous”

Dinner: Mylos (Roast Goat)

July 10

Midday Seminar Week 2 (12:00 - 2:00 PM)
Politics in the Time of Oligarchy, Exploitation, and War

Oligarchic Subjectivity: Origin (inequality), Consequences (corruption) & Pervasiveness

Carlos Frade

In this session, we will try to make ‘oligarchy’ a meaningful category for thought, a task that requires to de-sociologize it (divest the term, and ourselves, of individualism and substantialism, and thus of the idea of oligarchy as a group), and to conceive of it instead as a subjective disposition, a subjectivity. Once we do that, we will be able to examine its logic, its workings on the basis of inequality, its disastrous productions, above all in terms of corruption, oppression and domination, its pervasiveness and the extraordinary difficulty of getting rid of it.

Core readings (sections from Machiavelli and Marx as critical thinkers, and from A Smith as paradigmatic advocate):

Machiavelli, N (1996) Discourses on Livy, preferably Mansfield and Tarcov’s translation. University of Chicago Press (below: book, in Roman numerals, and chapter in Arabic. About 14 pages in total):

I.55 How Easily Things May Be Conducted in Those Cities in Which the Multitude Is Not Corrupt; and That Where There Is Equality, a Principality Cannot Be Made, and Where There Is Not, a Republic Cannot Be Made

I.57 The Plebs Together Is Mighty, by Itself Weak

I.58 The Multitude Is Wiser and More Constant Than a Prince

III.1 If One Wishes a Sect or a Republic to Live Long, It Is Necessary to Draw It Back Often toward Its Beginning

III.3 That It Is Necessary to Kill the Sons of Brutus If One Wishes to Maintain a Newly Acquired Freedom

III.30 For One Citizen Who Wishes to Do Any Good Work in His Republic by His Authority, It Is Necessary First to Eliminate Envy; and How, on Seeing the Enemy, One Has to Order the Defense of a City

Karl Marx (1010) ‘The Class Struggles in France: 1848 to 1850’ (part. chapter I, ‘The Defeat of June 1848’, in Surveys from Exile. Marx's Political Writings Vol 2. Verso (this volume includes ‘The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte’, which is also very relevant).

Adam Smith:

The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Part II: Of Merit and Demerit; or, of the Objects of Reward and Punishment: Consisting of Three Parts, Section II: Of Justice and Beneficence, particularly Chapter 1 (Comparison of those two virtues) and 2 (Of the sense of Justice, of Remorse, and of the consciousness of merit), ch. 3 is also relevant.

Lectures on Jurisprudence, Of Jurisprudence Friday, Dec. 1762 (Glasgow Edition of the Works of a Smith, Vol. 5 Lectures On Jurisprudence)

The Wealth of Nations, Book 5. PART 2, Of the Expense of Justice

It is also advisable to read The Wealth of Nations, the Digression Concerning the Corn Trade and Corn Laws (on ‘free’ trade and the absolute right of dealers to hoard basic foodstuffs in times of scarcity and famine). Underpinning this is the idea of property as absolute and exclusive, i.e., the capitalist idea of property.

The German Ideology: Marx and Engels (1845)

Michael Pelias

My approach to German Ideology will be threefold. First, it will be considered a major work in progress, unfinished but full of promise in developing a materialist historiography for future inquiry. One could read it as preparatory drafts for later texts, a series of fragments assembled into a “book.”

Secondly, the historically immanent approach to the text in which the beginning of the settling of philosophical accounts takes shape through encounters with Max Stirner, Bruno Bauer, and the young Hegelians in almost burlesque fashion and the overcoming of traditional materialism, i.e., Feuerbachian materialism.

Thirdly, a reading of the premises of the materialist method- how do Marx and Engels begin a science with “ the real individuals,” and is there another way of beginning a science? These terms need to be considered: empiricism, abstract, relations of production, division of labor, and division of ownership, among many others.

Regarding the foundational aspect of what is now called historical materialism, we will engage Marcuse’s The Foundations of Historical Materialism (1932) and Korsch’s Marxism and Philosophy ( 1923) to delve into the philosophical foundations of Marx’s materialist historiography and discuss why philosophy is considered the head of the Revolution and the proletariat the heart.


Karl Korsh, Marxism and Philosophy

Herbert Marcuse, Studies in Critical Philosophy

Dinner: Acri (Mousaka)

July 11

Midday Seminar Week 2 (12:00 - 2:00 PM)
Politics in the Time of Oligarchy, Exploitation, and War

Voluntary Servitude and Escape from Freedom

Peter Bratsis


In this session, we will examine how self-interest and the desire for security underpin our current tendency toward authoritarian and oligarchic regimes.

Etienne La Boetie, The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude (entire essay).

Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom (chapters 4 and 5).

Dinner: Emborios (Rooster in Wine Sauce)

July 12

Midday Seminar Week 2 (12:00 - 2:00 PM)
Politics in the Time of Oligarchy, Exploitation, and War

Marx and the Critique of Politics

Panagiotis Sotiris

In this session, we will discuss the different ways that Marx attempted to think about politics and political practice. We will present how Marx starts from a critique of bourgeois politics in his early writings, then attempts a materialist theory of politics and political power as class power as he elaborates elements of a highly original historical materialism, before engaging into the endeavour of formulating a critique of political economy and then finally attempting to think a new practice of politics by means of using the Paris Commune as paradigmatic form. On the basis of this we will try to suggest how the question of politics and its critique has always been an open one within Marxist theory.


