Karl Marx’s Capital is a foundational text that provides a comprehensive critique of capitalism and has been the basis of the development of various strains of Marxist thought since it was first published in 1867. That it is the most cited text in the social sciences points to its historical and contemporary relevance. Volume I of Capital was the sole volume published in Marx’s lifetime and is arguably the most ‘finished’ of all his writings. Although he lived and wrote in the 19th century, his critique of capitalism as a self-regulating system can provide us crucial insight into the contemporary functioning of national and global economic systems. This course aims to get students to read Volume I of capital on Marx’s own terms, that is, a close and careful reading that enables the development of students’ own understanding of Marx’s thought and its contemporary relevance. In addition to classroom discussions on the text’s relevance to contemporary issues during the first eight weeks of the course, we will spend the final two weeks discussing an issue closer to home in Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo is famous for its “community capitalism”—a set of community development programs such as the Kalamazoo Promise, the Foundation for Excellence, and the establishment of community-based venture funds that are designed to create jobs and grow the local economy. After having read Marx’s critique of capitalism, students will apply their understanding of his critique to better understand the limits and opportunities of Kalamazoo’s community capitalism programs.