In this reading group, which will begin in July and last for eleven weeks, we will learn about queer history, identity, and struggle through a leftist lens. Many of us from the imperialism group have come up with the syllabus collectively, and 1-3 of us will facilitate each week. This reading group will be open to everyone.
In the past decade, we’ve seen a stark increase in rainbow capitalism, with corporations and cops endorsing pride. A class of queers — mostly white, often cis men — has gained entrance into the U.S., and to some extent global, elite. At the same time, we’ve seen radical organizing against capitalist and imperialist appropriation of queer history and struggle.
We’ll contextualize these trends by first grounding ourselves in two weeks of queer Marxist theory. Then, we’ll trace the historical relationship between Marxism and queer people and movements, from the USSR to mid-century queer liberation, and to contemporary worker’s struggles. Finally, we’ll dig deeper into a few themes, including queerness and sex work; trans history; Black queerness; AIDs activism; NGO-ization and marriage; imperialism; and incarceration.
Our aim is to emerge with a deeper understanding of queerness and leftism, and to be more empowered to organize for a socialism that includes the liberation of all people oppressed by our current gender and sexual system.