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Daily Archives: October 3rd, 2011

The Entire Net


JANUARY 20 & 21, 2012


New media technologies are leading to the emergence of vibrant public spaces in countries like China and Tunisia, facilitating previously restricted dissent and political deliberation. Similarly, scholars, journalists, and activists are using networking and social media to organize coalitions and mobilize resistance in contexts as diverse as the Wisconsin protests, the Wall Street protests, and the so-called “Arab Spring.” In an ironic self-critique, smartphone applications like the newly released “Phone Game” are even exposing the global working conditions and problematic material production of contemporary consumer technology through their very gameplay. With the implicit resistance to hegemony and material critique in these examples, Marxism offers both methodological and interpretive tools for interfacing with new media, not least among them a dialectical analysis of the global relations of production. However, writing in the Nation, Chris Lehmann has recently argued that the Internet is less the harbinger of post-capitalist cyber-Utopia than a “digital plantation” in which unpaid digital labor and leisure time become transmogrified into ad revenue. In their article, “The Internet’s Unholy Marriage to Capitalism,” John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney likewise argue that the Internet and related media signify not the suspension of the laws of capitalism, but rather their final perfection.

It seems, then, that a number of unresolved questions linger concerning the ways new media both participate in and creatively resist institutional power. As such, we hope to provide a fresh articulation interrogating the intersection between the theories and practices of new media technologies and Marxist critique. For example: how should we consider the economic, environmental, and human costs incurred in the production of new media technologies? How might resistance and radical change emerge among the ongoing institutionalization, and the incumbent conservatism, of both Marxism and new media studies? How will we navigate through the internal divisions of an academy that has eagerly appropriated new media as a strategy to “reinvigorate” the humanities through renewed funding and (often) corporate partnership?

We invite both papers and creative/artistic work that address these issues and others that deal with the engagement of Marxist thought and the study of media technologies. Papers may intervene at points of seeming incompatibility, address the current place of this convergence in one or many institutional and cultural settings, or perhaps look forward to emerging discourses relating to this intersection.


Possible paper, project, and panel topics might include:

* New Opportunities for Resistance, Wikileaks, Hacking and Hacktivism, Pirate Culture, the Arab Spring, the Jasmine Revolution, and Anonymous

* Immaterial Labor, User-Generated Content, the Knowledge Worker, Affective Labor, Precariousness and “the Precariat,” the DigitalPlantation, and the Attention Economy

* Intellectual Property, Copyright,Creative Commons, Open Access and Open Source Practices, and Virtual Property

* New Forms of Collectivity, Wikipedia, Crowdsourcing, Flash Mobs, Smart Mobs, and Partcipatory Journalism

* New Regimes of Control, Censorship, Filtering, Firewalls, and Search Engine Rankings

* New Media Art

* Critical Code Studies

* Critical Game Studies

* Biomedicine and Biometrics

* Energy, Ecology, Tech Trash

* The Open University

* ‘Re-Visualizing’ Marxism

* Ideology, Contact Zones, and Interfaces


Please send a 250-500 word abstract to by October 30, 2011.

Zach Blas
Gerry Canavan
Amanda Starling Gould
Rachel Greenspan
Melody Jue
Lisa Klarr
Clarissa Lee
John Stadler
Michael Swacha
Karim Wissa


Marxism and New Media Conference:



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Karl Marx


EGOS Colloquium
July 5-7, 2012, Helsinki
Sub-theme on Marxist Studies of Organization: The Challenges of Design

Paul Adler, University of Southern California, USA,
Rick Delbridge, Cardiff Business School, UK, delbridger@CARDIFF.AC.UK
Matt Vidal, King’s College London, UK,

The goal of this sub-theme is to build on the success of the first two EGOS Marxist studies sub-themes in 2010 and 2011 in bringing together people who share an interest in building on Marx’s ideas to advance organization studies, and in particular to advance our understanding of design. We are not dogmatic in an attachment to any specific kind of Marxism — all kinds are welcome. We come together to advance organizational scholarship inspired by Marx’s historical, materialist, dialectical, and critical-realist writing. Papers in this stream have examined a range of organizational issues, deploying and building on concepts such as forces and relations of production, managerial control and worker resistance, valorization and socialization, ideology and hegemony, contradiction and fetishism, absolute and relative surplus value, and regulation and crisis.

