Graduate Seminar in Theory and Methods: Refusals to Work


The graduate seminar version of this course maintains the focus of the undergraduate version, but increases the time and intensity of critical and theoretical engagements to provide additional frameworks and findings within the primary texts of American literature and culture. The assessment of this course will be related to not only regular precis writing to help hone skills of critical writing, but also a course facilitation and a final conference paper and presentation to prepare professional skills in graduate study.

Please note: with minor adjustment, this course could serve as a Theory and Criticism course organized around the question of work, labor and identity.

Course Texts:

Bates, Timothy. Race, Self-Employment, and Upward Mobility: An Illusive American Dream. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins UP, 1998. Print.

Braverman, Harry. Labor and Monopoly Capital (1974). 25th Anniversary Edition. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1998. Print.

Bell, Daniel. Work and Its Discontents. Boston: Beacon Press, 1956. Print.

Black, Bob. “The Abolition of Work” (1985). Inspiracy. 2/11/2007. Web. 10/25/2015.

Davis, Angela. Women, Race & Class. New York: Random House, 1981. Print.

Foucault, Michel. The Birth of Biopolitics Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978-1979. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. Print.

Frayne, David. The Refusal of Work: Rethinking Post-Work Theory and Practice. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015. Print.

Halberstam, Judith. The Queer Art of Failure. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2011. Print.

Hartman, Heidi. “The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism: Toward A More Progressive Union.” Capital & Class, Vol. 3, No. 1: (Summer 1979): 1-33. Sage Journals. 11/10/2015. Web.

Lafargue, Paul. The Right to be Lazy (1883). Marxists. 9/12/2009. Web. 10/25/2015.

Marx, Karl. Capital Vol. 1 (1867). Marxists. 6/24/2015. Web. 10/25/2015.

Negri, Antonio. Books for Burning: Between Civil War and Democracy in 1970s Italy (1997). Trans. Arianna Bove, Ed Emery, Timothy S. Murphy & Francesca Novello. London: Verso, 2005. Print.

The Politics of Subversion: A Manifesto for the Twenty-First Century. Trans. James Newell. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 1989. Print.

Weeks, Kathi. The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2011. Print.