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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Education

CANADA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION 2011

CALL FOR PAPERS

Canada International Conference on Education (CICE-2011),
April 4-7, 2011, Toronto, Canada (http://www.ciceducation.org)

The CICE is an international refereed conference dedicated to the advancement of the theory and practices in education. The CICE promotes collaborative excellence between academicians and professionals from Education.

The aim of CICE is to provide an opportunity for academicians and professionals from various educational fields with cross-disciplinary interests to bridge the knowledge gap, promote research esteem and the evolution of pedagogy. The CICE 2011 invites research papers that encompass conceptual analysis, design implementation and performance evaluation. All the accepted papers will appear in the proceedings and modified version of selected papers will be published in special issues peer reviewed journals.

The topics in CICE-2011 include but are not confined to the following areas:

*Academic Advising and Counselling
*Art Education
*Adult Education
*APD/Listening and Acoustics in Education Environment
*Business Education
*Counsellor Education
*Curriculum, Research and Development
*Competitive Skills
*Continuing Education
*Distance Education
*Early Childhood Education
*Educational Administration
*Educational Foundations
*Educational Psychology
*Educational Technology
*Education Policy and Leadership
*Elementary Education
*E-Learning
*E-Manufacturing
*ESL/TESL
*E-Society
*Geographical Education
*Geographic information systems
*Health Education
*Higher Education
*History
*Home Education
*Human Computer Interaction
*Human Resource Development
*Indigenous Education
*ICT Education
*Internet technologies
*Imaginative Education
*Kinesiology & Leisure Science
*K12
*Language Education
*Mathematics Education
*Mobile Applications
*Multi-Virtual Environment
*Music Education
*Pedagogy
*Physical Education (PE)
*Reading Education
*Writing Education
*Religion and Education Studies
*Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)
*Rural Education
*Science Education
*Secondary Education
*Second life Educators
*Social Studies Education
*Special Education
*Student Affairs
*Teacher Education
*Cross-disciplinary areas of Education
*Ubiquitous Computing
*Virtual Reality
*Wireless applications
*Other Areas of Education  

Important Dates:

*Research Paper, Case Study, Work in Progress and Report Submission Deadline: December 15, 2010
*Notification of Paper, Case Study, Work in Progress and Report Acceptance Date: December 28, 2010
*Final Paper Submission Deadline for Conference Proceedings Publication: March 1, 2011
*Participant(s) Registration (Open): November 20, 2010
*Author(s) Early Bird Registration Deadline: January 31, 2011
*Author(s) Late Bird Registration Deadline: March 4, 2011
*Conference Dates: April 4-7, 2011

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

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Eisenstein

EISENSTEIN-CINEMA-HISTORY

SEMINAR AND CONFERENCE

Featuring the World Premiere of Sergei Eisenstein’s UNPUBLISHED “Notes for a General History of Cinema”
Free and Open to the Public

Sept. 30 & Oct. 1, 2010, Columbia University
http://museonazionaledelcinema.it/filmtheories/events.php?id=10

SEMINAR: Thursday, Sept. 30
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Columbia University: Faculty House (64 Morningside Drive, New York, NY – click for map)

Speaker: Antonio Somaini (Professor, University of Genoa)
“The Possibilities of Cinema: History as montage in Eisenstein’s ‘Notes for a General History of Cinema'”
Respondent: John MacKay (Professor of Slavic Literature and Language, Yale University)
CONFERENCE: Friday, Oct. 1

9:00 AM – 6:30 PM
Columbia University: 501 Schermerhorn, (1190 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY – click for map) Conference Schedule:

9:00 AM – 10:20 AM    Panel: “Eisenstein and the Comic”

Hannah Frank (Graduate Student in Cinema Studies, University of Chicago)
      “‘A New Kind of Weapon’: Eisenstein’s Drawings as a Theory of the Comic”
Ada Ackerman (Graduate Student in Art History, Paris-Ouest-Nanterre-La Défense and Université de Montréal)
      “Why Daumier’s art seemed so ‘cinematic’ to Eisenstein”
Luka Arsenjuk (Graduate Student in Literature, Duke University)
      “Eisenstein’s Comic Dynamism”

10:20 AM – 10:45 AM Coffee Break

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Yuri Tsivian (Professor of Art History, University of Chicago)
            “Chaplin and the Russian Avant-Garde: The Law of Fortuity in Art”
12:15 PM – 1:45 PM Lunch Break

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Masha Salazkina (Associate Professor of Cinema, Concordia University)
       “Eisenstein’s General History of Cinema: General Historical Context”

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Mikhail Iampolski (Professor of Comparative Literature and Russian and Slavic Studies, NYU)
       “Point, Pathos and Totality”

4:00 PM – 4:20 PM Coffee Break

4:20 PM – 6:00 PM Roundtable Discussion
Moderator:  Philip Rosen (Professor of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University)
Participants: Antonio Somaini, Yuri Tsivian, Masha Salazkina, Mikhail Iampolski, John MacKay

6:00 PM – 6:45 PM Reception: Schermerhorn

6:45 PM Film Screening (501 Schermerhorn): News From Ideological Antiquity: Marx – Eisenstein – Capital (Directed by Alexander Kluge, 2008, 84 min.) 
Sponsors: Columbia University Seminars on Cinema & Interdisciplinary Interpretation and Sites of Cinema, The Harriman Institute, Film Program, School of the Arts, Columbia University, Permanent Seminar on Histories of Film Theories, Museo del cinema di Torino, Turin, Italy: http://museonazionaledelcinema.it/filmtheories

__._,_.___

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Alain Badiou

ALAIN BADIOU ON PLATO

Alain Badiou, on his recent translation of Plato’s Republic

October 12th, 7:00pm 
Room 102, 19 University Place, NY NY 100 03

New French Philosophy: http://cultureandcommunication.org/newfrenchphilosophy/

An event in the series “New French Philosophy” sponsored by the NYU Humanities Initiative and with the support of the NYU Department of Comparative Literature

Details: complit.info@nyu.edu

END ******

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com
Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Smoke Monster

THE PERSISTEMCE OF THE NEGATIVE

The Persistence of the Negative: A Critique of Contemporary Continental Theory
Benjamin Noys

Benjamin Noys’ brilliant and wide-ranging new book is a timely  reminder that no revolutionary and egalitarian approach to politics and philosophy can afford to overlook the disruptive labour of the negative, or to neglect the active contribution that contradiction and antagonism make to a critique of actually-existing forms of domination on the one hand and a renewal of emancipatory agency on the other.– Peter Hallward, Professor of Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University

In this bold and highly original book, Benjamin Noys rethinks the role of the negative in both ontology and political practice. His critical revaluations of familiar figures in recent European thought move in surprising new directions; they have forced me to reconsider much that I thought I knew.– Steven Shaviro, DeRoy Professor of English, Wayne State University

In this original critique of contemporary continental theory, Noys uses a series of incisive readings of leading theoretical figures of affirmationism – Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Bruno Latour, Antonio Negri, and Alain Badiou – to reveal a profound current of negativity that allows theory to return to its political calling. It is essential reading for anyone concerned with continental theory and its relation to left politics.

http://www.euppublishing.com/book/9780748638635

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Persistence-Negative-Critique-Contemporary-Continental/dp/0748638636

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Education Crisis

EDUCATION ACTIVIST NETWORK NATIONAL CONFERENCE 2010

11am-5pm Sunday 31st October

King’s College London & London School of Economics

Supported by NUS, London Region UCU and others

SPEAKERS INCLUDE:

– Usman Ali, Shane Chowen & Mark Bergfeld (NUS NEC)
– Professors Danny Dorling, Costas Lapavitsas, Steven Rose, Alex Callinicos & Alberto Toscano
– Labour MP John McDonnell
– Sean Vernell & Jim Wolfreys (UCU NEC)
– Kanja Sesay (NUS Black Students Officer), Abdulrahman Alhadithi (FOSIS Head of Campaigns) and a speaker from NUS LGBT Campaign
– Strikers, occupiers, trade unionists and student campaigners from key disputes such as Sussex University, Tower Hamlets College and King’s College London.
– Others including Zita Holbourne (PCS NEC), Ben Sprung (London FBU) & Graham Turner (GFC Economics)

FEATURING:

– Activist-led workshops on how to build strikes, occupations and campaigns
– Radical academics debate cuts, crisis, inequality and the future of education
– Meetings on the Islamophobic clampdown in our universities, the academic boycott for Palestine, and other key questions facing the movement
– A forum on the struggle in Europe with participants from Greece, Austria, Britain and German

Details and Registration: http://educationactivistnetwork.wordpress.com/

END**********

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Economic Crisis

BRITAIN’S BROKEN ECONOMY – AND HOW TO MEND IT

The New Political Economy Network

FREE TO DOWNLOAD

There is no cast-iron law that states that crises of capitalism end in victories for the left – and certainly not in Britain. And yet this is not a Conservative moment – it is clear that the Coalition has no viable plan for rebuilding the economy. The problem is that Labour does not have one either. The task for Labour now is to come up with a vision of a moral economy based on decent jobs, good homes, stable pensions and fair finance. This e-book is the story of how Labour might begin to do this.

