Modules on Marxism
in this section center around some of the Marxist theorists that have
defined this critical school, including a set of modules on Marx himself.
For obvious reasons, it makes sense to start with the modules on Marx,
since subsequent critics often rethink many of Marx's central concepts.
So, if you are new to Marxist theory, you might consider the following
order: Karl Marx »
Louis Althusser »
Modules are designed to work aggregatively, so that each subsequent
module tends to build on the concepts discussed in the previous modules;
however, each is also designed to stand alone, and will sometimes be
hyperlinked in other sections of the Guide to Theory. In this way, the
modules seek to rethink the way most text-based introductions work.
Like a text-based introduction, the modules can work progressively,
as if one were thus turning the pages in a book. However, the structure
is actually more akin to Deleuze and Guattari's notion of the rhizome:
endlessly aggregative (at least in theory) and connected to each other
and to the rest of the site by multiple additional links. One can therefore
progress through the modules in alternate ways; in the Marxism modules,
for example, one can concentrate on a single concept, ideology, exploring
how Marx, Althusser, and Jameson each differ in significant ways when
it comes to this issue. One can also explore connections between the
modules on Marxism and those found in other locations in this site.
The Jameson modules, for example, link up logically with the Jameson
modules under Postmodernism; if you are interested in exploring the
links between Marxism and Psychoanalysis, you could also read the Althusser
and Jameson modules on ideology alongside the Lacan
module on the structure of the psyche. Jameson and Althusser are
both influenced by Lacan's understanding of the "Real"
in their articulation of how ideology functions. For a brief introduction
to the three critics discussed in the Modules, go to the General
The Modules for Marxism are on the left of this screen. If you place
your cursor on one of the categories, the module sub-categories for
each theorist will appear as a link. (Note that some browsers require
you to double-click on the link.)
on these Modules has been supported by IHETS/IPSE (the Indiana
Higher Education Telecommunication System and the Indiana
Partnership for Statewide Education) and their Module
and Course Development Program.