Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

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

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Upcoming Marxist conferences in London

1. Marxism 2011
Ideas to change the world - A five day political festival from
30 June to 4 July in central London hosted by the SWP with eyewitnesses and revolutionaries from Egypt and Tunisia as well as Tariq Ali, Tony Benn, Terry Eagleton, Paul Gilroy, Laurie Penny, Nina Power, Alex Callinicos and many others - full timetable now available to download here

What is Marxism 2011?

Crisis and austerity have exposed the insanity of our global system.
Our rulers have handed trillions of pounds to banks while billions of people across the planet face hunger, poverty, climate catastrophes and war. Despite unprecedented wealth and technology we are told capitalism can provide even less for us than before.

But a world in crisis breeds an ideological crisis. Austerity has generated resistance. Revolution has shaken the Arab world. Students have shaken the Con-Dems. Millions are fighting back, questioning this crazy system and looking for alternatives.

Marxism 2011 will bring thousands of people together from every continent and every arena of struggle to discuss, debate and organise resistance. With over 200 workshops, panels, film showings and rallies it is the biggest event of its kind in Britain and one of the biggest in the world.
Don’t miss Marxism in the year of revolutions.

2. Eighth Annual Historical Materialism Conference

Central London

10–13 November 2011

Spaces of Capital, Moments of Struggle

The ongoing popular uprisings in the Arab world, alongside intimations of a resurgence in workers' struggles against 'austerity' in the North and myriad forms of resistance against exploitation and dispossession across the globe make it imperative for Marxists and leftists to reflect critically on the meaning of collective anticapitalist action in the present.

Over the past decade, many Marxist concepts and debates have come in from the cold. The anticapitalist movement generated a widely circulating critique of capitalist modes of international 'development'. More recently, the economic crisis that began in 2008 has led to mainstream-recognition of Marx as an analyst of capital. In philosophy and political theory, communism is no longer merely a term of condemnation. Likewise, artistic and cultural practices have also registered a notable upturn in the fortunes of activism, critical utopianism and the effort to capture aesthetically the workings of the capitalist system.

The eighth annual Historical Materialism conference will strive to take stock of these shifts in the intellectual landscape of the Left in the context of the social and political struggles of the present. Rather than resting content with the compartmentalisation and specialisation of various 'left turns' in theory and practice, we envisage the conference as a space for the collective, if necessary, agonistic but comradely, reconstitution of a strategic conception of the mediations between socio-economic transformations and emancipatory politics.

For such a critical theoretical, strategic and organisational reflection to have traction in the present, it must take stock of both the commonalities and the specificities of different struggles for emancipation, as they confront particular strategies of accumulation, political authorities and relations of force. Just as the crisis that began in 2008 is by no means a homogeneous affair, so we cannot simply posit a unity of purpose in contemporary revolutions, struggles around the commons and battles against austerity.

In consideration of the participation of David Harvey, winner of the Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize, at this year's conference, we would particularly wish to emphasise the historical and geographical dimensions of capital, class and struggle. We specifically encourage paper submissions and suggested panel-themes that tackle the global nature of capitalist accumulation, the significance of anticapitalist resistance in the South, and questions of race, migration and ecology as key components of both the contemporary crisis and the struggle to move beyond capitalism.

There will also be a strong presence of workshops on the historiography of the early communist movement, particularly focusing on the first four congresses of the Communist International.

The conference will aim to combine rigorous and grounded investigations of socio-economic realities with focused theoretical reflections on what emancipation means today, and to explore – in light of cultural, historical and ideological analyses – the forms taken by current and coming struggles.

Deadline for registration of abstracts: 1 June 2011




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