The Socialist Feminist Working Group is organizing a book club/potluck on Caliban and the Witch: Women the Body and Primitive Accumulation (1998) by Silvia Federici. We are reading this classic socialist feminist text as a way to explore the concepts of primitive accumulation, social reproduction, and the unpaid labor at the heart of capitalism. This text will allow us to better understand why socialist feminists have centered domestic work in their analysis of capitalist exploitation.
From AK Press: “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.”
This is a book club and potluck, so feel free to bring drinks/snacks to share.
**If you need a copy of the book you can find a PDF copy available here -->
We will meet on four Saturdays, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm starting Saturday, April 28th at UAW: 256 W 38th St, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10018.
- Saturday, April 28th
"The Secret of Primitive Accumulation" Chapter 26 of Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (1867) by Karl Marx
Caliban and the Witch: “Preface” (p. 7), “Introduction” (p. 11), and “All the World Needs a Jolt” (p. 21)
- Saturday, May 12th
Caliban and the Witch: “The Accumulation of Labor and the Degradation of Women” (p. 61)
- Saturday, May 26th
Caliban and the Witch: “The Great Caliban” (p. 133) “The Great Witch-Hunt in Europe” (p. 163)
- Saturday, June 9th
Caliban and the Witch: “Colonization and Christianization” (p. 219)
“The Reproduction of Labor Power in the Global Economy and the Unfinished Feminist Revolution” (2008) by Silvia Federici in Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle
Chapter 13: “Social Reproduction” in The Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism (2014) by David Harvey
Please email socialist.feminism[@]socialists[.]nyc if you would like to facilitate our first meeting on April 28th! We need at least 2 facilitators to prepare questions and provide a summary of the readings.