From the Second to the Third International
Paul Blackledge

3 Historical materialism: from the Second to the Third International Introduction The Second International of socialist parties was the undoubted custodian of Marxist ‘orthodoxy’ from its formation in 1889 until its de facto collapse at the outbreak of the First World War. While the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) was the organisational centre of the International, it would be a mistake to reductively explain its hegemony within the International as a simple function of its relative numerical strength; for Germany was also home to the International’s most

in Reflections on the Marxist theory of history
Peter Barry

's mother. (Montrose describes an extravagant and protracted entertainment in which Raleigh and Greville acted out this metaphor.) All this demonstrates what is meant in practice by insisting upon the historicity of the text and the textuality of history. Cultural materialism The British critic Graham Holderness describes cultural materialism as ‘a politicised form of historiography’. We can explain this as meaning the study of historical material (which includes literary texts) within a politicised framework, this framework including the present which those literary

in Beginning theory (fourth edition)
Paul Blackledge

2 Marx, Engels and historical materialism Introduction In this chapter I outline Marx and Engels’s theory of history and its relationship to their revolutionary political practice. Many commentators would cite two reasons for dismissing such a project: first, Marx and Engels were not a unity, their ideas and arguments diverging markedly; and, second, neither Marx nor Engels individually produced a coherent and singular oeuvre. While there is obviously some truth in these claims, I have reservations about both of them. As to the suggestion that Marx’s and Engels

in Reflections on the Marxist theory of history
Darrow Schecter

as well as material, there is no plausible way to erect fixed boundaries separating idealism, legality and consciousness from materialism, legitimacy and institutions. Chapters 3 and 4 develop this point in detail by stressing the dialectical movement from law to idealism to new law, and by looking at the implications of this process of transformation for determinate relations of production and property ownership. The

in Beyond hegemony
Andrew Patrizio

‘watch out for humans who assume that they make all the patterns’ (Wendell Berry, ‘Letter to Wes Jackson’, Home Economics , 1987) ‘the smile of oil, the gesture of fired clay, the thrust of metal’ (Deleuze and Guattari, What is Philosophy , 1994) I want to focus in this chapter very selectively on a number of contributions broadly within the field of new materialism, and its prehistories, that bring out visual aspects most prominently and thus speak to the ecological eye in a direct way. It is surely clear that new materialism and its

in The ecological eye
Keeping the crusades up to date
Christopher Tyerman

4 Empathy and materialism: keeping the crusades up to date During a course of lectures delivered in Munich in 1855, Heinrich von Sybel (1817–95) reflected on writers on the crusades. He had made his name a decade and a half earlier demolishing the reputation of William of Tyre and Albert of Aachen as reliable sources for the First Crusade and now suggested that ‘every new commentator must find fresh subject for interest and instruction according to his own requirements and inclinations’.1 The legacy of the Enlightenment had established the crusades as a

in The Debate on the Crusades
Ed Cameron

This article argues that the allegorical interpretations of the Gothic sublime made by materialist critics like Franco Moretti and Judith Halberstam unavoidably reduce Gothic excess and uncanniness to a realist understanding and, thereby, ironically de-materialize Gothic monstrosity by substituting for it a realistic meaning. This essay, instead, advocates a psychoanalytic critical reception that demonstrates how the essential uncanniness of the Gothic novel makes all realistic interpretation falter. Rather than interpreting Frankensteins creature as a condensed figure for proletarian formation or Dracula as an allegory for xenophobia, for instance, this article insists that the Gothic uncanny should be understood as figuring that which can only be viewed figuratively, as figuring that which has no space within a realistic understanding.

Gothic Studies
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Phreno-Magnetism and Gothic Anthropology
Alison Chapman

This essay addresses the socio-cultural potential of phreno-mesmerism in the mid-nineteenth century and how its good intentions were frustrated by its uncanny discourse. Supporters of phreno-mesmerisms social agency dreamed that the physiological make-up of future generations could be determined by engineering sexual partnerships. But the more earnestly the new hybrid science was advanced as a tool of social change, the more the discourse of phreno-magnetism proved unwieldy. In effect, the discourse represents a double-bind, intertwining sex and gender, essentialism and constructionism, science and the occult, materialism and Gothic. The article focuses of Elliotson‘s enthusiasm for uniting phrenology and mesmerism in his notorious Letter On Mesmeric Phrenology and Materialism (1843).

Gothic Studies
Becoming-Fungus in Arthur Machen‘s The Hill of Dreams
Anthony Camara

This paper examines the role fungi play in Arthur Machen‘s Decadent classic The Hill of Dreams (1907), a supernatural novel written in the 1890s. Ostensibly an idiosyncratic topic, the novels concern with these organisms devolves on an inquiry into the nature of life itself, of whether it is the result of a spiritual life-force or a haphazard assemblage of matter. In this way, Machen‘s novel participates in the fin de siècle debates between vitalism and materialism. Rather than attempting to resolve this debate, the novel seizes on tensions inherent in fungal life in order to dissolve the concept of life altogether, to suggest its horrifying unreality.

Gothic Studies
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Material Gothic
Stephen Shapiro

As Gothic works knock the stuffing out their subject and splatter the remains over the page and screen, their obsessive focus on an economy of decomposing bodies in distress makes a compelling case for the attraction they exert on materialist criticism. A broad and heterogeneous spectrum of left social and cultural critique has always relied on Gothic referents to make descriptive sense of the teratology of life within societies dominated by the bourgeoisie. Marx‘s Capital begins, after all, by seeing the ‘monstrous ungeheure accumulation of commodities’ as the symptom of something gone terribly wrong in liberal political economy.1 What, though, if the Gothic codex is more than simply ornamental language or images added to the otherwise dry bones of philosophical, political, and economic writings and is itself a mode of critical inquiry into capitalist modernity that may also interrogate classical Marxisms precepts and underexplored aspects? If Marxism has depended on Gothic referents to make its point, can Gothic return the favor by thinking through obstacles and potentialities within familiar Marxist claims? In this light, we mean ‘material Gothic’ as something greater than simply a less provocative name for Marxist-inflected readings of Gothic works, and understand it as a project in which Gothic studies can inform and reshape cultural and historical materialism.

Gothic Studies