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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Information Society

CRITIQUE, DEMOCARCY, AND PHILOSOPHY IN THE 21st CENTURY INFORMATION SOCIETY

Call for Contributions/Abstracts

Critique, Democracy, and Philosophy in 21st Century information Society. Towards Critical Theories of Social Media

The Fourth ICTs and Society-Conference
UppsalaUniversity

May 2nd-4th, 2012

http://www.icts-and-society.net/events/uppsala2012/
http://fuchs.uti.at/wp-content/CfA.pdf

A unique event for networking, presentation of critical ideas, critical engagement, and featuring leading critical scholars in the area of Critical Internet Studies and Critical Studies of Media & Society.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

* Andrew Feenberg (Simon Fraser University, Canada): Great Refusal and Long March: How to Use Critical Theory to Think About the Internet.
* Charles Ess (Aarhus University, Denmark): Digital Media Ethics and Philosophy in 21st Century Information Society
* Christian Christensen (Uppsala University, Sweden): WikiLeaks: Mainstreaming Transparency?
* Christian Fuchs (Uppsala University, Sweden): Critique of the Political Economy of Social Media and Informational Capitalism
* Graham Murdock (Loughborough University, UK): The Peculiarities of Media Commodities: Consumer Labour, Ideology, and Exploitation Today
* Gunilla Bradley (KTH, Sweden): Social Informatics and Ethics: Towards a Good Information Society
* Mark Andrejevic (University of Queensland, Australia): Social Media: Surveillance and Exploitation 2.0
* Nick Dyer-Witheford (University of Western Ontario, Canada): Cybermarxism Today: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in 21st Century Capitalism
* Peter Dahlgren (Lund University, Sweden): Social Media and the Civic Sphere: Perspectives for the Future of Democracy
* Tobias Olsson (Jönköping University, Sweden): Social Media Participation and the Organized Production of Net Culture
* Trebor Scholz (New School, USA): The Internet as Playground and Factory
* Ursula Huws (University of Hertfordshire, UK): Virtual Work and the Cybertariat in Contemporary Capitalism
* Vincent Mosco (Queen’s University, Canada): Marx is Back, but Will Knowledge Workers of the World Unite? On the Critical Study of Labour, Media, and Communication Today
* Wolfgang Hofkirchner (Vienna University of Technology, Austria): Potentials and Risks for Creating a Global Sustainable Information Society

Conference Topic

This conference provides a forum for the discussion of how to critically study social media and their relevance for critique, democracy, politics and philosophy in 21st century information society.

We are living in times of global capitalist crisis. In this situation, we are witnessing a return of critique in the form of a surging interest in critical theories (such as the critical political economy of Karl Marx, critical theory, etc) and revolutions, rebellions, and political movements against neoliberalism that are reactions to the commodification and instrumentalization of everything. On the one hand there are overdrawn claims that social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, mobile Internet, etc) have caused rebellions and uproars in countries like Tunisia and Egypt, which brings up the question to which extent these are claims are ideological or not. On the other hand, the question arises what actual role social media play in contemporary capitalism, power structures, crisis, rebellions, uproar, revolutions, the strengthening of the commons, and the potential creation of participatory democracy. The commodification of everything has resulted also in a commodification of the communication commons, including Internet communication that is today largely commercial in character. The question is how to make sense of a world in crisis, how a different future can look like, and how we can create Internet commons and a commons-based participatory democracy.

This conference deals with the question of what kind of society and what kind of Internet are desirable, what steps need to be taken for advancing a good Internet in a sustainable information society, how capitalism, power structures and social media are connected, what the main problems, risks, opportunities and challenges are for the current and future development of Internet and society, how struggles are connected to social media, what the role, problems and opportunities of social media, web 2.0, the mobile Internet and the ubiquitous Internet are today and in the future, what current developments of the Internet and society tell us about potential futures, how an alternative Internet can look like, and how a participatory, commons-based Internet and a co-operative, participatory, sustainable information society can be achieved.

Questions to be addressed include, but are not limited to:

* What does it mean to study the Internet, social media and society in a critical way? What are Critical Internet Studies and Critical Theories of Social Media? What does it mean to study the media and communication critically?
* What is the role of the Internet and social media in contemporary capitalism?
* How do power structures, exploitation, domination, class, digital labour, commodification of the communication commons, ideology, and audience/user commodification, and surveillance shape the Internet and social media?
* How do these phenomena shape concrete platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc?
* How does contemporary capitalism look like? What is the role of the Internet and social media in contemporary capitalism?
* In what society do we live? What is the actual role of information, ICTs, and knowledge in contemporary society? Are concepts like network society, information society, informational capitalism, etc adequate characterizations of contemporary society or overdrawn claims? What are the fundamental characteristics of contemporary society and which concept(s) should be used for describing this society?
* What is digital labour and how do exploitation and surplus value generation work on the Internet? Which forms of exploitation and class structuration do we find on the Internet, how do they work, what are their commonalities and differences? How does the relation between toil and play change in a digital world? How do classes and class struggles look like in 21st century informational capitalism?
* What are ideologies of the Internet, web 2.0, and social media? How can they be deconstructed and criticized? How does ideology critique work as an empirical method and theory that is applied to the Internet and social media?
* Which philosophies, ethics and which philosophers are needed today in order to understand the Internet, democracy and society and to achieve a global sustainable information society and a participatory Internet? What are perspectives for political philosophy and social theory in 21st century information society?
* What contradictions, conflicts, ambiguities, and dialectics shape 21st century information society and social media?
* What theories are needed for studying the Internet, social media, web 2.0, or certain platforms or applications in a critical way?
* What is the role of counter-power, resistance, struggles, social movements, civil society, rebellions, uproars, riots, revolutions, and political transformations in 21st century information society and how (if at all) are they connected to social media?
* What is the actual role of social media and social networking sites in political revolutions, uproars, and rebellions (like the recent Maghrebian revolutions, contemporary protests in Europe and the world, the Occupy movement, etc)?
* What can an alternative Internet look like and what are the conditions for creating such an Internet? What are the opportunities and challenges posed by projects like Wikipedia, WikiLeaks, Diaspora, IndyMedia, Democracy Now! and other alternative media? What is a commons-based Internet and how can it be created?
* What is the role of ethics, politics, and activism for Critical Internet Studies?
* What is the role of critical theories in studying the information society, social media, and the Internet?
* What is a critical methodology in Critical Internet Studies? Which research methods are needed on how need existing research methods be adapted for studying the Internet and society in a critical way?
* What are ethical problems, opportunities, and challenges of social media? How are they framed by the complex contradictions of contemporary capitalism?
* Who and what and where are we in 21st century capitalist information society? How have different identities changed in the global world, what conflicts relate to it, and what is the role of class and class identity in informational capitalism?
* What is democracy? What is the future of democracy in the global information society? And what is or should democracy be today? What is the relation of democracy and social media? How do the public sphere and the colonization of the public sphere look like today? What is the role of social media in the public sphere and its colonization?

The conference is the fourth in the ICTs and Society-Conference Series (http://www.icts-and-society.net). The ICTs and Society-Network is an international forum that networks scholars in the interdisciplinary areas of Critical Internet Studies, digital media studies, Internet & society studies and information society studies. The ICTs and Society Conference series was in previous years organized at the University of Salzburg (Austria, June 2008), the University of Trento (Italy, June 2009) and the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (Spain, July 2010).

About Uppsala, Uppsala University and the Department of Informatics and Media:

Uppsala University (http://www.uu.se) was founded in 1477 and is the oldest university in the Nordic countries. Every year 45 000 undergraduate and graduate students enroll for classes. Uppsala is an academic and students-oriented city with old academic tradition. The Department of Informatics and Media (http://www.im.uu.se) is a newly established institution at Uppsala University. Its research focuses on understanding and designing digital media in the information society. Among its educational programmes is a new master’s programme in Digital Media & Society that will start in August 2012.

Early May is a particularly nice time to come and visit Uppsala. It is the time of spring festivities and the awakening of nature and the city. The end of April has since medieval times been a time of celebrating the spring, especially in Eastern Sweden. Uppsala and especially Uppsala’s students have participated in this tradition, especially on the last of April (“sista april”, Valborg, http://www.valborgiuppsala.se/en) that features various celebrations and special activities all over the town.

Time Plan:
February 29th, 2012, 17:00, Central European Time (CET): Abstract Submission Deadline
Until March 11th, 2012: information about acceptance or rejection of presentations
March 30th, 2012, 17:00, CET: registration deadline
May 2nd-4th, 2012: Conference, Ekonomikum, University of Uppsala, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala

Abstract Submission:
a) For submission, please first register your profile on the ICTs and Society platform:
http://www.icts-and-society.net/register/
b) Please download the abstract submission form:
http://fuchs.uti.at/wp-content/uploads/ASF.doc ,
insert your presentation title, contact data, and an abstract of 200-500 words. The abstract should clearly set out goals, questions, the way taken for answering the questions, main results, the importance of the topic for critically studying the information society and/or social media and for the conference.
Please submit your abstract until February 29th, 2012, per e-mail to Marisol Sandoval: marisol.sandoval@uti.at

Organizer:
Uppsala University, Department of Informatics and Media, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Box 513, 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden http://www.im.uu.se
Contact for academic questions in respect to the conference:
Prof. Christian Fuchs, christian.fuchs@im.uu.se , Tel +46 18 471 1019
Contact for questions concerning conference organization and administration:
Marisol Sandoval, marisol.sandoval@uti.at

Co-organizers:
* ICTs and Society Network
* European Sociological Association – Research Network 18: Sociology of Communications and Media Research
* tripleC – Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society
* Unified Theory of Information Research Group (UTI), Austria
* Department of Information and Media Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark
* Institute for Design & Assessment of Technology, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
* Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, Sweden

Conference Board and Organization Committee:
Charles Ess, Aarhus University
Christian Christensen, Uppsala University
Christian Fuchs, Uppsala University + UTI Research Group
Göran Svensson, Uppsala University
Marisol Sandoval, Unified Theory of Information Research Group
Sebastian Sevignani, Unified Theory of Information Research Group
Sylvain Firer-Blaess, Uppsala University
Thomas Allmer, Unified Theory of Information (UTI) Research Group
Tobias Olsson, Jönköping University
Verena Kreilinger, Unified Theory of Information Research Group
Wolfgang Hofkirchner, Vienna University of Technology + UTI Research Group

Welcome to Uppsala in Spring 2012!

***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)

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

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

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

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

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Inca

MARX AND THE AESTHETIC: AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

See: http://marxandtheaesthetic.org/

University of Amsterdam, May 10-13th, 2012

The aim of this conference is twofold: on the one hand, to analyse the role of the aesthetic in the writings of Marx and, on the other, to examine works of art and literature which are based on, or have been directly inspired by, Marx’s writings. At the core of this conference, then, is an attempt to think the immanent relation between the aesthetic and emancipatory conceptions of politics.

Previous attempts to make sense of Marx and Engels in terms of aesthetics have either been Marxist in a very broad sense – writing as productive force, aesthetic autonomy as critique of the commodity form, the critique of aesthetic ideologies etc. – or Marxological in a naïve sense i.e., merely assembling in one volume the stray comments on art and literature that pepper Marx’s and Engels’ writings. The problem with the first attempt is that it simply assumes that there is a prominent lacuna with respect to the aesthetic in Marx himself and that, therefore, Marxian grammar and vocabulary were in need of radical transformation. The failure of the second approach (although these attempts call for reconsideration in their own right, since they are now all about 40 years old) was that it restricted the understanding of “aesthetics” to statements dealing explicitly with art and literature.

Recent debates concerning the aesthetic (to be distinguished from aesthetics as a discipline), however, have allowed for a different understanding of the field. The aesthetic crosses disciplinary boundaries and cannot be restricted to specific subjects. The aesthetic is a form of thought in which a whole host of complex and interrelated issues are at stake: the orders of mind and matter, the disruptive dynamics of sense perception, expression and of metaphor, the logics of innovation and of “the event,” the indeterminate character of semiotic systems and so on. Aesthetics cannot, therefore, be restricted to art alone and does not even necessarily coincide with it. In other words, the aesthetic is in a constant state of “migration.” Authors like Nancy, Lacoue-Labarthe and Rancière, among others, have pointed out the way in which all radical attempts to theorize the political are profoundly dependent on figures of the aesthetic. The “aesthetico-political” has become a name for all aesthetic dynamics that cross (and confound) the hegemonic orders of reason and the established channels of perception.

Against this backdrop, the entire history of radical political thought must be reconsidered. Socio-philosophical and strategically political claims, which were never originally considered as aesthetic, e.g. Sohn-Rethel’s notion that “Communism is the overcoming of the separation between intellectual and manual labor,” now appear in a new light. 
The texts of Marx himself have not yet been sufficiently interpreted and reconstructed in these terms. And yet in these writings innumerable figures of the aesthetic are, so to speak, at work. From notions of an “aesthetics of production” to the “poetry of the future”, from the radical modernism of bourgeois development to the very idea of “free association,” from references to Shakespeare and Dante in the original texts as well as in important translations, to the idea that bourgeois politics is nothing but a theatrical stage, the aesthetic has an undeniably prominent place in Marx’s thought.

Conversely, Marx’s work has also become extremely rich “raw material” for artistic production. From theatre works on Capital to the Chinese attempt to stage this text as an opera, from Sergej Eisenstein’s and Alexander Kluge’s attempts to make a film of Capital to Rainer Ganahl’s reading seminars, from the work of Zachary Formwalt and Milena Bonilla to that of Phil Collins: these artists are producing Marx as an “aesthetic event.”

In short, in Marx the aesthetic and the political are immanently related: this conference aims to explore how.

Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to the following:

– Aesthetic Production in the Early Writings

– Marx and Engels as Historians of Literature

– Modernism in the Manifesto

– Aesthetico-Political Associationism

– Aesthetic Form and Commodity Form

– Marx’s Method and the “Aesthetic Regime of Art”

– Revolutionary Shakespeare

– Monsters and Ghosts

– Eisenstein, Kluge and the Cinematography of Capital

– Staging Capital (Opera, Theatre)

– Brecht’s Communist Manifesto

– Images of Marx in Painting and Sculpture

– The Beauty of Communism

Confirmed Speakers

Keynote: Boris Groys (NYU)

Keynote: Terrell Carver (University of Bristol)

Keynote: Jochen Hörisch (Universität Mannheim)

Keynote: Kristin Ross (NYU)

Ruth Sonderegger (Akademe der Bildenden Künste, Wien)

Sven Lütticken (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)

Kati Röttger (Universiteit van Amsterdam)

Josef Früchtl (Universiteit van Amsterdam)

Helmar Schramm (Freie Universität, Berlin)

Clint Burnham (Simon Fraser University,Vancouver)

Gary Teeple (Simon Fraser University,Vancouver)

Confirmed Artists:

Rainer Ganahl

Phil Collins

Zachary Formwalt

Milena Bonilla

**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)

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

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

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

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Frances Fox Piven

OCCUPY TOGETHER – FRANCES FOX PIVEN

“Occupy Together” with Frances Fox Piven

Haymarket Books, the Brooklyn College / CUNY Graduate Center for Worker Education, and WorkingUSA present a Haymarket Forum with Frances Fox Piven, Saturday, December 3 at 2 pm, just blocks from Occupy Wall Street at 25 Broadway on the 7th Floor — just opposite the Wall Street bull. 
Train: 4,5 to Bowling Green; J,Z to Broad; R to Rector; 1 to Rector

This event is free and open to the public. ID required to enter building.

Piven will discuss the war on the poor, the history of protest movements, and the new possibilities of the Occupy movement.

For more information:
http://workereducation.org/
http://www.haymarketbooks.org
info@haymarketbooks.org

Frances Fox Piven’s work reflects a preoccupation with the uses of political science to promote democratic reform.  Piven is a scholar-citizen, equally at home in the university and in the world of politics.

Her Regulating the Poor, co-authored with Richard Cloward, is a landmark historical and theoretical analysis of the role of welfare policy in the economic and political control of the poor and working class.  First published in 1972 and updated in 1993, it is widely acknowledged as a social science classic. She also co-authored Poor Peoples’ Movements (1977) which analyzes the political dynamics through which insurgent social movements  sometimes compel significant policy reforms.  Piven and Cloward’s The New Class War (1982, updated 1985), The Mean Season (1987), and The Breaking of the American Social Compact (1997) traced the historica l and political underpinnings of the contemporary attack on social and regulatory policy.  In Why Americans Don’t Vote (1988; updated as Why Americans Still Don’t Vote in 2000) they analyzed the role of electoral laws and practices in disenfranchising large numbers of working class and poor citizens, and the impact of disenfranchisement on party development. And in 1992, Piven edited Labor Parties in Postindustrial Societies.  In The War at Home, Piven examines the domestic causes and consequences of the foreign wars launched by the Bush administration.  Most recently, in Challenging Authority (2006), she develops a theoretical perspective on the interplay of social movements and electoral politics in American political development. In 2009, she published Keeping the Black Vote: Race and the Demobilization of American Voters, an examination of voter suppression in American politics, with her co-authors Lorraine C. Minnite and Margaret Groarke.

Piven’s accomplishments as a scholar are intertwined with her political reform efforts.  She collaborated with the late George A. Wiley, the leader of the 1960s welfare rights movement in the United States, and developed the strategy that led to a liberalization of welfare in the 1960s.  These reforms resulted in a major reduction in extreme poverty, and also precipitated the current furor in the U.S. over “welfare reform.”  She was a founder in 1983 of Human SERVE, an organization that promoted the idea that if citizens were allowed to register to vote when they apply for aid from government programs or for drivers licenses, historic administrative encumbrances on the right to vote could be overcome.  Human SERVE’s approach was incorporated in the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, popularly known as the “motor voter bill.”

Piven was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Adelphi University in l985, annd at St. Rose College in 2000; a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1973 and of a Council of Learned Societies Fellowship in 1982.  She has held visiting professorships in various European countries, including a Fulbright Distinguished Lectureship at the University of Bologna in 1990.  She has been both Co-chairperson of the Annual Program and Vice-president of the American Political Science Association, as well as Vice-president and President of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.  She chairs the Editorial Committee of the Board of the New Press. She was the 2007 President of the Ameri can Sociological Association.

Winner of the 1972 C. Wright Mills Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, Piven also received the Eugene V. Debs Foundation Prize in 1986 for “published work which evidences social vision and commitment to social justice.”  In 1991, she was the recipient of the Lee/Founders Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems for “distinguished career-long contributions to the solution of social problems;” in 1993, she received the President’s Award of the American Public Health Association; in 1994, for her work in the field of voter registration reform, she received the 1994 Annual Award of the National Association of Secretaries of State, and a year later the Tides Foundation Award for Excellence in Public A dvocacy. In 1995 she was the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Political Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association; in 1998 she received the Mary Lepper Award from the Womens’ Caucus of the American Political Science Association. In 2000 she received the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology; in 2001 she was the recipient of the Distinguished Career Award of the Council on Social Work Education; in 2003 she was awarded the American Sociological Associations Award for the Public Understanding of Sociology; and in 2004 she received the Charles E. McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Political Science Section of the American Political Science Association.

 

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

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

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

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Battle in Seattle

POWER AND STRUGGLE

This is the second call for papers for the 2012 Midwest Labor and Working-Class History (MLWCH) Graduate Student Colloquium, to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 17 and 18, 2012.

Paper proposals are due by December 1, 2011; completed papers are due by January 9, 2012.

Many thanks
Dawson Barrett
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

***Call for Papers***

* *

*Power & Struggle:  An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Colloquium*

* *

*2012 Midwest Labor and Working-Class History (MLWCH) Graduate Student
Colloquium*

*University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee*

*February 17 & 18, 2012*

(Paper Proposals by December 1, 2011, and Completed Papers by January 9, 2012)

From the occupation of the Wisconsin State Capitol in February and March to Occupy Wall Street and a general strike in Oakland, California, 2011 has been a break-through year for American protest movements.  These events demand a new look at “histories from below,” particularly struggles against neo-liberalism and global capitalism in its various forms.

Organizers of the 2012 Midwest Labor and Working-Class History Graduate Student Colloquium (MLWCH) are soliciting papers of approximately twenty-five pages broadly related to the following themes: the study of work and working people, labor history, rank-and-file workers, direct action, nonviolence, grassroots organizing, alternative and industrial unionism, labor law, movements for social justice, radicalism, anti-racism, liberation theology and the prison industrial complex.  We also welcome papers that explore innovative approaches to the practice of working-class history.

* *

Of particular interest are papers that critique, and suggest new directions for, various sub-disciplines related to working-class history, labor scholarship, or historiographies of peoples’ struggles; papers that draw upon historical or contemporary movements that have challenged neoliberal labor policies and practices; those that examine transnational workers’ or peoples’ struggles against global capitalism in its various forms; those that draw upon culturally specific or coded understandings (gender, race, ethnicity, etc.) of interactions with capital; and those that analyze working-class artistic expressions (visual art, music, etc.).

All events, including a keynote panel on political struggles in Wisconsin and beyond, will be open to the public, and we encourage attendance from a wide array of scholars, activists, teachers, citizens, and students.

Please direct paper proposals, CVs, and questions regarding the conference, travel, and lodging accommodations to: gradconferenceMKE@gmail.com.

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Volumizer: http://glennrikiowski.blogspot.com

Capitorg

THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF NATURAL DISASTERS

World Tensions/Tensôes Mundiais/Tensiones Mundiales Journal

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Political Economy of Natural Disasters

The history of our planet has been punctuated by disasters such as tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding and nuclear incidents. Corporate media deal with these phenomena through sensationalism, attributing to nature the tragic consequences of what is often the result of human action: the villain is nature. Such a perspective avoids consideration of capitalist development in shaping natural disasters. The takeover of ancestral lands and displacement/removal of indigenous peoples to make way for hydroelectric plants in the Americas or Africa rarely gain the  attention and scrutiny of global news outlets.

This recent “decade of disaster” has given rise to a new scholarly literature on the effects of environmental crisis and catastrophe; how they are represented through the global media, neoliberal political and economic structures; and a growing consensus on the reality of climate change. In other words, these events bring into sharp relief the relationships between economic and ecological crisis, social and environmental injustice, and questions of how we are to live amidst uncertainty and ecological change.

Understanding the political economy of natural disasters draws attention to two pressing realities. The first is the need to resituate environmental “disaster” not as a series of external events or “shocks” as Naomi Klein (2007) calls them, but as part of a continuous and ongoing crisis. This idea is informed by Klein’s notion of disaster capitalism: a predatory scheme that “uses the destruction and fear created by catastrophe to engage in radical social and economic engineering.” The broad insight from Klein’s “shock doctrine” is that natural disasters can be mobilised to generate “superprofits” that perpetuate ongoing displacement and situated vulnerabilities for communities that are in harm’s way. The second reality is the need to think critically about what is “natural” about natural disasters. Historical materialist perspectives emphasise historically entrenched social and economic vulnerabilities that are often hidden in the spectacle of extreme “acts of nature” (Davis 1999). The political economy of natural disasters focuses on the relationship between uneven development and social disinvestment, neoliberal economic policies, environmental pollution and destruction, how these amplify social and ecological crises in particular places and how they impact upon livelihoods, ways of life and the biosphere.

