Eleonora Roldán Mendivil


University of Kassel (UKS, Germany)

Research Cluster

Partnership in knowledge production - Alternative knowledge


PhD Project Title

Gender and 'race' in modern capitalism. Towards a Marxist Methodology


My political theory dissertation is situated in a contested sphere between Gender Studies, Racism Studies, Intersectionality and Political Economy. It aims to offer a Marxist methodology for the analysis of racism and sexism for societies in times of neo-liberal capitalism. Based on an in-depth study of Marx’ Labour Theory of Value I summarize the work of selected Marxist feminist theorists, Black and Pan-African Marxist thinkers, and Marxist theories from the Global South in order to bring them into dialogue with post-/de-colonial feminist, and Third-World Feminist approaches.

The intention is to understand the place gender and ‘race’ take in the production of value and surplus value within our current mode of production. A critical examination of theories approaching similar issues with similar interest but a different conceptualization is necessary to gain a deeper understanding of the pros and cons of each approach and the ways these approaches can be combined without losing a dialectical materialist base. The aim is to develop an integrated methodological approach that can be applied to a variety of concrete case studies.

How does the studying to whom the means of production belong and how reproductive work is organised enable a grounded materialist methodology? What kind of methodology is derived from Marxist approaches for understanding the relationship between exploitation and oppression in modern capitalist societies? What do we learn about the relationship of class, gender and ‘race’ through the study of Marx’ Labour Theory of Value? What conclusions can be drawn for transformations and integrative political practices on the ground?

My proposal stems from the need for a clear methodology to analyse, understand and combat racist and patriarchal social formations, centring working people and their multiple subjectivities as the central force of change. By working people as a class, I mean all those who own nothing but their labour power and are thus dependent on selling it to make a living; including housewives, pensioners, students, the unemployed, etc.

My dissertation engages in a dialectical conversation to present an updated Marxist methodology for the understanding of super-exploitation and specific forms of gendered and racialised divisions of labour for an inquiry into the resulting concrete lived realities (oppression / multiple forms of oppression). I do this in order to show how, on the one hand, intersectionality theory in it’s now hegemonic form equates the fundamentally different categories of class, gender and ‘race’, thereby reducing class to oppression. On the other hand I engage with this question to respond to economist-reductionist tendencies in a number of Marxist approaches on this matter. The ultimate goal is to bring together radical anti-racist, (queer-)feminist and Marxist critique for a thorough, updated and politically encouraging approach to universal human liberation.

Educational Background

Professional Experience

  • 2021/10-2022/03 & 2021/04-2021/09: Lecturer, Seminar Title: Class, ‘Race’ and Nation in C.L.R. James and Frantz Fanon (M.A.), Chair of Political Theory, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • 2021/10-2022/03: Lecturer, Seminar title: Ithe Haitian Revolution and Universal History (M.A.), Institute for International Development, University of Vienna, Austria
  • 2021/05-2022/05: Education Consultant / Research Assistant, Temporary Exhibition, Education and Outreach, Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Germany
  • 2021/04-2021/09: Lecturer, Seminar title: Social Change and Social Differentiation (B.A.), Faculty of Social Work, Mittweida University of Applied Sciences, Germany
  • 2021/04-2021/09: Lecturer, Seminar title: Intersectionality from a Materialist Perspective (M.A.), Institute for International Development, University of Vienna, Austria
  • 2021/04-2021/09: Lecturer, Seminar Title: Class, Gender and 'Race' (B.A.), Chair of Political Theory, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • 2021/04-2021/06: Organization and implementation of the open online lecture series: The 'Self' and the 'Other' in Political Theory, Chair of Political Theory, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • 2020/11-2021/03: Teaching assignment, seminar title: Introduction to Theories of Racism (B.A.), Chair of Development Policy and Postcolonial Studies, University of Kassel, Germany
  • 2020/01-2020/12: Project Coordinator Discrimination-Free Education in Wedding and Collaboration in Global Learning, NARUD e.V., Berlin
  • 2017/03-present: Freelance journalist
  • 2016/10-2017/03: Lecturer, seminar title: Racism in Capitalism (B.A.), Chair of Political Theory and History of Ideas, Otto Suhr Institute for Political Science, Free University of Berlin, Germany
  • 2012/10-present: Educational trainer (focus: racism, patriarchy/sexism, introduction to Marxist critique of political economy)

Social / Political Activities