Agile Materialisms: Antonio Gramsci, Stuart Hall, Racialization, and Modernity


  • The author would like to thank Christopher M. Sutch and, especially, Joseph O. Jewell, Sarah N. Gatson, Glenn Bracey, Steve Macek, and Marcus Green for their encouragement and comments on an earlier draft of this paper. All errors, inaccuracies, etc. are the sole responsibility of the author.


This article investigates why Gramsci's theories and concepts have a discrete relevance to the study of race and ethnicity in contemporary contexts. Two theoretical points emerge from the investigation. First, through Gramsci's work, Hall's approach to the structural/cultural theory problem provides an important mediation for theoretical approaches to race. Hall is then able to demonstrate that the racialization of labor and the coercion of workers in colonial and neocolonial contexts, with regard to the “global south” was the rule and not the exception. Second, through an historical and discursive approach, I demonstrate how Gramsci's analysis of politics and political strategies took race into account. I contend that Gramsci's perspective on race facilitated Hall's ability to deploy Gramsci's theoretical framework and concepts.