In this issue of TM, we wish to examine the relationship nature-society, establishing the close ties between these “natural disasters” and the multifaceted processes of the construction of nationalities. Nations are consolidated through struggle and occupation of territory. In this sense, clinging to the “homeland” is one of the formative elements of national sentiment, cultivated in the hymns that exalt natural wealth, the beauty of the country, or the greatness of the territory, however small and devoid of resources it may be. The construction of nationalities is therefore often predicated on colonial and capitalist understandings of nature that view it as an economic (or aesthetic) resource.  The political economy of natural disasters lies at the heart of conflicts over resources within nation states and within the increasingly problematic terrain of environmental crises that transcend national borders. We aim to open up the discourse of disaster to critical analysis and debate.

Therefore we seek theoretically informed and historically situated papers that explore the practices of power and resistance that emerge out of (and against) the contingencies associated with “natural” disasters. We welcome contributions that approach the topics from a variety of disciplines. Areas of interest may include:

  • The political economy of disaster capitalism
  • The neoliberalisation of nature: resource conflicts, mining
  • Indigenous knowledge and land rights
  • Indigenous resistance to capitalist expansion
  • Urban planning and demography under capitalism and natural disasters
  • What is natural about natural disasters?
  • Environmental and climate justice in cities and regions
  • Political economy, natural disasters and the media
  • Environmental crisis, risk and vulnerability
  • Living in the aftermath of environmental disasters
  • Continuous crisis: rethinking the discourses and politics of environmental disaster
  • Political ecologies of disaster: poverty, environmental transformation and uneven development
  • Alternative knowledges and practices: resisting the contingencies of disaster capitalism
  • Legislation, international agreements and environmental policies

Articles and book reviews can be submitted using the guidelines available at http://www.tensoesmundiais.net/index.php/tm

For a PDF copy of the CFP, or further information, please contact one of the issue editors in the language indicated:

Taeli Gómez taelig@yahoo.es (for Spanish)

Sandy Grande smgra@conncoll.edu (for English)

Francisco Amaro Gomes famaro@ufc.br (for Portuguese)

Para la convocatoria en castellano, favor comunicarse con Taeli Gómez taelig@yahoo.es 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Rosa Luxemburg

GLOBAL UPHEAVAL: FROM TAHRIR SQUARE TO WALL STREET

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011
2:00-4:00 PM
Westside Pavilion, Community Room A
Corner of Pico and Westwood Boulevards, Los Angeles
Community Room A is on 3rd floor, behind food court
Free parking – first 3 hours

Speakers:

Mansoor M., Iranian cultural worker

Greg Burris, radical film critic just returned from the Middle East

Kevin Anderson, author of Marx at the Margins

The Arab revolutions of 2011 have helped to touch off a global upheaval against neoliberal capitalism and for democracy. This meeting will reflect upon the events of the past year and prospects for the future of the burgeoning anti-capitalist movement.

Sponsored by West Coast Marxist-Humanists, an affiliate of the International Marxist-Humanist Organization

More information: arise@usmarxisthumanists.org

http://www.usmarxisthumanists.org/

***************

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES FROM U.S. MARXIST-HUMANISTS

http://www.usmarxisthumanists.org/

NOVEMBER 2011

“‘Occupy Wall Street’ Goes Global”
November 7, 2011

Greg Burris, “Between Barbarisms: The Arab Spring, Marx, and the Idea 
of Revolution”

October 28, 2011
Richard Abernethy, “Red Rosa and the Arab Spring”

October 23, 2011
Dyne Suh, “Until We Are All Abolitionists: Marx on Slavery, Race, and Class”

October 22, 2011
Kevin Anderson, “On the Dialectics of Race and Class: Marx’s Civil War Writings, 150 Years Later”

October 21, 2011
Sam F., “Occupy Wall Street: The October 5 Demonstration”

October 9, 2011
Kevin Anderson, “Persian Translation of ‘Arab Revolutions at the Crossroads’”

October 8, 2011
Sam Friedman, “Two Poems on Occupy Wall Street”

October 7, 2011
International Marxist-Humanist Organization, “Greetings to the Iranian Left Alliance Abroad”

September 30, 2011
Peter Hudis, Jacqueline Rose, Chris Cutrone, and David Black,  “Did Rosa Luxemburg Take Back Her Critique of the Russian Revolution? — A Debate”

September 10, 2011
Yassin Ali Haj Saleh, “The Syrian ‘Common’: The Uprising of the Working Society

