daviesj at WABASH.EDU daviesj at WABASH.EDU
Thu Jul 27 09:04:47 MDT 1995

On Tue, 25 Jul 1995, jones/bhandari wrote:

> I cannot handle the breadth of this conversation.  All I can say is that I
> was responding to the argument that Zaverzadeh has a limited understanding
> of the base-superstructure relation.  I think that his critique of the
> idealism in what he calls the post-al theories of history is correct.  As I
> tried to further substantiate this by reference to Spivak's work. I think
> his conceptualization of human subjectivity is a real concern; on this I
> agree with Ralph.


> Rakesh
I haven't had a chance to see the book by Zavarzadeh that this thread
opened with.  What is his argument in favor of the base-superstructure
model?  How does he conceive the relationship?  In my own work, I have
relied mainly on Raymond Williams, esp. Marxism and Literature, in which
I think he makes a pretty compelling case against the base-superstructure
model as insufficiently materialist and un-marxist.  Basically, his
notion of cultural materialism springs from an understanding of culture
as a constitutive, "whole way of life" which is itself a productive force
in social life.  There is no particular reason, in his view, why we
should separate conceptually the cultural forces with which we produce
and reproduce ourselves from the productive forces we more narrowly call
economic.  They are both material.  He relies on Volosinov and Timpanaro
in his arguments.

Also, how do the arguments in Zavarzadeh against the posties compare to
David Harvey?  (I came to the list recently; sorry if I missed these
threads, i don't mean to ask the list to rehash ground you have already

Matt Davies

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