Faculty Video: Marx Now: A Symposium

Karl Marx is 200 years old. And yet, whenever Marx seems dead and buried, a new moment of economic or political crisis brings Marx’s critical understanding of capitalism back to the fore. In Marx Now, a two-day symposium co-presented by the Goethe-Institut New York and the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, leading scholars, activists, and artists discussed, in a series of panels and learning sessions, why Marx endures: how does Marx speak to our moment of extraordinary inequality, political upheaval, fractured identity, ecological degradation, technological acceleration, alienation, and exhaustion? To answer, presenters and audience members drew from stories, objects, scholarship, art works, and the lessons of contemporary politics.

Marx Now began with a panel on our guiding question, “Why Marx Now?” and continued with panels on the topics of “Marx and Political Identity”; “Ecology, Technology, and Capitalism”; the “Poetics and Aesthetics of Marx”; and, in the perennial formulation, “What is to be Done?” Between panels, Brooklyn Institute faculty members led learning sessions on the early Marx and alienation; Marx on slavery and the Civil War; and Marx and Gender.

Participants included Anwar Shaikh, Drucilla Cornell, McKenzie Wark, Kali Akuno, Benjamin Kunkel, Chiara Bottici, Kate Aronoff, Maria Svart, Malik Gaines, Juliana Spahr, Marshall Steinbaum, Brooklyn Institute faculty, and more.

Marx Now took place on May 5th and 6th at Goethe-Institut New York (30 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003). For a complete schedule and list of participants, click here.

Marx Now: A Symposium was part of Marx Now, a three-week series of events, including film screenings, organized by Goethe-Institut New York in partnership with Anthology Film Archives and the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research.

Why Marx Now (ft. Kali Akuno, Chiara Bottici, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Drucilla Cornell, Benjamin Kunkel, Anwar Shaikh, and McKenzie Wark):

Marx and Political Identity (ft. Kali Akuno, Ravi Ahmed, and Suzanne Schneider):

Capitalism, Ecology, and Technology (ft. Kate Aronoff, Alyssa Battistoni, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, and Michelle Miller):

The Poetics and Aesthetics of Marx (ft. Malik Gaines, Rebecca Ariel Porte, Juliana Spahr, and McKenzie Wark):

What is to be Done? (ft. Raphaele Chappe, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Erica Smiley, Marshall Steinbaum, and Maria Svart):