Classics of Marxism: Kollontai, Zetkin, Luxemburg

Wednesdays at 5:30 PST / 6:30 MST / 7:30 CST / 8:30 EST — Begins as soon as enrollment is sufficient — Target date: September 7th

The purpose of this course is to enable participants to develop a firm grip on Marxist answers to questions pertaining to women and the place of women in modern, capitalist society. Important and influential thinkers who were both Marxists and women have made important statements on this topic, which we will address and discuss in this group. Specifically, we will focus on the works of Alexandra Kollontai, Clara Zetkin, and Rosa Luxemburg.

All readings will be made available. All are welcome to attend. The only requirement is that every participant prepare and engage in earnest and open-minded discussion and debate. Participants who would simply like to attend and listen but cannot always finish all of the reading etc. are nevertheless more than welcome.


If you are interested in participating, please register online HERE and you will be notified when this course will begin. All readings listed will be discussed. (It is recommended to have a Google account to register. Please be sure to be logged in to your Google account before clicking on the link above and choose “Request to join group”.)


1. Introduction / Frierich Engels:

2. Alexandra Kollontai (texts from: Selected Writings of Alexandra Kollontai, 1977):

  • From “Towards a History of the Working Women’s Movement in Russia”, 29- 39
  • From “The Social Basis of the Woman Question”, 58-74.

3. Alexandra Kollontai (text from: Alexandra Kollontai: Selected Articles and Speeches, 1984):

  • “Introduction to the Book The Social Basis of the Woman Question. 1908”, 16-36.
  • “International Socialist Converences of Women Workers [1907-1916]”, 36-58.

4. Clara Zetkin (texts from: Clara Zetkin: Selected Writings, 2015):

  • “1889 For the Liberation of Women”, 45-51.
  • “1893 Women’s Work and the Organization of Trade Unions”, 51-60.
  • “1895 Concerning the Women’s Rights Petition”, 60-72.
  • “1896 Only in Conjunction with the Proletarian Woman Will Socialism Be Victorious”, 72-84.

5. Clara Zetkin (texts from: The Rosa Luxemburg Reader, 2004):

  • “1902 Protect Our Children”, 84-93.
  • “1903 What the Women Owe to Karl Marx”, 93-98.
  • “1907 Women’s Right to Vote”, 98-108.
  • “1910 International Women’s Day”, 108-110.

6. Clara Zetkin:

  • “1914 Proletarian Women Be Prepared”, 110-114.
  • “1914 To the Socialist Women of All Countries”, 114-117.
  • “1914 Letter to Heleen Ankersmit”, 117-130.
  • “1915 Women of the “working People”, 130-133.

7. Clara Zetkin:

  • “1917 To the Socialist Women of All Countries”, 133-158.
  • “1926 In the Muslim Women’s Club”, 158-167.
  • “1932 Save the Scottsboro Black Youths”, 167-70.
  • “1933 The Toilers Against War”, 176-80.

8. Rosa Luxemburg (Texts from: The Rosa Luxemburg Reader, 2004):

  • “Writings on Women, 1902-14”, 233-247.
  • “Slavery”, 111-123.

9. Rosa Luxemburg:

  • “Social Reform or Revolution”, 128-68.    

10. Rosa Luxemburg:

  • “The Mass Strike, the Political Party, and the Trade Unions“, 168-200.

11. Rosa Luxemburg:

  • “Theory and Practice”, 208-33.
  • “The Junius Pamphlet” [“Socialism or Barbarism?”], 312-341.

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