May 25, 2008

James - eat the rich

Hi, My name is James and I'm a third-year in history at Columbia. I study modern European intellectual history, with a special interest in the history of political economy, so my interest in Marx is probably more historical than theoretical. I had a years-long brush with "hardcore neo-classical economics" (as my then-adviser put it), which left me suspicious, probably unfairly, of economics as a discipline, which would have to include Marx, although I've lately changed my mind about this.

More specifically, I'm interested in thinking about the sociological role of the intellectual in modern societies, so I'd like to keep in mind Marx's rhetorical stance vis-a-vis his material - i.e. what is his privileged role qua intellectual - in terms of the analysis he provides about the distinction between manual and intellectual labor. So perhaps this is self-serving: I don't think intellectual history, as opposed to the history of philosophy, can justify itself qua discipline without a great deal more thought about the production of the social space in which the intellectual operates than is usually provided.

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