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Discussion: Marxist Theory and Criticism

November 13 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Discussion facilitator: Ian H
Teacher bio: http://peoplescolloquium.org/teacher-bios/

During this discussion, we’ll review Chapter 3, Marxist Criticism, from Lois Tyson’s Critical Theory Today.

Critical Theory tries to explain the various forms of Literary Criticism and the assumptions and values upon which they rest. The focus of this chapter is to outline those areas of Marxist Theory––concepts concerning the relationship between human events, human productions, and the specific material/historical circumstances in which those events and productions occur––that are useful to literary criticism and to show how this view of human behavior is relevant to our experience of literature.

Chapter 3 – Marxist Criticism by Lois Tyson


We request that our participants read the text in advance if possible, however, all are welcome to attend even if it wasn’t possible to read the text in advance. The first portion of our discussion will focus on understanding the text.

The second portion of the discussion will be devoted to answering the following questions: How is a text shaped by its intentional or unintentional representation of capitalism and/or classism? Does this representation support or undermine these oppressive socioeconomic ideologies?

If there is time, the third portion of the discussion will evaluate Tyson’s Marxist Criticism of The Great Gatsby, which is linked here if needed.


People’s Dialogues: Reading Critical Theory Literary Criticism tries to explain the work to us in terms of its production, its meaning, its design, and its beauty. Critical Theory (or Literary Theory), tries to explain the assumptions and values upon which various forms of Literary Criticism rest. By familiarizing ourselves with the language each theory speaks, with the key concepts on which each theory is grounded, these discussions will prepare us to understand the ongoing debates both within and among critical theories.

With Lois Tyson’s Critical Theory Today as our textbook, we will study a number of theories in succession, not just because it’s important to consider multiple viewpoints if we want to see the whole picture, but also because grasping the process of understanding that underlies human experience can increase our ability to see both the value and the limitations of any method of viewing the world.

Theory, Criticism, and Society: 10/2018 – 3/2019 During this semester, we’ll explore ideas from theory and criticism focusing on art, literature, music, and culture, with the further intention of applying such ideas to the creation and organization of society. Our goal is to deepen our understanding of theory and criticism, and to broaden our perspective of the world we live in—and the possibilities open to us.


November 13
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Slide Inn
2342 SE Ankeny
Portland, OR us
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