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Prefigurative Reading #5: Karl Marx, Grundrisse (1857-61)
Conceived by Abigail Webster
September – December 2023
Meeting online once every fortnight

The Grundrisse is critique of capitalist political economy written by Karl Marx in his notebooks during the winter of 1857-8 (ten years in advance of the publication of Capital, Volume I) and was not published until 1939, over fifty years after the author’s death. Consequently, many key Marxist scholars of the early twentieth century, such as Rosa Luxemburg or Antonio Gramsci, would not have had access to this salient work, in which Marx details his theoretical method of analysis.

This series will be organised as a study group (a peer-learning and supportive environment that analyses the text together over the period).

We will be reading from: Karl Marx, Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy, Penguin Classics edition, translated by Martin Nicolaus, ISBN: 978-0140445756.  

The text of the Grundrisse can also be found for free on the Marxists Internet Archive. In this copy, the Introduction can be found on pages 17- 44. Please note, in the session we will be referring to the Penguin Classics edition page numbers.  


In addition to reading the text it is useful to also watch David Harvey’s online lecture series for The People’s Forum NYC from 2023.  

The first session will be online via Teams on Tuesday 10 October. Thereafter, we will meet online every two weeks on Tuesdays 24 October, 7 and 21 November, 5 and 19 December. Participants will be expected to read a section of the text and should ideally also watch an edition of the David Harvey lectures before each session. The group is open to anyone (postgraduate research students and staff from local universities, people with an interest in Marx).  

To note interest, ask questions, or get the link to join the meeting please email Abigail with ‘Grundrisse Study Group’ in the subject line.

Abigail Webster (she/her)

Postgraduate Research Student

Faculty of Arts, Design & Social Sciences

BxNU Institute, Northumbria University

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