Capitalism and Feminism: Federici’s Caliban and the Witch

Capitalism and Feminism

Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation

Every other Monday 6-8 pm

At the Harold Washington Library

On April 1st, we will be in the 6th floor SOUTH study room

For all meetings after the 1st, we will be in the 6th floor NORTH study room

Caliban and the Witch is available in book stores, online, or as a PDF here.

Caliban and the Witch is a history of the body in the transition to capitalism. Moving from the peasant revolts of the late Middle Ages to the witch-hunts and the rise of mechanical philosophy, Federici investigates the capitalist rationalization of social reproduction. She shows how the battle against the rebel body and mind are essential conditions for the development of labor power and self-ownership, two central principles of modern social organization.
“In the neoliberal era of postmodernism, the proletariat is whited-out from the pages of history. Federici recovers its historical substance by telling its story starting at the beginning, with the throes of its birth. This is a book of remembrance, of a trauma burned into the body of women, which left a scar on humanity’s memory as deep and painful as those caused by famine, slaughter, and enslavement.” —Peter Linebaugh

-Publisher Blurbs

Discussion/Reading Schedule

April 1, 2019 Day 1: Introduction and Chapter 1 “All the World Needs a Jolt” up to (not including) the section titled “Women and Heresy” Pages 1 – 38 PDF for Day 1 is available here. WE ARE IN THE 6TH FLOOR SOUTH STUDY ROOM ON THIS DAY

April 15, 2019 Day 2: Chapter 1 Section titled “Women and Heresy” to the end of Chapter 1 Pages 38 – 60. PDF for Day 2 is available here. We are in the 6th floor NORTH study room from now on.

April 29, 2019 Day 3: Chapter 2 “The Accumulation of Labor and the Degradation of Women” up to (not including) the section titled “Population Decline, Economic Crisis, and the Disciplining of Women” Pages 61 – 85. PDF for Day 3 is available here.

May 13, 2019 Day 4: Chapter 2 Section titled “Population Decline, Economic Crisis, and the Disciplining of Women” up to (not including) section titled “Sex, race and Class in the Colonies Pages 85 – 107. PDF for Day 4 is available here.

June 10, 2019 Day 5: Chapter 2 Section titled “Sex, Race and Class in the Colonies” to the end of Chapter 2 Pages 107 – 132. PDF for Day 5 is available here.

June 24, 2019 Day 6: Chapter 3 “The Great Caliban” Pages 133 – 161. PDF for Day 6 is available here.

July 8, 2019 Day 7: Chapter 4 “The Great Witch-Hunt in Europe” up to (not including) section titled “The Witch-Hunt and the Capitalist Rationalization of Sexuality” Pages 163 – 192. PDF for Day 7 is available here.

July 22, 2019 Day 8: Chapter 4 Section titled “The Witch-Hunt and the Capitalist Rationalization of Sexuality” to the end of Chapter 4. Pages 192 – 217. PDF for Day 8 is available here.

August 5, 2019 Day 9: Final Chapter “Colonization and Christianization” Pages 219 – 243. PDF for Day 9 is available here.

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