Marc Bousquet
223 St. Jos. Hall, 554-7088
office hours: MW 1:30-2:30 pm and by appt.

English 139: The Radical Imagination
Fall 2005 MWF 10:30-11:35 am O’Connor 110
Satisfies U.C. 26 (U.S.) and the upper-division theory requirement for English majors

This course surveys the literature, rhetoric and cultural production of the large and often neglected tradition of political radicalism in the United States, including prominent anarchists, communists, and socialists like Emma Goldman, Amiri Baraka, and Oakland’s Jack London (now more famous for his “nature” stories such as Call of the Wild and White Fang).  We’ll study some of the more well-known radical movements and writers, such as the Beats’ Allen Ginsberg and Langston Hughes of  the Harlem Renaissance. We’ll also look at the organized literary movement of proletarian writers like Tillie Olsen and Meridel LeSueur, and the intentional culture of the IWW (International Workers of the World, or “Wobblies,”) whose early-century songs, theater and political imagery informed the consciousness of American radicals well into the McCarthy era and beyond.  

We’ll read portions of five texts that I’ve ordered into the bookstore; most of the class readings will be available on electronic reserve.  From a theoretical point of view, we’ll primarily consider the question of “intersectionality” in the culture of social movements: to what extent are individuals and movements committed to justice in terms of race and gender also implicated in movements addressing issues of class, and vice versa?  We’ll read several essays from Nancy Holmstrom’s The Socialist Feminist Project considering this question.


Introduction: Social Movements and the Problem/Project of Intersectionality


Monday,  September 19 Handout: Lucy Parsons, “Dynamite, Dynamite” and Langston Hughes, “Letter to the Academy.”

Wednesday, September 21  Dorothy Allison, “A Question of Class” (SF 30-45)

Friday, September 23  Emma Goldman and Alexandra Kollantai in SF (25-27); Purvi Shah, “Redefining the Home;” Cherrie Moraga, “My Brother’s Sex Was White, Mine Brown” (SF 121-124) and compare the viewpoints of Judith Stacey in “The Family is Dead, Long Live Our Families” to that of Elizabeth Martinez “Listen Up, Anglo Sisters” (SF 90-99 and 269-276)


1. Anarchism and Revolutionary Communism


Monday, September 26  Emma Goldman, “Anarchism” (47-69); “Hypocrisy of Puritanism” (167-176) 

Wednesday, September 28.  Emma Goldman, “Woman Suffrage” (195-212) and Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto  

Friday, September 30 Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Monday, October 3 Jack London, The Iron Heel

Wednesday, October 5 Jack London, The Iron Heel


2. Political Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance

Friday, October 7  Selections from the Messenger: Walter Everette Hawkins, “Credo (I am an Anarchist)”(MR 13-14); Claude McKay, “If We Must Die,” Labor’s Day,” “Birds of Prey” (MR 36-37); William Pickens, “Up, Sons of Freedom!” (MR 39-40), “Art and Propaganda” (MR 274-276); J.A. Rogers, “Who is the New Negro and Why?” (MR 308-312); Chandler Owen, “DuBois on Revolution,” (MR 317-321); W.A. Domingo, “Socialism the Negroes’ Hope” (MR 332-334); A. Philip Randolph, “The Negro in Politics (MR 338-347); George S. Schuyler, “Economics and Politics” (MR 374-378).
Presentation:  William Maxwell, New Negro, Old Left: African American Writing and Communism Between the Wars

Monday, October 10  Langston Hughes: “Good Morning, Revolution,” “White Man,” “Our Spring,” “Song of the Revolution,” “Revolution,” “The Same” (GMR 5-11); “Johannesburg Mines,” “Black Workers,” “Cubes” (GMR 13-15) “Poet to Patron,” “Advertisement for the Waldorf Astoria” (GMR 22-26), “Air Raid over Harlem: Scenario for a Black Movie” (GMR 37-40);
Presentation: Bill Mullen,Popular Fronts: Chicago and African-American Cultural Politics, 1935-46.

