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Saturday, July 4 • 11:30am - 1:00pm
Marxism in noir: The culture and politics of class struggle and race in the 1940s

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This talk seeks to reopen the debate on the origins of present political crisis from a perspective different from a focus on 1989, 9/11, or 2008 and through the reclamation of subjugated knowledge as an insurrectionary presence. The decade of the 1940s, seething with social contradictions and half-buried class conflict, is critical for shaping our own world of eviscerated trade unions, liberal antagonism toward the Far Left, betrayed struggles of Black Liberation, and disenchantment with utopian visions.

The work of the African American gay Noir novelist Willard Motley, and other radicals, will allow us to probe the little-understood Marxist presence in the era’s famously doomed, malevolent, dark culture of fiction and film.

Readings: Willard Motley, KNOCK ON ANY DOOR; George Lipsitz, RAINBOW AT MIDNIGHT

Recommended Books Available in the Haymarket Room:
American Night: The Literary Left in the Era of the Cold War by Alan Wald
Trinity of Passion: The Literary Left and the Antifascist Crusade by Alan Wald

avatar for Alan Wald

Alan Wald

Alan Wald, Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan, is the author of many books on Marxism and culture in the United States, including "The New York Intellectuals:  The Rise and Decline of the Anti-Stalinist Left" (1987) and "American Night:  The Literary Left in the Era of the Cold War" (2012).  He is on the editorial boards of "Science & Society" and "Against the Current," and has written for "International Socialist... Read More →

Saturday July 4, 2015 11:30am - 1:00pm
Clark A/B

Attendees (27)