Capita Selecta - Capitalist Realism

Basic info

Language: English

Credits: 4

Period: 3+ (plus the two weeks in between period 3 & 4)

Venue: Clockhouse, Generaal Foulkeslaan 351, Wageningen

Time: Tuesdays, 19:30 – 21:30

Dates: 05/01 ­ 09/02

Exam: Reflection paper before last class, group presentation

Contact person: Luuk Slegers (luuk.slegers[at]

Lecturer(s): Bram Büscher, Sierra Deutsch, Birgit Boogaard, Joost Jongerden, Pieter de Vries & Chizu Sato

Examiner(s): Robert Fletcher

Secretariat: SDC; Leeuwenborch 3rd floor; 3053

* Registration closes on 11/12/2020 *

-- Click here to register --


With the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, so too fell the last ideology; communism. Capitalism, by lack of competition, is often not recognized as an ideology, but rather as the only possible reality. Fukuyama famously heralded the “End of history”. And that’s where we stand, after the last page of Fukuyama’s history book, nothing will ever change again. Capitalism is perfect. But it is becoming increasingly clear that history has not ended. Rapidly rising inequality and global average temperatures are just some of the symptoms of a way of organising ourselves that we cannot even see. If proposals are made that step outside of the logic of capitalism, they are dismissed as being ‘unrealistic’. In this Capita Selecta we will explore this ideological winter. Why is capitalism socially and environmentally unsustainable? How are ideology, realism and art related? How are the future and the past imagined, and how does that affect the present? These are some of the massive questions we will dip our toes in during these classes.

“Emancipatory politics must always destroy the appearance of a ‘natural order’, must reveal what is presented as necessary and inevitable to be a mere contingency, just as it must make what was previously deemed to be impossible seem attainable.”
- Mark Fisher


Paired with lectures by Bram Büscher, Sierra Deutsch, Birgit Boogaard, Joost Jongerden, Pieter de Vries and Chizu Sato, students will read, present and discuss a wide range of texts, complimented by a few movies. Grades are based on a reflection paper (70%) and a group presentation (30%).

84 hours of work in total. Spread over 6 weeks, every week represents 14 hours of work.2 hours a week are contact hours, 12 are meant for self study, reflection and group work. The Tuesday sessions take the form of a seminar, where the students come to class prepared, having done the reading beforehand. The sessions opens with a 45 to 60 minute presentation by the lecturer, followed by a break. In the second half of the seminar, a group of 3 students presents the reading of the week in 15 minutes, interpreting the reading and opening up the discussion which is to last some the final 30 minutes or so, guided by the presenting students, with the support of, and input from the lecturer.

Join us!

Because of COVID, and to promote an intimate revolutionary vibe, these classes will be given in the evenings, with a maximum of 15 students. Students are therefore asked to write a few sentences on why they would like to follow the course.

-- Click here to register --