Karl Marx, “A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Introduction” 1844

Karl Marx, The Third Address [The Paris Commune] (from the Civil War in France), 1971

Etienne Balibar, Masses, Classes, Ideas. Studies on Politics and Philosophy Before and After Marx, London: Routledge, 1994, pp. 87-149

Panagiotis Sotiris, “Politics,” Sage Handbook on Marxism, 2021

Evening Seminar Week 2 (7:00 - 9:00 PM)
The German Ideology

Marxism as a Philosophy/Non-Philosophy of Practice: Thinking with the German Ideology

Paul Reynolds

One of the fundamental contributions of The German Ideology manuscripts is to provide a critical underscoring and explication of Marxism as an alternative that is embedded in materialist practice. What does this mean and why is it important in understanding Marxism? This session will draw out the way that Marx moves from dominant philosophical method and ontology to locate critical thinking in the material world and in the practice of critical thinking and action that constitutes practice (praxis). This move provides a methodological correction of idealist abstraction with real abstraction, and contextualises the conceptual moment within material life and its organisation under capitalism in the 19th to the 21st Century. This is critical to providing thinking beyond capitalism to a revolutionary alternative. Drawing from some contemporary texts - Raymond Williams and Herbert Marcuse in critical theory - the session will demonstrate how this notion of materialist practice is at the center of contemporary analyses of the constitution of contemporary culture in culture and politics.


Gramsci A (1999) Selections from Prison Notebooks
(edited by Quentin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowel Smith [sections/pages listed below]
London: ElecBook – (drawn from the same work originally published by Lawrence and Wishart - 1971)

Readers NOTE: The particular sections referenced are worth meditating on and if you have time read between them – do not worry too much about the Italian and historical references – the ideas are most important.

Specific Sections from THE PHILOSOPHY OF PRAXIS

Philosophy and History ... 657

“Creative” philosophy ... 659

Historical Importance of a Philosophy ... 661

Specific Sections from PROBLEMS OF MARXISM

Some Problems in the Study of the Philosophy of
Praxis Statement of the problem ... 711

The Philosophy of Praxis and Modern Culture ... 722

Speculative Immanence and Historicist or Realist Immanence ... 739

Unity in the Constituent Elements of Marxism ... 744

Philosophy—Politics—Economics ... 745

Historicity of the Philosophy of Praxis ... 746

Economy and Ideology ... 751

A repertory of the Philosophy of Praxis ... 761

Passage from Knowing to Understanding and to Feeling and vice versa from Feeling to Understanding and to Knowing ... 767

The Constituent Parts of the Philosophy of Praxis ... 786

Structure and Historical Movement ... 788

Science and System ... 790

The Dialectic ... 791

On Metaphysics ... 794

The Concept of “Science” ... 796

Judgment on Past Philosophies ... 812

Immanence and the Philosophy of Praxis ... 813

Williams R (1977) Marxism and Literature Oxford: Oxford University Press

6. Hegemony ... 108

7. Traditions, Institutions, and Formations ... 115

8. Dominant, Residual, and Emergent ... 121

9. Structures of Feeling ...  128

Williams, R (1980) ‘Base and Superstructure in Marxist Cultural Theory’, in Problems in Materialism
and Culture London: Verso (since published in Culture and Materialism (2020) London: Verso)

Dinner: Acri (Squid Ink Risotto) 

July 13

No Seminar

Dinner: Pizza di Kasos

July 14

No Seminar

Dinner: Emborios (Stewed Beef)

July 15

Midday Seminar Week 2 (12:00 - 2:00 PM)
Politics in the Time of Oligarchy, Exploitation, and War

Contemporary Capitalist Oligarchies

Peter Bratsis, Kristin Lawler


Yanis Varoufakis “Techno-Feudalism”

Evening Seminar Week 2 (7:00 - 9:00 PM)
The German Ideology

Dinner: Acri (Kasotian lambeand Rice)

July 16

Midday Seminar Week 2 (12:00 - 2:00 PM)
Politics in the Time of Oligarchy, Exploitation, and War

War and the Place of Humanity


Following Ranajit Guha, Giovanni Arrighi describes the terminal stage of US and Western sovereignty as “domination without hegemony.” Building on this idea, I will try to highlight some moments of this still unfinished trajectory and raise the question of what the demands of the future (the near future) might be. I will touch on issues such as labor, poverty, and migration. I will then ask what deactivating the logic of war and state terror might entail and what the place of humanity is in the current regime of global war (as Michael Hardt and Sandro Mezzadra have recently stressed.). Challenging Carl Schmitt’s notion that “Humanity is not a political concept,” this class will try to consider the idea that perhaps humanity does have an enemy after all: war, capital, exploitation, oppression, indifference, and extermination.


Bruno Gullì, Humanity and the Enemy, Chapters 4 and 5 and the Conclusion.

Dinner: Mylos (Squid and Fava)