FASS635 Karl Marx

This module has been cancelled, and will not run on 23 February as previously scheduled.

Module description

This 4-hour session on Marx has four aims, pursued in consecutive 50-minute blocks, including time for discussion: (1) to introduce the man, his historical context, and his main ideas; (2) to question The Manifesto of the Communist Party as a significant guide to his work; (3) to explain the key arguments of Das Kapital and related works through an accessible, de-mythologized reading; and (4) to assess the contemporary significance of Marx’s oeuvre, again stripped of essentialism and myth. By necessity, the presentations will be brief but to the point, providing an introduction to key themes that can be pursued in further private reading and discussion. Issues pursued in the fourth block will reflect interests of participants (as registered previously on Moodle).

Reading list

There are four recommended readings (preferably taken from recent translation):

  1. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Manifesto of the Communist Party
  2. Karl Marx, Preface to Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (known as the 1859 Preface)
  3. Karl Marx, Capital, Vol I, chapter 4 (The General Formula of Capital)
  4. Karl Marx, Capital, Vol 3, chapter 21 (Interest-Bearing Capital)

Supplementary introductory reading:

Balibar, Etienne (2017) The Philosophy of Marx, 2nd edition, London: Verso.

Choonara, J. (2017) A Reader’s Guide to Marx’s Capital, London: Pluto Press.

Collier, Andrew (2008) Marx: A Beginner’s Guide, Oxford: OneWorld.

Draper, Hal (1998) The Adventures of the Communist Manifesto, Berkeley, CA: Center for Socialist History.

Fine, Ben and Saad-Filho, Alfredo (2010) Marx’s ‘Capital’, 5th edn, London: Pluto.

Holt, Justin P. (2014) The Social Thought of Karl Marx, London: SAGE.

Jessop, Bob (seriatim) bobjessop.org (for some of the tutor’s own work on Marx)

Mills, C. Wright (1963) The Marxists, Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Walker, Angus (1978) Marx: His Theory and Its Context London: Longman


Marx’s on-line archive:


Some useful web resources:







Timing and Location





Number of sessions:

2 x 2 hours

Timing and Location:



Additional information

Minimum quota: 6