Thursday, October 02, 2008

Historical Materialism conference

The Journal Historical Materialism will be holding their annual conference next month, at the School of African and Oriental Studies. They haven't got the timetable set up on their website yet, but it's bound to be worth a visit; last year's event was good, and involved some very interesting papers.



7-9 November 2008

School of Oriental and African Studies, Central London

Organised in collaboration with the Isaac and Tamara Deutscher
Memorial Prize Committee and with Socialist Register.

Organised in association with the International Initiative for the
Promotion of Political Economy, the journal Situations and the Journal
of Agrarian Change, and with the assistance of the Faculty of Law and
Social Sciences of SOAS.

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 and many-faceted 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. Marxist intellectuals are no longer simply forced to
survive in hostile conditions or to retreat into isolated academic
subcultures, despite an often adverse global political context. In
this setting, they face new challenges, which this conference seeks to

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?

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 that 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:


Approaching Passive Revolutions * Art and Capitalism * Aspects of
Imperialism * Base and Superstructure * Beyond Global Value Chain
Analysis in Commodity Studies * Bolshevism: Yesterday and Tomorrow *
Capitalism / Knowledge Capitalism * Capitalism and Architecture *
Climate Change, Sustainability and Socialism * Contemporary Radical
Thought and Marxism: Agamben, Holloway, Zizek * Early Modern
Capitalism * Ecological Crisis and Marxist Theory * Everyday Life *
Finance and Neo-Liberalism * Financialisation and Crisis * Food Crisis
* From the Grundrisse to Capital * Future of World Capitalism *
Historical Materialism and Late Development * Historiography in the
Development of Marxism * International Financial Institutions * Is
Today's Capitalism Actually-Existing Barbarism? * Labour-Process and
Resistance * Latin American Left Today * Learning from Enemies and
Rivals: Schmitt, Strauss, Weber * Life, Politics & Capitalism * Many
Marxisms and India * Many Marxisms: Key Figures * Many Marxisms:
Problems and Polemics * Marx and Fetishism * Marx on World Economy and
World Politics * Marxism and Cinema: Film Noir and Neo-Noir * Marxism
and Metropolitics * Marxism and Philosophy * Marxism and the Sciences
* Marxism Outside the West * Marxism, Feminism and Women’s Politics *
Marxisms and Literature * Marxisms and Religion * Marxisms and
Southern Africa * Marxisms and Violences: Gender and Race * Marxist
Theories of Practice * Modes of Foreign Relations * Monetary Policy
and Banking under Neoliberalism * Money * Negativity and Revolution *
North East Asian Marxisms and Socialisms * On the Concept of Surplus
Populations * Perspectives from Althusser * Perspectives from Marx’s
‘Jewish Question’ * Philosophies of Revolt and Revolution *
Philosophy in the Early Marx * Political Categories of Marxism *
Political Economy and Economics Today * Politics of the Promotion of
Global Competitiveness * Racism, Class and Politics * Restructuring,
Capital and Labour * Revolutionary Politics in the Middle East *
Sexual Liberation: Historical Materialist Approaches * Situationism at
the Limits: Must we Burn Debord? * Socialism in Search of an Economic
System * State in the Bolivarian revolution * Theories of Class *
Theories of Imperialism * Time, Temporality, History * Transformations
in the Neoliberal State * Uneven and Combined Development: Towards a
Marxist Theory of ‘the International’? * US Financial Power in
Crisis * Utopianism * Value: Political and Economic Dimensions *
‘Western’ Marxism and the Anti-Colonial World/Intellectuals *
Windows on Empire: Perspectives from History, Culture and Political
Economy * Workerism: a Generation Later *

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