Foreword by Larry Elliott
Afterword by Jon Cruddas MP

The following contributed to the e-book:
Aditya Chakrabortty, Tom Clark, Ismail Eturk, Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, Stewart Lansley, Adam Leaver, Toby Lloyd, Mick Moran, Richard Murphy, Howard Reed, Jonathan Rutherford, Duncan Weldon, Karel Williams

Published by Soundings and supported by The Guardian and the Barry Amiel Norman Melburn Trust

Details at: http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/ebooks/BritainsBrokenEconomy.pdf

For more information on Soundings visit our website

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Books

DEMOCRACY AND ECONOMIC PLANNING

Now Available in paperback!

Democracy and Economic Planning
Pat Devine
University of Manchester

http://www.polity.co.uk/book.asp?ref=9780745634791

“A democratically planned socialist economy – perhaps along the lines of Pat Devine’s model of negotiated coordination – offers the best hope of realizing the values of the anti-capitalist movement.” Alex Callinicos, King’s College, London

“In this fascinating book, which deserves to be widely read, Pat Devine raises numerous important and interesting questions about the management of the economy.” Times Higher Education

An excerpt from the new preface:
This book was first published in 1988, the year before the Berlin wall came down and three years before the Soviet Union collapsed. The short-lived era of free-market capitalist triumphalism that followed was not an auspicious time for a book on economic planning. Since then, growing awareness of the depth of the ecological and social crisis facing us, together with the most severe economic crisis since the 1930s, has rekindled belief that ‘another world is possible’, a post-capitalist world. But what would such a world look like, in particular, how would economic activity in such a world be organised? The model of democratic planning through negotiated coordination set out in Part IV of the book offers an answer to this question by outlining a possible architecture for the institutions and processes through which a self-governing society might operate.

Publication details:
Publication date: August 2010
978-0-7456-3479-1 paperback £19.99 20% discount price £15.99
ORDER FORM – 20% discount!
Discount valid until 31 December 2010

Queries
Free phone (UK Only) 0800 243407 or (for overseas orders, charged at normal rates) +44 1243 843294, fax +44 (0)1243 843303 or email cs-books@wiley.co.uk Discount code: PY170

http://www.politybooks.com

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski 

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Culture

MARXISM IN CULTURE READING GROUP – LONDON

Dear All

The Marxism in Culture reading group will resume its monthly meetings on Friday the 22nd of October 2010 at 5.30. The group meets on Friday evenings in SR5 at the UCL History of Art Department, 20-21 Gordon Square, and discusses key texts, both historical and contemporary, that have a bearing on Marxist aesthetics and radical cultural theory and practice more generally. Thus far, we have looked at texts by Marx and Engels, Lukács, Brecht, Adorno, Bensaid, Eagleton, Debord, Bakhtin and the Retort collective, to name just a few.

In our first meeting for this term we will discuss Alain Badiou’s The Communist Hypothesis.

If you are interested in participating then please contact Antigoni Memou at: antigonimemou@yahoo.co.uk

Best Wishes
Warren Carter, Maggie Gray, Antigoni Memou

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Crisis Theory

PAUL MASON VIDEO ON THE GLOBAL WORKING CLASS AND THE CURRENT CRISIS OF CAPITAL

Haymarket author and BBC Newsnight’s Economics Editor Paul Mason appeared Friday morning, September 24, on Democracy Now! (http://www.democracynow.org/).

Mason on Live Working or Die Fighting: How the Working Class Went Global

The Census Bureau latest report shows that the numbers of Americans living in poverty and without health insurance have skyrocketed. 43.6 million people-about one in seven-lived below the poverty level of $22,000 for a family of four in 2009, pushing the national poverty rate to a fifteen-year high of 14.3 percent. We speak with British journalist Paul Mason about his new book, Live Working or Die Fighting: How the Working Class Went Global.

