Marxist Institute for Research

Charmaine Chua
Department of Global Studies
UC Santa Barbara

Joshua Clover
UC Davis

Annie McClanahan
UC Irvine

While “declinism” holds little appeal as a zeitgeist, the effort to decipher—amidst intensifying volatility—historical forces in motion remains a vital task. Topics like “Upheaval” and “Refuge” gloss this circumstance incisively; the same sense drives our varied research. Extended across California, the Marxist Institute for Research—now in its second year— feels local volatilities keenly; our first-year experiences, including engagement with 200 current dissertation/thesis projects, have also asked us to turn more toward internationalist research. 

One eye on crisis, the other on repair, we situate grounded research within analytic resources provided by Marxist method and the critique of political economy, integrating transformative interventions regarding racialization, colonization, gender, and ongoing dispossession. These provision both humanistic and social-scientific thought, set them in relation, and demonstrate how such thought takes shape and gathers historical force. 

Our working group, with already-integral graduate student participation, coordinates research groups across campuses to co-host at least one public-facing event each quarter and culminate in a summer seminar. We develop our network, engaging our now-extensive membership to build relationships, digital resources, and semiformal research groups relevant to graduate study, and operationalizing all of these toward durable, repeatable, expansive collaboration across time.