Wednesday, October 12 Langston Hughes  “Goodbye, Christ” (GMR 49-50); “Moscow and Me,” “Going South in Russia,” “The Soviet Union,” “The Soviet Union and Jews,” “The Soviet Union and Color,” The Soviet Union and Women,” “The Soviet Union and Health,” “Faults of the Soviet Union,” “Lenin” (GMR 71-98); “The Revolutionary Armies in China—1949,” (GMR 129-130); “To Negro Writers” (GMR 135-137); “Concerning ‘Goodbye, Christ,’” “My Adventures as a Social Poet,” precis of testimony before the McCarthy committee, “Information on Langston Hughes and Red Baiting,” (GMR 147-161).
 Presentation Robin D.G. Kelley, Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists and the Great Depression.


3.    The Rebel Poets, the Proletarian Left and Labor Internationalism


Friday, October 14  Nancy Hartsock, “The Feminist Standpoint Revisited” and Johanna Brenner, “Intersections, Locations, and Capitalist Class Relations: Intersectionality From a Marxist Perspective” (SF 350-358 and 336-345)
 Presentation: Constance Coiner,  Better Red: The Writing and Resistance of Tillie Olsen and Meridel LeSueur

Monday October 17 Tillie Olsen, the Rebel Poets & other worker lyrics: Olsen, “I want you women up north to know,” “There is a Lesson,” excerpt from Silences; Lucia Trent, “Breed, Women, Breed,” “Black Men,” “Parade the Narrow Turrets”; Kenneth Fearing, “Dear Beatrice Fairfax,” “$2.50,” “Dirge,” “Denouement,”  John Beecher, “Report to the Stockholders,” “Beaufort Tides,” “Engagement at the Salt Fork,” Joseph Kalar, “Papermill,” George Kauffman, “Let Me Laugh,” H.H. Lewis, “Liberal,” Thomas McGrath, poem to be nameless, William Paterston, “and never never need they know,” Walter Snow, “Social Worker”
Presentation: Paula Rabinowitz, Labor and Desire

Wednesday October 19.  Tillie Olsen, the Rebel Poets, etc, continued
Presentation: Cary Nelson, Revolutionary Memory: Recovering the Poetry of the American Left

Friday, October 21.  Short fiction from The Anvil & New Masses. Nelson Algren, “A Holiday in Texas,” “Within the City,”  Michael Gold, “Mussolini’s Nightmare,” Meridel LeSueur, Sequel to Love and They Follow Us Girls, Louis Mamet, “Not Without Propaganda,” Frank Yerby, Thunder of God.
Presentation: Barbara Foley, Radical Representations: Politics and Form in U.S. Proletarian Fiction, 1929-1941

Monday, October 24  Essays, Reportage and fiction by Meridel LeSueur: “Women are Hungry” (R 144-157), “I Was Marching” (R 158-165), “Women Know A Lot of Things They Don’t Read in the Papers, And They’re Acting on What They Know” (R 171-174), “The Girl” (R 202-204), “The Dark of the Time” (R 231-239)
Presentation: Michael Denning, Cultural Front

Wednesday, October 26   Images, poetry, theater, and speeches by the International Workers of the World (IWW): RVR 330-- Pencil program of IWW jailhouse entertainment, Dec 2, 1917; RVR 336--  The Can Opener, IWW jailhouse newsletter, Nov 15, 1917; RVR 112-120  Walker C. Smith, “Their Court and Our Class: A One-Act Sketch” (December 1916);  RVR  197-202 Kornbluh, “Paterson: 1913.”RVR 210-214 Program and press coverage of the Pageant of the Paterson Strike
Presentation: Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic

Friday, October 28   IWW, continued. Xii   Cover art,   The One Big Union Monthly (“Hurry Up”), October 1919 (vol 1, no. 8); 7-9  Father Thomas Hagerty, Mother Jones, Eugene Debs et al, “Manifesto of the IWW,” January 1905; 25   “Bingo,” cartoon (“The Hand That Will Rule the World”) Solidarity,  June 30, 1917; 28-32 songs: “We Have Fed You All For a Thousand Years” (anon., c. 1908); Harry McClintock, “Hymn of Hate,” Solidarity,  January 1, 1916; Dublin Dan Liston, “Dan McGann” (IWW Songbook, 21st edition); 33 Dust, cartoon (“Industrial Democracy”), One Big Union Monthly, July 1920.; 41 R. Banner, cartoon (“The Goose That Lays the Golden Eggs: Subservient Labor”), Industrial Worker, February 13, 1913; 45-51 Bill Haywood, “The General Strike” (speech & dialogue), New York City: March 16, 1911; 59-61 Ralph Chaplin, “That Sabo-Tabby Kitten” (IWW songbook, 8th ed.) plus “The Kitten in the Wheat” (by “Shorty”); 83 cartoon (“Which Paper Do You Support?”) Industrial Worker, July 23, 1910; 85-86 anon., “The Outcast’s Prayer” (important: includes “Jesus Replies”)Industrial Worker, July 23, 1921; 235  Ed Jorda, “Class Communion,” Industrial Worker, October 3, 1912.; 237 “Bingo,” cartoon, “John Farmer’s First Lesson,” Solidarity,  September 2, 1916; 239, “Bingo,” cartoon, “We are Coming Home” Solidarity,  September 30, 1916; 242 “Bingo,” cartoon, “Now for the Eastern Invasion!,” Solidarity,  October 14, 1916; 254  Ernest Riebe, cartoon, “Mr. Block: He Works in the Woods,” Industrial Worker,  Dec 26, 1912; 300 “Bingo,” cartoon, “The Certain Means of Rescue,” Solidarity, September 16, 1916; 312 “Bingo,” cartoon,  “Frank Little, I.W.W. Organizer,” Solidarity, August 11, 1917.
 Presentation: Alan Wald, The New York Intellectuals


4. Left Modernism









Monday October 31  Muriel Rukeyser, “Book of the Dead” (MAP 655-687), 

Presentation: Thurston, American Political Poetry

Wednesday November 2  Sol Funaroff, “Factory Night: Time Is Money, Unemployed: 2am, Uprooted, A Worker, Poem, I Dreamed I was Master, Workman, Workman,” “What the Thunder Said: A Fire Sermon,” George Oppen, “Discrete Series,” Louis Zukofsky, “To My Washstand, “ “Mantis”
Presentation: Alan Wald, Exiles From a Future Time


5. The Cultural Front


Friday November 4  Clifford Odets, Waiting for Lefty

Presentation: Michael Denning, Cultural Front

Monday, November 7 discussion of Salt of the Earth  (screening TBA)

Presentation: Lorence, James, Suppression of the Salt of the Earth

Wednesday November 9   Richard Wright, Uncle Tom’s Children, selections
6. Beat Sensibility & the New Left

Friday November 11  John Cassavetes, Shadows. (screening TBA)

Monday November 14 Allen Ginsberg, “America” and “Kaddish”
            Presentation: Stanley Aronowitz, Death & Rebirth of American Radicalism

7. From Black Nationalism to Revolutionary Art

Wednesday November 16  Angela Davis, selections
            Presentation: Robin Kelley, Race Rebels

Friday November 18  Amiri Baraka, selections
Presentation: David Harvey, Spaces of Hope

(Thanksgiving holiday)

Monday, November 28 Amiri Baraka, selections
Presentation: Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri, Empire

Wednesday, November 30  Discussion of paper topics

Friday December 2  Last class

Attendance, academic integrity, and disability accomodation.  Because of the participatory and hands-on nature of the learning you'll do in this class, I suggest that you miss or arrive late to not more than three classes. Unexcused attendence problems affecting a fifth or sixth class will be reflected by a reduction in your final grade (usually 1/2 to 1 1/2 letter grades); attendance issues in seven classes will usually result in a failing grade. SCU maintains a detailed policy on academic integrity that applies to this course and which you may consult in the University Bulletin. Students who experience a circumstance or condition that may affect their ability to complete assignments or otherwise satisfy course criteria are encouraged to meet with me to identify, discuss, and document any feasible intructional modifications or accommodations. You may contact the Disabilities Resource Center in 214 Benson (extension 4111, TTY ext 5445). Any other issues? Please email or drop in.





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