The video is at: http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/24/paul_mason_on__live_working

Paul Mason is the author of:
Live Working or Die Fighting
How the Working Class Went Global
Haymarket Books
Published: 07/01/2010
978-1-60846-070-0 | $17.00 | Trade Paper
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Live-Working-or-Die-Fighting

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Socialism and Hope

INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST REVIEW 73

FROM REFORM TO REBELLION

http://www.isreview.org/

Issue 73: September–October
From Reform to Rebellion
Image and reality in the Bolivia of Evo Morales

Election 2010

Lance Selfa • Analysis in brief
Preparing for a Republican comeback? The political terrain of the mid-term elections

Phil Gasper • Critical Thinking
The Democrats’ broken promises: Obama’s progressive supporters have been disillusioned in record time

Immigration

Justin Akers Chácon
The preventable rise of Arizona’s SB 1070

Justin Akers Chácon
Free trade without free people: Politics of the U.S.-Mexico border

International

Antonis Davanellos
Crisis, austerity, and class struggle in Greece

Toufic Haddad • Interview
The future of the Palestinian movement

Jeffery R. Webber
From rebellion to reform in Bolivia: Image and reality under Evo Morales

The economy

David McNally
The mutating crisis of global capitalism

David Harvey
Explaining the crisis
Interview with the author of The Enigma of Capital

Books

Geoff Bailey
Searching for the new, resurrecting the old
Review of The Coming Insurrection

Jeff Bale
Making sense of modern imperialism
Review of Imperialism and Global Political Economy, by Alex Callinicos

Leela Yellesetty
How the racial caste system got restored   
Review of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow

plus Nagesh Rao on Marx’s approach to non-Western societies; James Illingworth on Marxism and history; Scott McLemee on Irving Bernstein’s books on workers during the Depression

Debate

Tom Wetzel, Sebastian Lamb, and Eric Kerl
Contemporary anarchism: An exchange

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

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Books

NEW VERSO BOOKS WEBSITE

ANGLO-AMERICA’S PREEMINENT RADICAL PRESS KICKS OFF 40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS WITH THE LAUNCH OF PUBLISHING’S MOST INNOVATIVE WEBSITE
40th anniversary celebrations begin for Verso Books this week with the unveiling of a new website—one that at long last brings the largest independent, radical publishing house firmly into the twenty-first century: http://www.versobooks.com/

To the delight of Verso’s many fans, the new site—which has a fluid homepage able to completely shift in appearance day to day—not only beautifully showcases books and authors but is also home to the Verso Blog as well as discussion forums where users can start and engage in discussions about Verso’s books. The Blog is fully syndicated to both Book and Author pages—something never before done on a publisher’s website.

So excited is Verso at its sudden new online presence that the site’s launch is accompanied by a series of flash ads across outlets key to Verso’s audience such as the Nation, Bookforum, the New York Review of Books, Guernica, the Indypendent and the London Review of Books. The ads highlight 40th anniversary publications such as The Verso Book of Dissent and Tariq Ali’s The Obama Syndrome. Other 40th year titles include André Schiffrin’s Words and Money and Slavoj Žižek’s Living in the End Times.

Verso Books, launched by the New Left Review in 1970, now has offices in London and New York and publishes 80 books a year, adding steadily to its 40 year backlist—the entirety of which will be added to the new website by end 2011. Distributed in the US by W.W. Norton, Verso’s sales grew 23% during 2009 to reach $4m worldwide, and sales so far this year are growing at an even faster rate. It appears the time is ripe for radical presses …

For those wanting to join in the 40th celebrations, Verso is throwing a party this Friday September 24th in the courtyard of The Old American Can Factory in Brooklyn where Verso staff will be joined by authors, publishing colleagues, and fans young and old: http://www.versobooks.com/events/2-v40-a-party-to-celebrate-forty-years-of-radical-publishing

For more information call: 718-246-8160

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

CLR James

SAVE THE CLR JAMES LIBRARY

The CLR James Library, in Hackney, east London, is being ‘renamed’. History is being re-written, and a proud tradition and a significant historical figure are being downgraded and hope for the future marginalized on the alter of managerialism.

Sign the petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/saveclrjameslibrary/

At the Rendezvous of Victory

September 22, 2010

By Scott McLemee

http://www.insidehighered.com/views/mclemee/mclemee307

One of the turning points in my life came in 1988, upon discovery of the writings of C.L.R. James. The word “discovery” applies for a couple of reasons. Much of his work was difficult to find, for one thing. But more than that, it felt like exploring a new continent.

James was born in Trinidad in 1901, and he died in England in 1989. (I had barely worked up the nerve to consider writing him a letter.) He had started out as a man of letters, publishing short stories and a novel about life among the poorest West Indians. He went on to write what still stands as the definitive history of the Haitian slave revolt, The Black Jacobins (1938). His play based on research for that book starred Paul Robeson as Toussaint Louverture. In 1939, he went to Mexico to discuss politics with Leon Trotsky. A few years later — and in part because of certain disagreements he’d had with Trotsky — James and his associates in the United States brought out the first English translation of Karl Marx’s Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. (By the early 1960s, there would be a sort of cottage industry in commentary on these texts, but James planted his flag in 1947.)

