Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Many Marxisms

London is not only hosting Marxism 2008 in July, but also a more academic Marxist conference organised by Historical Materialism journal in November:

7-9 November 2008
School of Oriental and African Studies, Central London

Ever since its foundation in 1997, Historical Materialism has sought to contribute to the intellectual recomposition of the global Left by serving as an international venue for critical Marxist research. The journal's initial wager - that Marxism remains a vital, and heterogeneous political and theoretical tradition - has been borne out in a conjuncture where Marxist thinkers have amply demonstrated the critical resources at their disposal (witness recent debates on imperialism and neoliberalism). Within the academy, the facile dismissal of Marxism seems to have run out of steam, and the attitudes of new generations of students and researchers have changed accordingly. No longer simply forced to survive in hostile conditions or to retreat into isolated academic subcultures, and despite an often adverse global political context, Marxist intellectuals, face new challenges, which this conference seeks to address. How can we develop the plurality of Marxist debates, fields and schools without making concessions to eclecticism, narcissism or compartmentalisation? How do we square the concrete multiplicity of Marxisms with the strong commonalities in intellectual vocabularies, theoretical sources and political aims? Hasn't the question of the diversity of Marxism - of many Marxisms - accompanied the tradition’s entire development, a testament both to its internationalist horizon, and to the inexhaustible potential of its many critical insights and conceptual formulations? What strategies can allow us to confront, and perhaps overcome, some of the disparities or even misunderstandings born of these processes of differentiation? And how might we profit from them? Having tried to foster a form of critical cosmopolitanism and debate in past conferences, bringing together thinkers working in different fields, and out of different traditions, this year's Historical Materialism conference wants to emphasise problems and opportunities raised by the existence of 'Many Marxisms'. To this end, it aims to take stock of recent developments in Marxist thought, surveying the most vibrant recent debates; to confront critical moments in the historical development of Marxism; to identify crucial concepts and areas of research than can cut across any preconceived academic specialisation or geographical isolation of Marxism; to reflect on the ways in which Marxism has and continues to intervene in mainstream intellectual debates; and, finally, to generate a space in which the outlines of the many twenty-first century Marxisms may be delineated. For more details, please contact: historicalmaterialism@soas.ac.uk



At 2:52 pm, Anonymous a very public sociologist said...

Will you be going along? Are you going to bang an abstract in?

At 10:18 am, Blogger Snowball said...

Not sure yet...almost certainly will attend...you coming to Marxism?

At 4:57 pm, Anonymous a very public sociologist said...

I don't know yet, depends how the thesis writing goes between now and then. If so, I'll be on party duty - but expect more cheery chat instead of Spartoid rant. Be good to meet you and SWP bloggers - will there be an informal caucus/fringe event/drinking sesh?

At 4:04 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

Not sure whether there is a meet up planned - possibly go to 'Lenin's' meeting on the Friday night - I imagine many of the swp bloggerati will be at that...


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