Starting Saturday November 17, 2018, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Art Share L.A., 801 E. 4th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90013
This seven-part class series will critically examine four of the main socialist feminist theories of gender oppression: Social Reproduction, Alienation, Intersectionality, Gender Performativity. We will also examine efforts to conceptualize a socialist humanist alternative to capitalism-racism-sexism-
Despite five decades of the existence of an active global women’s liberation movement, we are witnessing a growing authoritarianism attacking women’s hard-won rights on a global scale. In the U.S., its most glaring expressions have been the presidency of Donald Trump, a misogynist, and the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court judge. This authoritarianism also manifests itself in higher rates of incarceration of women of color, police brutality, physical and sexual abuse at home and at work, sex trafficking as well as war and militarism.
At the same time, the new Me Too Movement against sexual harassment/sexual assault is growing globally, and targeting the abuse of women in all spheres, whether government, academia or the arts, corporations or factories, service sector jobs or the family. The Me Too Movement also has the potential to go further and challenge capitalism’s commodification of women’s bodies and its reification/thingification of social relations.
These two contradictory developments—the global rise of authoritarianism and the global rise of the Me Too Movement – compel socialist feminists to reexamine/rethink their philosophical foundations and develop an alternative to capitalist-racist-homophobic patriarchy. What also compels such a reexamination is the need to articulate the distinctions between humanist, anti-authoritarian socialism and the totalitarian states that have called themselves socialist.
In a seven-part class series described below, we will critically examine four of the main socialist feminist theories of gender oppression: Social Reproduction, Alienation, Intersectionality, Gender Performativity. We will also examine efforts to conceptualize a socialist humanist alternative to capitalism-racism-sexism-homophobia. Through this process of examination and discovery, we will draw lessons for socialist feminist revolutionary organizing today.
Presentations will be given by Frieda Afary, philosophy M.A., writer, and producer of Iranian Progressives in Translation, Julia Wallace, history graduate, Black anti-racist activist and writer, Lara Al-Kateb, Syrian Gender Studies student, Ndindi Kitonga, PhD. , Kenyan-American educator, scholar of critical pedagogy and activist, Silvia La Rote, political scientist graduate, education worker, artist, poet, and activist, Rocio Lopez, Latin American studies graduate and anti-war activist.
For more information and to obtain the full syllabus and the readings, contact: socialistfeminismclasses@
Saturday November 17, 2018 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Class 1: Women, Reproductive Labor and Capital Accumulation: Theories of Social Reproduction
Lise Vogel, Marxism and the Oppression of Women: Toward a Unitary Theory, Haymarket, 2014, Part IV (pp. 127-175). Also see
Heather Brown, Marx on Gender and the Family: A Critical Study. Haymarket, 2012. ( pp. 65-78)
Saturday January 26, 2019 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Class 2: Alienated Labor and Human Alienation Under Capitalism
Karl Marx. Essay on Alienated Labor, 1844
Heather Brown, Marx on Gender and the Family. Haymarket, 2012. ( pp. 28-39)
Frieda Afary and Farzaneh Raji. “The Rise, Decline and Return of Marxist Feminism.” March 2016
Saturday February 23, 2019, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Class 3: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective: Theories of Intersectionality
Keeanga Yamahta Taylor. How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective. Haymarket, 2017. Pp. 1-27.
Kimberle Williams Crenshaw. “The Structural and Political Dimensions of Intersectional Oppression” in Intersectionality: A Foundations and Frontiers Reader. Ed. Patrick R. Grzanka Westview Press, 2014. Pp. 16-22.
Patricia Hill Collins. “Gender, Black Feminism and Black Political Economy.” Annals of the American Academy of Political Sciences. Volume 68, March 2000, pp.41-53
Saturday March 23, 2019, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Class 4: Queer Identities: Theory of Gender Performativity
Judith Butler. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Routledge, 2006 pp. 1-45
Saturday April 27, 2019, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Class 5: Socialist Feminist Transitions and Visions: Theorizing a Socialist Humanist Alternative to Private and State Capitalism
Frieda Afary. “From the Transcendence of Capitalism to the Realization of Human Power as an End in Itself: Review of Peter Hudis’s Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism.” Radical Philosophy Review of Books, 2014.
Maria Mies. Patriarchy & Accumulation on a World Scale. Women in the International Division of Labor. Zed Press, 1998. Pp. 205-235 (Towards a Feminist Perspective of a New Society).
Saturday June 29, 2019, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Class 6: Reconceptualizing the Self-Other Relationship: Overcoming Domination
Allison Weir, Sacrificial Logics. Routledge, 1996. Pp. 14-42
Frantz Fanon. Black Skin, White Masks. Grove Press, 2008, pp. 191-208
Raya Dunayevskaya. Philosophy and Revolution: From Hegel to Sartre. 1989, pp.3-45
Saturday July 20, 2019, 2:30-5:30
Class 7: Drawing Conclusions for Socialist Feminist Revolutionary Organizing
Open discussion on lessons drawn from the class series as a whole.