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Daily Archives: November 19th, 2014

Antonio Gramsci

Antonio Gramsci


International Conference

18-19 June 2015


Speakers: Fabio Frosini (Università di Urbino, Italy), Alex Loftus (King’s College London), Peter Thomas (Brunel University); including contributions from: Anne Showstack-Sassoon (Birkbeck), Cosimo Zene (SOAS).

The legacy of the Italian theorist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) has been widely acknowledged as one of the most significant intellectual contributions of the twentieth century. Even as the historical events of his life have faded from living memory, Gramsci’s thought has increased in influence and become diffused amongst a multitude of disciplines in the academic firmament; from philosophy to history and geography, through cultural theory and subaltern studies, to international relations, linguistics, critical legal studies and beyond. In light of the widespread and heterogeneous deployments of his ideas, it seems apt and necessary to return to the texts themselves: Gramsci’s pre-prison and his prison writings, both the Prison Notebooks and the Letters from Prison.

The aim of this conference is to bring together a new generation of scholars working on Gramscian themes in order to engage closely with his writings. Working in collaboration with experienced Gramsci scholars, this conference is the first initiative of a group of early-career researchers and graduate students. Through a combination of panels and workshops, the conference will provide participants with the opportunity to present their work and to receive constructive feedback in a friendly and stimulating environment.

The two-day international conference also aims to contribute to the process of building links between Anglophone and international, in particular Italian, Gramsci scholarship. The organizers hope to create a network through which to share research and encourage interactions between researchers from different countries working on Gramscian thought and related topics. It is proposed that an edited collection of essays will be published as a product of the conference and further engagements.

Gramsci’s perspective is marked by a profound sense of the manifold connections between the explanation of the past and the analysis of the present. Our intention is collectively to investigate the rich potentialities of the theme ‘Past and Present’ in his thought. Participants are invited to explore the conceptual laboratory of Gramsci’s historical-political narration, as well as his endeavour to theorize the unity of theory and practice. This nexus between ‘explication’ of the past and strategic ‘analysis’ of the present is characteristic of the originality of Gramsci’s approach to the ‘question of theory’. More broadly, the conference aspires to study the way in which Gramsci’s historical perspective intermingles with his engaged concern for the future of a ‘big and terrible’ world, in the sense that might today be called ‘global history’.

Gramsci’s ability to dialectically unite seemingly opposed elements (i.e. civil society and the state, structure and superstructure, the spatial elements of historicism, or vice versa the multiple temporalities going across the political space) illuminates the capacity of his thought to stimulate critical renewals in various domains of thought. Further investigation of this critical project reveals the aspect of ‘reciprocal translatability’ that Gramsci identifies between different facets of the knowledge of reality as ‘philosophy’, ‘politics’ and ‘economics’. The conference aims to explore the ongoing elaboration of this ‘homogeneous circle’ (Notebook 4, § 46), that is, the constitution of Gramsci’s conception of the world and its relation to history, understood as a unitary and dynamic process.

Consequently, we encourage paper proposals that analyze Gramsci’s thought (either the prison or his pre-prison writings) from political, philosophical, economic, and historical points of view, whilst evoking the connections between these different dimensions. Inter-disciplinary papers that focus on the reappraisal of Gramscian concepts in the contemporary world (within cultural theory, post-colonial studies, International Relations, geography, history of science, etc.) are also welcome.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to: the Marxian legacy and the philosophy of praxis; Gramsci and global history: the ‘integral historian’; the Gramscian analysis of modernity: crisis, hegemony and passive revolution; the Party and the role of the traditional and organic intellectuals; Gramsci and pragmatism: language, truth, ideology; Anti-economism and Gramsci’s critical economy; Gramscian cultural writings; Centre and periphery; From ‘subaltern social groups’ to global subalternity.

Abstracts of no more than 400 words should be sent by Friday 23 January 2015 to:


Supported by:

– Department of Geography, King’s College London

– International Gramsci Society

– International Gramsci Society – Italia

– Ghilarza Summer School – Scuola internazionale di studi gramsciani

– Further support tbc

Organizing Committee:

Francesca Antonini (Università di Pavia, Italy)

Aaron Bernstein (King’s College London)

Lorenzo Fusaro (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), Mexico)

Robert Jackson (Manchester Metropolitan University)


First Published in

Antonio Gramsci

Antonio Gramsci


‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon:

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia:

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate:

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas:

The Flow of Ideas:



Glenn Rikowski’s latest paper, Crises in Education, Crises of Education – can now be found at Academia:

Glenn Rikowski’s article, Education, Capital and the Transhuman – can also now be found at Academia:


South Africa

South Africa



Call for Postdoctoral Fellows


The Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, is seeking applications from recently or soon to be completed doctoral students who require a host for funding applications for postdoctoral level research. This is not an offer of funding but of an institutional base to enhance a funding application.

SWOP is a vibrant Research Institute with a strong local and international reputation, which provides a collegial environment, the opportunity to collaborate in research projects, international research networks and other activities.

Current postdoctoral fellows are Dr Jacob Mati and Dr Ian Macqueen.