August 14, 2011
The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg, edited by Annelies Laschitza, George Adler, and Peter Hudis – Links to reviews in Jewish Review of Books and elsewhere

Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Non-Western Societies, by Kevin Anderson – Links to reviews in Political Studies Review and elsewhere

U.S. MARXIST-HUMANISTS IS PART OF THE INTERNATIONAL MARXIST-HUMANIST ORGANIZATION. The IMHO seeks to work out a unity of theory and practice, worker and intellectual, and philosophy and organization. We aim to develop and project a viable vision of a truly new, human society that can give direction to today’s many freedom struggles. We ground our ideas in the totality of Marx’s Marxism and Raya Dunayevskaya’s body of ideas and upon the unique philosophic contributions that have guided Marxist-Humanism since its founding in the 1950s.

AFFILIATES

U.S. Marxist-Humanists – http://www.usmarxisthumanists.orgarise@usmarxisthumanists.org

The Hobgoblin Collective, UK – http://www.thehobgoblin.co.ukhobgoblinlondon@aol.com

***END***

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

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

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

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Critique

THE LONDON CONFERENCE IN CRITICAL THOUGHT 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS

The London Conference in Critical Thought

Birkbeck College, London

June 29th and 30th, 2012

In collaboration with the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, the London Conference in Critical Thought (LCCT) is designed to create a space for an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas for scholars who work with “critical” traditions and concerns. We welcome work from the humanities and social sciences, including but not limited to papers drawing upon continental philosophy, critical legal theory, critical geography and the Frankfurt School. The LCCT aims to provide an opportunity for those who frequently find themselves at the margins of their department or discipline to engage with other scholars who share theoretical approaches and interests. Interdisciplinary and inter-institutional, the conference hopes to foster emergent critical thought and provide new avenues for critically orientated scholarship and collaboration.

Scholars working in philosophy, literature, geography, law, art, and politics departments have already proposed panels and/or streams for the conference. These address issues as diverse as animality, sovereignty, human rights, cosmopolitanism, the city, and the relationship between text and space. Through these streams participants are encouraged to engage with a variety of thinkers including Kant, Deleuze, Marx, Lacan, Foucault, Spinoza and Derrida, to name a few.

If you would like to present a paper as part of an existing stream/panel, propose a new stream/panel or contribute to the general stream please see our website for details. The deadline for stream proposals is the 15th of January, 2012, and the deadline for paper proposals is the 19th of February, 2012. The conference will be open for registration as of April 2012 and is free for participants.

http://londonconferenceincriticalthought.wordpress.com/

The London Conference in Critical Thought is co-hosted by the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities for the inaugural year of 2012.

 

**END**

 

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

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

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

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Dissent

SECOND RADICAL DEMOCRACY CONFERENCE – NEW YORK

Second Annual Radical Democracy Conference

Call for Papers

New York City

Co-hosted by Columbia University and the New School for Social Research

April 5-6, 2012, New York, NY

Paper Abstracts and Panel Proposal Submission Deadline: January 20

Notification Date: February 10

Full Papers Deadline: March 19

The Department of Politics at The New School for Social Research, in collaboration with the Institute of Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, is sponsoring a two-day graduate student conference interrogating the concept, history, practices and implications of radical democracy. We strive to assess its legacy from antiquity to contemporary radical democratic theory, as well as explore the work of contemporary theorists such as Abensour, Arendt, Castoriadis, Mouffe, Negri, Rancière, and Wolin.

We invite you to submit abstracts on any theme pertaining to the history, meaning, development and application, or critique of the concept of “radical democracy;” we also encourage discussions about methodology and the study of radical democratic movements.  

We look for paper submissions that touch upon any of the themes listed below. In addition, we strongly encourage complete panel proposals with up to four papers; as well as papers exploring other relevant and related topics.

-Indigenous Democratic Movements

-Promises, limits and critiques of the concept of radical democracy

-Philosophical foundations of radical democracy 

-Technology and the mediums of (radical) democracy

-Consensus building/agonistic democracy

-Engendering radical democracy: race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality

-Philosophy of community

-Contemporary radical social struggles

-Comparative approaches to democracy

-Radical democracy and anarchism/Communism

-Radical Democracy and neo-republicanism

-Exploring the relationship between radical democracy and key concepts in political theory such as: participatory/direct democracy; agency and autonomy; state and nation; capitalism; imperialism; anarchy and authority, dictatorship and tyranny; sacrifice and violence; revolution and reform

Interested participants should submit a one-page abstract (maximum 300 words) that includes institutional affiliation, academic level, and contact information by Monday, January 20.

You will receive a notification of our decision by Friday, February 10. Full conference papers will be due by Monday, March 19.

Please submit your abstract at radicaldemocracy@newschool.edu.

For more information about the conference, please visit our Web site at www.radicaldemocracy.org

**END**

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

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

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

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Eurozone Crisis

REPORT ON THE EUROZONE CRISIS

The latest report by the Research on Money and Finance (RMF) group on the Eurozone crisis, entitled Breaking Up? A Route Out of the Eurozone Crisis, has just been posted on http://www.researchonmoneyandfinance.org

It would be appreciated if you can forward it on to any interested friends, colleagues, listservs, etc.

We would welcome any feedback/comments.

Jeff Powell
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
University of London
+44 (0)7817184435
http://www.researchonmoneyandfinance.org

 

**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)

 

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

 

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

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

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

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Gaza

CLASS STRUGGLE AND THIS THING NAMED THE MIDDLE EAST

The free e-book ‘Class Struggle and This Thing Named The Middle East’ is now available to download from http://www.scribd.com/sjele or a pdf file directly available from meltrogs-books@hotmail.com

Contents:

By way of a Preface
1.            Afghanistan: A Potted Social History
2.            Reservation Politics: The Palestinian Experience through the  Historical Monocle of Native Americans
3.            Hydro-Jihad: Water Conflict and the Class Struggle
4.            Uncle Louis, his Fruits and Vegetables: A Proletarian Critique of the Nation of Islam
5.            God Emperors of Dune
6.            Godfathers of Levant: Syrian-Lebanese Dispute and its Implications for the Class Struggle
7.            Pakistan: The Mummification of the Class Struggle?
8.            Zapping the Zanj: Towards a History of the Zanj Slaves’ Rebellion
9.            Carmathians cometh? Old and New Struggles in Bahrain
10.          The Great 2011 ‘Middle Eastern & North African’ Revolt
By way of a Postscript
By way of an Index

“… minds as witty and anti-authoritarian as the Melancholic Troglodytes can still find issues to write about in the twenty-first century: an oasis of intelligence and revolutionary wit in a movement drowning in whole-world NGO-reformist moralism … with the satirical freedom and venom which comes from being Marxist intellectuals with no comrades to offend. Such was Trotsky before 1917.”

Ben Watson, Radio broadcaster at Resonance FM and the author of Frank Zappa: The Complete Guide to his Music

**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)

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

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

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

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

 

Karl Marx and Cinema

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE THREE VOLUMES OF KARL MARX’S CAPITAL

By Michael Heinrich translated by Alex Locascio

http://monthlyreview.org/press/books/pb2884/

The global economic crisis and recession that began in 2008 had at least one unexpected outcome: a surge in sales of Karl Marx’s Capital. Although mainstream economists and commentators once dismissed Marx’s work as outmoded and flawed, some are begrudgingly acknowledging an analysis that sees capitalism as inherently unstable. And of course, there are those, like Michael Heinrich, who have seen the value of Marx all along, and are in a unique position to explain the intricacies of Marx’s thought.

Heinrich’s modern interpretation of Capital is now available to English-speaking readers for the first time. It has gone through nine editions in Germany, is the standard work for Marxist study groups, and is used widely in German universities. The author systematically covers all three volumes of Capital and explains all the basic aspects of Marx’s critique of capitalism in a way that is clear and concise.  He provides background information on the intellectual and political milieu in which Marx worked, and looks at crucial issues beyond the scope of Capital, such as class struggle, the relationship between capital and the state, accusations of historical determinism, and Marx’s understanding of communism. Uniquely, Heinrich emphasizes the monetary character of Marx’s work, in addition to the traditional emphasis on the labor theory of value, thus highlighting the relevance of Capital to the age of financial explosions and implosions.

Michael Heinrich teaches economics in Berlin and is managing editor of PROKLA: Journal for Critical Social Science. He is the author of The Science of Value: Marx’s Critique of Political Economy between Scientific Revolution and Classical Tradition, and editor, with Werner Bonefeld, of Capital and Critique: After the “New Reading” of Marx. 

 Translator Alexander Locascio was previously active in theU.S. labor movement and now lives inBerlin, where he is a member of the party Die Linke and of ver.di, the German service workers union.

**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)

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub,  Bangor, north Wales)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

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

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

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Utopia

DEVELOPMENT WITHIN OR AGAINST CAPITALISM

Development Within or Against Capitalism: A Critical Engagement with Amartya Sen’s ‘Development as Freedom’.

Ben Selwyn (University of Sussex)

Date: 29 November 2011,

Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: School of Oriental and African Studies, Russell Square: Room: G50
University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square,
London WC1H 0XG
Tel: +44 (0)20 7637 2388

Ben Selwyn is the author of ‘Liberty Limited? A Sympathetic Re-Engagement with Amartya Sen’s Development as Freedom’. In Economic and Political Weekly. September 10, 2011 Vol.xlvI No.37

 

*****

 

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

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

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

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com