Taking a cue from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, this panel focuses on a critical examination of the act or state of calling one’s self a Marxist, that is to say, it asks the question, “What does it mean to be a Marxist in the 21st century?” For instance, what are the challenges that arise when reflecting on individual access to digital archives in relation to others who may rely only on printed materials? What are the advantages or disadvantages of Marxist articulations across various media such as print, digital, or film, concerning their selection of viewpoints for defining one’s self as “Marxist?” How does “being Marxist” differ across ethnic, gendered, racial, sexual, and religious lines? What does “being Marxist” look like in conjunction with recent critical approaches, such as disability or the posthuman? Moreover, what exactly counts or should also be counted as a “class,” as “labor,” or as “oppression?” Finally, is it possible, advantageous, or detrimental to even speak of a set of criteria for “being Marxist?” If so, what are they, and why? If not, why not, and what does such open-endedness mean for “Marxist” theory and praxis?
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