A spectre is haunting NYU Skirball… and he’s looking great for 200! We’re celebrating Karl Marx’s 200th birthday with a 2-week festival of art and ideas, from Oct 17-28 at NYU.

This festival isn’t Marx 101; instead, artists and scholars put Marxist theories and ideas to work in 21st century contexts. Learn more about all the events in the Marx festival, including these free talks across campus with artists and faculty.

Oct 18 @ 6PM

On Your Marx: Racial Capitalism

Join NYU Professors Arun Kundnani, Michael Ralph, and Nikhil Singh for a discussion of racial capitalism.

Tamiment Library (NYU Bobst, 70 Washington Square South, 10th floor).

Oct 24 @ 4PM

Labor & Disability: No Right to be Idle

Join us for a book talk and celebration of No Right to Be Idle (2017) with author Sarah Rose (UTexas, Arlington), winner of the 2018 Philip Taft Labor History Prize.

239 Greene St., 8th Floor Commons. RSVP: emily.rogers [at] nyu.edu

Oct 23 @ 5:30PM

On Your Marx: Futurity & Consumption

Join NYU Professors Lisa Daily, Dean Saranillio and Jerome Whitington for a discussion of climate change and global capitalism.

Department of Social & Cultural Analysis (20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor).

Oct 25 @ 5:30PM

On Your Marx: Labor, Aesthetics, Identity

Join luciana achugar, Julie Tolentino, and Amin Husain for a conversation on labor, aesthetics, and identity.

Department of Performance Studies (721 Broadway, 6th Floor).

Behind the Scenes with HBO

Vice TV gives an overview of the festival & interviews artists

Get Into It

There are 200 years’ worth of resources on Marx – here are some places to start:

This one’s a recommendation from the festival curator and NYU Skirball’s director, Jay Wegman!

Marx 101 from the School of Life

In the News

Jason Barker for the New York Times

Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were Right!

As we reach the bicentennial of Marx’s birth, what lessons might we draw from his dangerous and delirious philosophical legacy? What precisely is Marx’s lasting contribution?

Naomi Klein for the Intercept

Capitalism Killed Our Climate Momentum, Not "Human Nature"

There is nothing essential about humans living under capitalism; we humans are capable of organizing ourselves into all kinds of different social orders, including societies with much longer time horizons and far more respect for natural life-support systems.

Eric Levitz for New York Magazine

The Times’ Trump Exposé Is a Compelling Case for Class War

In the summer of 2012, Barack Obama informed America’s capitalists that they were not the sole authors of their success… The Republican donor class recoiled in horror at this declaration of “class war.”

Louis Menand for the New Yorker

Karl Marx, Yesterday and Today

“I am not a Marxist,” Marx is said to have said, and it’s appropriate to distinguish what he intended from the uses other people made of his writings.

Dan Kaufman for the New Yorker

A Labor Day Reflection on Unions, Race, and Division

Although economic insecurity has helped give rise to the divisive appeals of politicians like Walker and Trump, it has also drawn many workers to labor.

Michael Shulman for the New Yorker

The Shaming of Geoffrey Owens and the Inability to See Actors as Laborers, Too

By undervaluing the labor of creative professions, we put artists in a double bind: their artistic work isn’t seen as work, but it’s also assumed to be so lucrative that any non-acting job they might pursue is suspect.

Let's Talk about Socialism

Briahna Gray for the Intercept


Socialism reveals that capitalism — a system that privileges markets over community — is not a natural truth, but a political choice to which there are alternatives.

Beverly Gage for the New York Times

America Can Never Sort Out Whether "Socialism" Is Marginal or Rising

American politics may speak in the language of statistics and projections, but when it comes to the question of socialism, hard numbers have never counted for much.

Michael Tomasky for the New York Times

What Are Capitalists Thinking?

Every once in a while in history, cause and effect smack us in the face. The conditions under which the czars forced Russians to live gave rise to Bolshevism. The terms imposed at Versailles fueled Hitler’s ascent… And so it is here.

"To Prepare for Life in Capitalist America"

Class Struggle: The Boardgame

This game, developed in 1978 by NYU Professor Bertell Ollman, puts Marx to play in order to help potential proto-Marxists better conceptualize the stakes of his work. From the rules:

Class Struggle reflects the real struggle between the classes in our society. THE OBJECT OF THE GAME IS TO WIN THE REVOLUTION . . . ULTIMATELY. Until then, classes — represented by different players — advance around the board, making and breaking alliances, and picking up strengths and weaknesses that determine the outcome of the elections and general strikes which occur along the way.

The rest of Professor Ollman’s website is a treasure trove, as well.

Sociology 101 with Professor Harvey Molotch

Want to learn more about Marx’s work and his effects on contemporary scholarship and research? The entirety of NYU’s Introduction to Sociology course is online for your enlightenment.

Introduction to Sociology with Professor Molotch: Part 1/25

Marx Says the Darndest Things

The bigger they are, the easier it is to turn their groundbreaking work into memes. Learn what you need to know with these satirical snapshots from Daniel Mallory Ortberg.

Dirtbag Karl Marx“…

KARL MARX: [running up the stairs] more like crapitalism
HENRIETTA MARX: what was that?
KARL MARX: nothing

…and “L’il Sweetheart Karl Marx“:

Loving the market wasn’t a mistake, but thinking that the market loved me back was.

Bonus: “Works By Karl Marx That Have Been Improved By The Addition Of Quotes From Dune“:

The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Extra Credit

Get ready for our birthday/dance party with NYU Professor JD Samson’s albums Labor Talk About Body.