The theme of the 2012 Colloquium is “Design!?” This theme is particularly congenial to Marxist approaches, since Marx offers a fruitful starting point for understanding the distinctive features of tacit-knowledge-intensive product/process design activities, for critiquing the currently dominant organization designs, and for proposing alternative designs for social institutions at both micro and macro levels. In this context, we invite papers that address debates among different varieties of Marxist theory and between Marxist and other theoretical currents.

The 2012 Colloquium organizers have highlighted several topics under the broad theme of “Design!?” and we encourage submissions to our sub-theme that offer a Marxist approach to any of them:

– Institutions, industries and organizations: Marx and other writers in the tradition he inspired offer fruitful starting points for analyzing the distinctive features of design activities and how they are or could be organized. We encourage papers that explore the nature of use-value/exchange-value relations in the creative industries and papers that explore the relations between private accumulation and public policies in shaping the evolution of those industries.

– Organizing and managing: Marxist theory offers a powerful theoretical framework for understanding the tensions between the creative labor process and the exploitative valorization process. We welcome papers that build on that theoretical base and use it to study what is happening today in the organization and management of design activities, and more generally in the domain of what is called ‘knowledge work.’ Some of that creative design labor happens outside the capitalist firm (unpaid networks, NGOs, artistic communities): we welcome Marxist studies of these other settings and on the interrelations between them and the capitalist sector.

– Power and identities: Marxist social theory is a fruitful starting point for understanding some key forms of power and for characterizing both cooperation and conflict within and between capitalist enterprises as well between these enterprises and other social actors. And Marxist social psychology is a fruitful starting point for understanding the introjection of social structures and the formation of social identities. We welcome papers that build on or contribute to Marxist theory of power and identity in the context of design activities both within and beyond capitalist firms.

Over the previous two years, this EGOS sub-theme has become a gathering point for organizational scholars working with Marxist ideas. So we invite Marxist submissions on any of these topics, and we also encourage contributions on any of the other dimensions of organization studies where a Marxist approach might be fruitful.

In selecting papers, the conveners will give priority to those that either (a) enrich our understanding of the empirical world of organizations based on strong Marxist theoretical foundations, or (b) enrich Marxist theory in a way that promises deeper understanding of that world.

The deadline for “short paper submission” is January 16, 2012. While the overall EGOS call asks for short papers under 3000 words, this sub-theme encourages longer submissions so we can better assess the fit with our program. If the “short paper” is accepted by the conveners, the full paper will need to be posted on the Colloquium website by May 31.

Paul Adler:
Rick Delbridge:
Matt Vidal:

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Student Rebellion


Education Against Austerity – Thursday 6th October, 6.30pm @ The Quad, LSE, London WC2A 2AE
Facebook event:

Report, photos and videos on #Anti-Tory-March:
The new academic term is opening in anger: On Sunday 1500 joined the EAN feeder march inManchester and more than 30000 trade unionists marched in total. As tens of thousands are being denied university places and forced into debt, we will discuss how we can build a movement that can.

The deep inequalities faced by millions of young people were exposed by the summer riots. Yet the Tories are coming for more; this year will see the attempt to implement their “White Paper” – the definitive entry of business into education and wholesale privatisation of entire institutions. The creation of the £18000 a year New College of the Humanities while 70% of courses are cut at London Met University shows the Con-Dem project for our education. Yet the government is weak and when we build pressure from below we can win. The student revolt pushed the coalition into turmoil and ESOL was partially saved after widespread resistance. 
Education Against Austerity seeks to both to set the political tone of the new term and begin to lay down the organisational framework for a shut down of education in November when millions of public sector workers look set to join lecturers and teachers for mass strikes. We hope to see you there joining EAN to discuss how we build effective resistance in our colleges and universities as part of a growing movement against austerity.
Education Against Austerity – Thursday 6th October, 6.30pm @ he Quad, LSE, London WC2A 2AE

Speakers include:
* Owen Jones, author of Chavs looks at the rising demonization of young people.
* Mark Campbell, Save London Met campaigner explains what’s behind the public sector strikes and why they matter in the fight for education.
* Susan Matthews, Defend the Right to Protest activist on the rise of political policing and why we should defend arrested protesters.
* Mandy Brown, Action for ESOL on how we defected ESOL cuts and where next in the fight for Further Education.
* Mark Bergfeld, NUS NEC discusses where next for the student movement


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