Title

Professor Resnick Is Mean, or Productive Misinterpretation in Economics Pedagogy

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

1-2-2018

Abstract

This essay examines the role of theory and history in Stephen Resnick’s teaching. An undergraduate student thinks Resnick hates poor people because of his rigorous presentation of the links between assumptions and policy conclusions in neoclassical economics. Another graduate student believes Resnick knows little economic history because of his focus on the development of a theoretical framework almost to the exclusion of historical narrative. These examples of productive miscommunication in teaching are developed mostly through a lecture Resnick gave on “Competition, Colonialism, and Imperialism,” but also through discussion of contemporary capital flows and some open questions in global commodity-chain research. Resnick’s precision and focus on theory was powerfully formative for generations of Marxian economists, even those who preferred to teach discursively and through narrative.

Publication Title

Rethinking Marxism

Volume

30

Issue

1

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