‘SWOP has been a great host for me. I enjoy the deep intellectual debates that SWOP affords everyone in the team, either through breakfast seminars, internal seminars or other visitors that deliver papers.’ Jacob Mati

‘SWOP has provided me with a very supportive home in which to conduct my research. I particularly enjoy the emphasis on engaged research, which sees collaboration with partners outside of the university. We meet weekly to discuss our work and host regular seminars for the public and academics.’ Ian Macqueen


Applications should be consistent with SWOP’s vision to ‘generate a southern perspective on society, work and precariousness through the production of scholarly, engaged and innovative social knowledge’.

Applications should speak to one or more of SWOP’s research clusters and thus contribute to developing our research programmes.


The respective research clusters and co-ordinators are:

– The politics of Precarious Society – Professor Karl von Holdlt

– Mining and Social Transformation – Dr Gavin Capps and Professor Dunbar Moodie

– Decent Work and Development – Professor Eddie Webster

– Nature and Society – Professor Jacklyn Cock

– Gender and social reproduction

– Labour and social movements in Southern Africa


Enquiries can be directed to Miss Abnavien King at or to the respective research cluster co-ordinators.

While SWOP does not directly provide postdoctoral fellowships, it will support your application to the relevant funding organisation.

From time to time we post news of calls for postdoctoral fellowships on our website.



University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Call for 5 Postdoctoral Fellowships in Research and Social Justice (2 years)

An exciting new concept!

This postdoctoral program, generously funded by Ford Foundation, provides focused support for both research publication and concrete engagement with social justice issues and campaigns. You will be located at a Research Institute that combines cutting edge scholarly research with rich experience of supporting labour, women’s, social and environmental movements, as well as progressive government institutions, engaging in struggles to change the world we live in. You will have the time and support to conduct and publish research and lay the foundation for your academic career, as well as participate in an innovative social justice program. You will participate in a collegial and progressive community of scholars.


The Institute

The Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) conducts relevant and exciting research on work, labour and social movements, mining and social transformations, environmental crisis, gender orders and contestation, the informalisation of work, society and politics, protest movements, patronage and civil society, collective and political violence, and the challenges of citizenship and democracy. The Institute collaborates with academics, grassroots organizations and government across South Africa and internationally, and is a collegial, team-working organization committed to developing a new generation of researchers and intellectuals. It is located in the most vibrant Humanities Faculty in South Africa, in a university known for cutting edge social sciences research.


The Program

The Fellowship program will include mentoring by experienced scholars, training in writing and presentation skills, research opportunities including research funding, and the opportunity to discuss your work in a vibrant network of scholars. The social justice component will include critical seminars on the interface between academic research and public engagement, and include a social justice project linked to work in labour and broader social movements, grassroots organising and advocacy, public interest litigation/transformative constitutionalism, and efforts to progressively influence policy-making and legislative processes.

This is a full-time programme and is not compatible with other employment. Fellows will be expected to work closely with research staff, and to participate fully in the intellectual life of the institute. Each Fellow’s work programme will fit their specific goals, whether this means focusing on translating PhD research into publications, or undertaking new research and taking this through to publication. Candidates will explain how their own (completed or planned) research is linked to or has implications for social justice. It is preferable that applicants’ work should be broadly aligned with the thematic focuses in SWOP, which include:


  • extractive industries, labour regimes and rural transformations
  • precarious work and social protection
  • environment and society
  • democracy, violence, community formation, movements and citizenship
  • informalisation of work, society and politics
  • changing gender regimes.

The emphasis is on ‘broadly’, such that candidates are able to explore their own interests and adopt fresh perspectives.


Period of Fellowship:

Applications are invited from all continents. The Fellowships will start on 1 May 2015 and cover a period of two years. Fellows will receive funding of R220 000 per year plus medical insurance, and in addition substantial research funding. The second year is conditional on performance in the first year. Applicants must have completed and been awarded their PhDs (though not necessarily graduated) in the social sciences or related fields. There will be two calls for applications, the first closing on 15 December, the second closing 30 February 2015. Potential applicants who anticipate being awarded their PhD’s by 30 February should forward their applications for pre-selection by 15 December as well.

APPLICATION: To apply, please submit the following:

A detailed cover letter motivating your application, including a statement of your current research interests, its relevance to social justice concerns, and outlining what you wish to do with your postdoc Fellowship, should it be awarded to you. Also indicate what publications you might produce during your fellowship, and whether these are to be drawn from completed research or would require additional research.

A brief essay (2 pages) problematising the relationship between academic research and social justice activism, including reflections on your own research field.

A detailed and updated CV.

A copy of two recent publications, or two chapters of your PhD.

Names and contact details (including email addresses) of three referees.

Applications and enquiries should be sent to  or posted to Mondli Hadebe, Society Work and Development Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Private Bag 3, Wits, 2050, South Africa

Closing date for applications: 15 December 2014


Further details:



‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon:


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia:

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate:

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas:

The Flow of Ideas:



Glenn Rikowski’s latest paper, Crises in Education, Crises of Education – can now be found at Academia:

Glenn Rikowski’s article, Education, Capital and the Transhuman – can also now be found at Academia: