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Marxist Departments?


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I think you will find Marxists --or at least people influenced by and knowledgeable about Marx -- in most history programs. It's hard to ignore historical materialism as a foundational approach to history -- though many people try to do so :)

That said, a large reason why I personally chose Cornell is because the program is full of leftists of all varieties. I think it partly depends on what you're looking for in terms of Marxism ie super theory heavy vs people who study leftist history vs people doing economic history vs whatever. That's where things will really vary by program, imo.

I chose programs to apply to by asking my undergrad professors for recommendations of good fits and exhaustively researching those schools (and many others). It takes a while, but you can look through the faculty everywhere to get a sense for who is doing what kind of work and where interesting/important stuff is happening.

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good advice above. I'd also add that you can look to (semi-recent) books that you've read and enjoyed. Then, google the authors to find out where they teach, research the institutions a bit, and then reach out to them from there.

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Following from @RageoftheMonkey's good points, I'd say look out for departments that have at least a couple people working on labor history, working-class history, or the history of capitalism. I dunno what your geographical/temporal range is, but here are a few folks whose work is in conversation – sometimes in critical conversation – with Marxist ideas:

  • Brown (Alex Gourevitch, Seth Rockman, Lukas Rieppel)
  • Columbia (Betsy Blackmar, Barbara Fields, Eric Foner and Bill Leach – although neither are taking students anymore)
  • Cornell (Ray Craib, Larry Glickman, Claudia Verhoeven)
  • Georgetown (Joseph McCartin, Michael Kazin)
  • Harvard (Sven Beckert and others associated with the Program on the Study of Capitalism)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (Leon Fink – probably not taking students anymore, Susan Levine, Jeffrey Sklansky)
  • University of Chicago (Amy Dru Stanley, Jon Levy)
  • University of Pittsburgh (Niklas Frykman, Michel Gobat, Markus Rediker)

(A fair number of these people have written for either Jacobin or Dissent.)

Edited by laleph
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