He was close friends with Richard Wright and spoke at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church. At one point, the United States government imprisoned James on Ellis Island as a dangerous subversive. While so detained, he drafted a book about Herman Melville as prophet of 20th century totalitarianism — with the clear implication that the U.S. was not immune to it.

Settled in Britain, he wrote a book on the history and meaning of cricket called Beyond a Boundary (1963). By all accounts it is one of the classics of sports writing. Being both strenuously unathletic and an American, I was prepared to take this on faith. But having read some of it out of curiosity, I found the book fascinating, even if the game itself remained incomprehensible.

This is, of course, an extremely abbreviated survey of his life and work. The man was a multitude. A few years ago, I tried to present a more comprehensive sketch in this short magazine article, and edited a selection of his hard-to-find writings for the University Press of Mississippi.

In the meantime, it has been good to see his name becoming much more widely known than it was at the time of his death more than two decades ago. This is particularly true among young people. They take much for granted that a literary or political figure can be, as James was, transnational in the strongest sense — thinking and writing and acting “beyond the boundary” of any given national context. He lived and worked in the 20th century, of course, but James is among the authors the 21st century will make its own.

So it is appalling to learn that the C.L.R. James Library in Hackney (a borough of London) is going to be renamed the Dalston Library and Archives, after the neighborhood in which it is located. James was there when the library was christened in his honor in 1985. The authorities insist that, in spite of the proposed change, they will continue to honor James. But this seems half-hearted and unsatisfying.

There is a petition against the name change, which I hope readers of this column will sign and help to circulate.

Some have denounced the name change as an insult, not just to James’s memory, but to the community in which the library is located, since Hackney has a large black population. I don’t know enough to judge whether any offense was intended. But the renaming has a significance going well beyond local politics in North London.

C.L.R. James was a revolutionary; that he ended up imprisoned for a while seems, all in all, par for the course. But he was also very much the product of the cultural tradition he liked to call Western Civilization. He used this expression without evident sarcasm — a remarkable thing, given that he was a tireless anti-imperialist. Given his studies in the history of Africa and the Caribbean, he might well have responded as Gandhi did when asked what he thought of Western Civilization: “I think it would be a good idea.”

As a child, James reread Thackeray’s satirical novel Vanity Fair until he had it almost memorized; this was, perhaps, his introduction to social criticism. He traced his ideas about politics back to ancient Greece. James treated thefuneral oration of Pericles as a key to understanding Lenin’s State and Revolution. And there is a film clip that shows him speaking to an audience of British students on Shakespeare — saying that he wrote “some of the finest plays I know about the impossibility of being a king.” As with James’s interpretation of Captain Ahab as a prototype of Stalin, this is a case of criticism as transformative reading. It’s eccentric, but it sticks with you.

Harold Bloom might not approve of what James did with the canon. And Allan Bloom would have been horrified, no doubt about it. But it helps explain some of James’s discomfort about the emergence of African-American studies as an academic discipline. He taught the subject for some time as a professor at Federal City College, now called the University of the District of Columbia — but not without misgivings.

“For myself,” he said in a lecture in 1969, “I do not believe that there is any such thing as black studies. There are studies in which black people and black history, so long neglected, can now get some of the attention they deserve. … I do not know, as a Marxist, black studies as such. I only know the struggle of people against tyranny and oppression in a certain political setting, and, particularly, during the past two hundred years. It’s impossible for me to separate black studies from white studies in any theoretical point of view.”

James’s argument here is perhaps too subtle for the Internet to propagate. (I type his words with mild dread at the likely consequences.) But the implications are important — and they apply with particular force to the circumstance at hand, the move to rename the C.L.R. James Library in London.

People of Afro-Caribbean descent in England have every right to want James to be honored. But no less outspoken, were he still alive, would be Martin Glaberman — a white factory worker in Detroit who later became a professor of social science at Wayne State University. (I think of him now because it was Marty who was keeping many of James’s books in print when I first became interested in them.) James was the nexus between activists and intellectuals in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, and his cosmopolitanism included a tireless effort to connect cultural tradition to modern politics. To quote from the translation he made of a poem by Aimé Cesaire: “No race holds the monopoly of beauty, of intelligence, of strength, and there is a place for all at the rendezvous of victory.”

Having C.L.R. James’s name on the library is an honor — to the library. To remove it is an act of vandalism. Please sign the http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/saveclrjameslibrary/.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk