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Class Struggle

Class Struggle

WHERE ARE WE? THE REVOLUTIONARY LEFT AND THE CLASS STRUGGLE IN THE WORLD TODAY

XI Congress of Historical and Social Research of CEICS – Center for Study and Research in Social Sciences
International Meeting of the Revolutionary Left
– Call for Papers –
Where are we? The Revolutionary Left and the class struggle in the world today
Buenos Aires, from September 1 to 3 of 2016

The world burns: Africa is affected by the violence product of a growing social decay that deepens from the crisis of the Arab Spring to Boko Haram.  In the extremely pauperized Asia new conflicts arise from the economic slowdown; Europe moves from recession to mass mobilizations and struggles against the capitalist adjustment. USA swings between post-Obama political apathy and the radicalization of the Republican right; Middle East is, today, a seething cauldron; Latin America undergoes the crisis of the Bonapartist regimes that formerly appeased the almost revolutionary crisis of the end of last century.
Everywhere are to be seen these multifaceted expressions of a general crisis of global political relations. However, nowhere are to be seen the formation and development of revolutionary parties, let alone international coordination. Why doesn’t the crisis beget its own gravedigger? Furthermore, how is the class struggle today? What’s the role of the revolutionary vanguard? Is it carrying out the political task of building a revolutionary party? Those are the questions that we want to pose on the eve of the anniversary of the Russian Revolution:
For this purpose, we call, in the frame of the XI Congress of Historical and Social Research, the International Meeting of the Revolutionary Left. Its aim is to foster the scientific study of reality to further advance in the construction of the strategy and development of the organizations necessary to change that reality.  As in previous editions we invite researchers and activists of all tendencies to forge the necessary unity between reason and revolution.

The conference will be organized around four themes:

1. The global crisis
a. The economy
b. The society
c. The politics

2. The political alternatives
a. The religious fundamentalism
b. The nationalist movements
c. The crisis of Latin American populism
d. The emergence of alternatives in Europe
e. The anti-systemic movements

3. The current situation of the revolutionary left
a. What remains of Maoism and Guevarism?
b. Trotskyism today
c. The non-marxist left
d. Many strategies or no strategies?
e. Do we need a new international?

4. Marxism in the XXI century
a. Is the crisis of Marxism gone?
b. Marxism and modern science
c. Balance and prospects

Closure meeting:  Debate and discussion with revolutionary organizations

The themes are suggested as a guide for participants. However, this list is not exhaustive. Proposals are expected to be focused on these issues, either in current or historical perspective; empirical analysis and theoretical reflections are both welcome.

Timetable and format:
1. Deadline proposals for symposiums, Panel discussions and book presentations:  30th April 2016 proposals.
2. Deadline Abstracts: 30th, June 30 abstracts.
3. Deadline for presentations: 20th August.
4. Papers should not exceed 20,000 characters with spaces.

For more information please contact   <mailto:jornadas@razonyrevolucion.orgjornadas@razonyrevolucion.org
Website: http://jornadasceics.com.ar

First Published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/xi-congress-of-historical-and-social-research-of-ceics-.-i-international-meeting-of-the-revolutionary-left

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clip_image008MAPPING ALTERNATIVE ROUTES OUT OF CAPITALISM

See below a call for panels and papers for a section in the European International Studies Association conference, Izmir, Turkey, 7-10 September 2016.

The section seeks panels and papers on alternatives to capitalism, and how we might achieve them, both within the capitalist present and on the route to a post-capitalist society.

The deadline for proposals is 8 January 2016 and must be done online through the EISA conference tool website – https://www.conftool.pro/paneuropean2016/

Please feel free to contact us first to discuss informally ahead of submitting proposals: David Bailey (d.j.bailey@bham.ac.uk) and Phoebe Moore (p.moore@mdx.ac.uk)

Section title: Mapping Alternative Routes Out of Capitalism

Section abstract: The critical study of global capitalism and the hegemony of neoliberalism are both central to the study of international relations and international political economy. International studies has focused less, however, on questioning how (if at all) we might go beyond capitalism. This is despite global capitalism remaining dangerously unstable, not least because the global economic crisis that began in 2008 continues to linger without any obvious resolution to it. The aim of this section, therefore, is to bring together those with an interest in the rise of alternatives at varied positions along the ideological spectrum; mapping, studying, theorising, highlighting, judging and assessing practices which form contemporary alternatives to, and problems for, global capitalism. This includes pathways in local, regional and global contexts.  In particular, we note two emerging types of response, each of which expose the ever-present possibility and presence of sometimes surprising and contradictory routes outside of capitalism, as well as raising the question of technology in contemporary social change. On the one hand, we see various modified projects seeking alternative routes to social justice and rights: futurist, anti-proprietary or gift culture movements, survivalism, cooperatives, DIY culture, permaculture, experimentation with cybernetics and post-humanist ideals, as well as revived institutional interests in wellbeing. On the other hand, we see the explicit contestation of capitalism through varyingly autonomous forms of struggle: Occupy, the indignados, the Greek grassroots projects, Rojava, and, then, the electoral manifestation of some of these trends within Syriza, Podemos, Barcelona en Comú, and Jeremy Corbyn.

 

Section convenors: David Bailey (d.j.bailey@bham.ac.uk) and Phoebe Moore (p.moore@mdx.ac.uk).

Submissions to be made here: https://www.conftool.pro/paneuropean2016/

Deadline for submissions: 8 January 2016

Conference website and more details: http://www.paneuropeanconference.org/2016/

 

First Published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/cfp-alternatives-to-capitalism

 

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313111_coverSEMINARS ON CONTEMPORARY MARXIST THEORY

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 21 October

Stathis Kouvelakis

Lessons of the Greek Crisis

6pm

S-1.04 Strand Building (NB in basement), King’s College London, Strand WC2R 2LS

 

Monday 9 November

Riccardo Bellofiore & Alex Callinicos

A Dialogue on Alex Callinicos’s book Deciphering Capital: Marx’s Capital and Its Destiny

5pm

K0.20, King’s Building, King’s College London, Strand WC2R 2LS

 

Wednesday 25 November

Nicholas De Genova

Theorising the ‘Crisis’ of the European Border Regime

6pm

342N Norfolk Building, King’s College London, Strand WC2R 2LS

 

Karl Marx

Karl Marx

The Seminar in Contemporary Marxist Theory is a collaboration among scholars in the departments of European & International Studies, Geography, and Management at King’s College London.

For further information contact Stathis Kouvelakisstathis.kouvelakis@kcl.ac.uk

 

 

First Published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/london-seminar-on-contemporary-marxist-theory

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images (1)BACK TO THE FUTURE: LAUNCHING THE LEFT BOOK CLUB

November 17th

Conway Hall

25 Red Lion Square

London, WC1R 4RL

7.00pm

 

With: Ken Livingstone, Kevin Ovenden, Natalie Bennett, Kate Osamor MP and others

Suggested donations, £5, concessions £3

To book your place email: admin@leftbookclub.com

 

The original Left Book Club was founded in 1936 as a means of promoting radical debate in Britain. It swiftly became a phenomenon, distributing over 2 million books and forming 1,200 reading and discussion groups across the country. It engaged in political activity, including solidarity work (e.g. with Spain), political agitation and much else. The LBC is considered a factor in the creation of the Welfare State and in Labour’s landslide election victory of 1945. It closed in 1948.

Today we face a similar crisis to that of the 1930s, with capitalism breeding inequality, suffering and violence around the world. As then, however, the global left remains mobilised and committed to the creation of a fairer society, free of the repression and austerity that has defined the modern era.

The re-launch of the Left Book Club will help us rise to the challenge posed by the global crisis. The LBC will publish four books a year covering a range of progressive traditions, perspectives and ideas focused on the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.

Our aim is for these books to form the basis of a wide network of reading circles, discussion groups and other educational and cultural activities relevant to constructing the conditions for progressive social change in the interests of working people.

 

Jeremy Corbyn:

The relaunch of the Left Book Club is a terrific and timely idea, and will give intellectual ballast to the wave of political change sweeping Britain and beyond, encouraging informed and compassionate debate.

The work will open minds and inspire. I have a large collection of Left Book Club publications collected by my parents and me.

I support the LBC wholeheartedly.

The Left Book Club: http://www.leftbookclub.com/

website-banner-longer

 

 

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debunking-economicsWILL WE CRASH AGAIN? WHY CAPITALISM NEEDS DEBT WRITE-OFFS TO SURVIVE

Conway Hall Ethical Society & London Futurists presents:

London Thinks – Will We Crash Again? Why Capitalism Needs Debt Write-offs to Survive

With STEVE KEEN

Tuesday 1st September @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm | £5 – £10

CONWAY HALL

25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL United Kingdom

Website: http://conwayhall.org.uk/

Booking: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/will-we-crash-again-why-capitalism-needs-debt-write-offs-to-survive-tickets-17879762852

Mainstream economists failed to anticipate the great financial crash of 2007-8. In this talk, Professor Steve Keen will share his view on the bigger picture – including recent financial developments around the world. He will review options for the future of economics, highlight the little-understood importance of debt, and argue that significant debt write-downs are needed in order to limit future financial crashes.

Steve Keen is a Professor of Economics & Head of the School of Economics, History & Politics at Kingston University. He was one of the handful of economists to realise that a serious economic crisis was imminent, and to publicly warn of it, from as early as December 2005.

A staunch critic of mainstream economics, his book Debunking Economics is now in its 2nd edition and has been translated into Chinese, French and Spanish.

The event will be moderated by David Wood, Chair of London Futurists. The talk will be followed by audience Q&A.

A cash bar will be available at the event. Afterwards, there will be the chance to continue the discussion at a nearby pub.

Organised in partnership with the London Futurists

London Futurists hold regular speaker events to explore radical scenarios for the next 3-40 years.

For more details, see http://londonfuturists.com/.

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KRISIS

KRISIS

CRISIS TO INSURRECTION: NOTES ON THE ONGOING COLLAPSE

A new book from Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen on ongoing crises and insurrections…
Crisis to Insurrection: Notes on the ongoing collapse
Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen
The crisis runs deep. The economies of the US and Europe are in profound crisis and the developing economies are also beginning to feel its effects. Everywhere it is workers who are paying the price. The crisis is being socialized and austerity is the order of the day; the crisis is used as a pretext for further savings and cuts. In other words, capital has intensified the class war. But the proletariat has started moving. The revolts in North Africa and the Middle East have challenged the neoliberal world order and its division of the world, and the ‘movement of the squares’ in Southern Europe and Occupy in the US have picked up the baton and joined the new protest cycle. Even though dictators have been toppled in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, the protests continue. This is also the case in Greece, Spain and Portugal where people reject the austerity programs. There are protests in Bulgaria and Bosnia. In Syria the civil war is raging. In China the number of strikes continue to rise. In Turkey the youth reject Erdogan’s neoliberal ‘success’ and urban restructuring and in Brazil ‘the dangerous classes’ have taken to the streets. There are a variety of protests going on – the ones in the West are defensive, the ones in the rest of the world offensive and reformist – but together they are knocking a hole in the neoliberal world order. The old mole is back.

Bio: Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen is Associate Professor at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen.
PDF available freely online: http://www.minorcompositions.info/?p=678
Released by Minor Compositions, Wivenhoe / Brooklyn / Port Watson
Minor Compositions is a series of interventions & provocations drawing from autonomous politics, avant-garde aesthetics, and the revolutions of everyday life.
Minor Compositions is an imprint of Autonomedia
www.minorcompositions.info | minorcompositions@gmail.com

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KRISIS

KRISIS

TWO PERSPECTIVES ON ECONOMIC CRISIS UNDER CAPITALISM, FROM KARL MARX AND ROSA LUXEMBURG

SUNDAY, JUNE 28, 2015

6:00-9:00 PM

Westside Peace Center

3916 Sepulveda Blvd., near Venice Blvd. (free parking in rear)

Suite 101-102, press #22 at door to get into building

Culver City (LA area)

 

SPEAKERS:

Ali Kiani, Iranian Marxist activist, translator, and International Marxist-Humanist Organization member

Gene Warren, longtime Marxist and founding member of Solidarity

 

Two major alternative Marxist theories of economic crisis are

(1) the tendential decline in rate of profit as developed by in Marx, CAPITAL, Vol. III, Chs. 13-15, online here: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1894-c3/ch13.htm ;

(2) Overproduction/underconsumption, as found in Luxemburg, ANTI-CRITIQUE, Ch. 1 (The Questions at Issue and first few pages of next chapter), online here: https://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1915/anti-critique/ch01.htm

This meeting will examine these two theoretical positions in terms of both the causes of crises and what is needed to overcome them and capitalism itself.

 

More information: arise@internationalmarxisthumanist.org and http://www.internationalmarxisthumanist.org/

 

Join our Facebook page: “International Marxist-Humanist Organization” https://www.facebook.com/groups/imhorg/

Rosa Luxemburg

Rosa Luxemburg

 

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Andrew Kliman

Andrew Kliman

THE CAUSES OF THE CAPITALIST CRISIS

ANDREW KILMAN DEBATES WITH PETER TAAFE AND/OR LYN WALSH

27th June at 18.30-21.30

Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet Street, Room B36

The American economist and author of the controversial book, “The Failure of Capitalist Production”, Andrew Kliman, is meeting the challenge to debate the causes of capitalist crisis issued by the Socialist Party of England and Wales.

As the Socialist Party declared in 2013: “We have never avoided debates on important issues, and will not do so on this occasion.” It invited Kliman to two public debates, one in London and one in the U.S.

Now the Socialist Party have the opportunity to defend their conception of the crisis at a free-to-attend debate in Birkbeck College, London. Both Peter Taaffe, SP General Secretary and Lynne Walsh of the SP EC are invited. Andrew Kliman has confirmed his attendance and is travelling from New York to London for the challenge.

This event is open to all socialists and activists in the movement.

Sponsored by Marxist Discussion Group (economics) and independent Marxists

MORE INFORMATION
This open discussion is an opportunity to understand what is at stake in our interpretation of Marx and to answer the following questions:
* Was the 2007-8 crisis caused by neoliberalism and financialisation or was it a result of the central contradictions of capitalism?
* What is coming: stagnation, recovery or an even worse recession, and how do Marxists predict and respond to capitalist crises?
* Are corporations drowning in profits and cash hoards which could be spent on stimulus programmes to ‘save’ the economy from another crisis?
* Are crises caused by inequality or by the inherent contradictions of capitalist production?
* How do we build consciousness and prepare the ground for revolution? By winning reforms and building mass reformist parties, or by challenging the basis of the capitalist system itself?

For more information, including how to get a live stream of the event, see: https://www.facebook.com/events/617588808344740/

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Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

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

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Fat Cat Food

Fat Cat Food

MONEY, DEBT AND FINANCE: TOWARDS A POLITICAL ECONOMY OF FINANCIAL INNOVATION

Call for participants

The Open Political Economy Network (OPEN) of The Open University will be holding its first workshop on Friday, 26 June.

Title: Money, debt and finance: towards a political economy of financial innovation

Organisers: Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos (The Open University Business School) and Andrew Trigg (Department of Economics, The Open University).

Date: Friday 26 June 2015

Place: The Open University in London, Room 2 (Ground Floor), 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London NW1 8NP. Nearest underground: Camden Town (Northern Line).

Modern developments in financial innovation, usually described by the term ‘financialization’, have been mostly approached from two distinct viewpoints. On the one hand, the mainstream financial literature heavily downplays the historical and social nature of financial innovation in relation to risk management. On the other hand, critical approaches in the field of political economy tend to see contemporary trends in financial innovation as a distortion of capitalist economic structures. This event explores an alternative research agenda in political economy based on Marx’s analysis and other related currents in Political Economy. Financial crises can thus be seen as moments innate in the workings of the economic system but not necessarily a sign of decline; finance and financial innovation can be integral to capitalism and not parasitic or dysfunctional within it.

By drawing on the research and expertise of a diverse range of scholars, the event will explore possible foundations for a new analytical paradigm for considering the political economy of money, debt and financial innovation. The workshop is also an opportunity for participants (academics, students, activists) to engage in a dialogue with the speakers and share their perspectives about the development of this paradigm.

Speakers will include (in alphabetical order):

Paul Auerbach, Kingston University, London

Riccardo Bellofiore, University of Bergamo, Italy

Ole Bjerg, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Dick Bryan, University of Sydney, Australia

Bob Jessop, Lancaster University, UK

John Kannankulam, Marburg University, Germany

Spyros Lapatsioras, University of Crete, Greece

John Milios, National Technical University of Athens, Greece

Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos, The Open University Business School, UK

Jan Toporowski, SOAS, London

Andrew Trigg, The Open University, UK

 

Workshop details

The workshop is funded by the Open University research centre, IKD, and is open to all. Registration is free but necessary as there are limited spaces available. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. More information will follow, including a programme and abstracts of papers.

For registration please email: Atalanta Richards at Socsci-IKD-Events@open.ac.uk

For further information:  https://www.open.ac.uk/ikd/events/

 

First Published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/call-for-participants-money-debt-and-finance-towards-a-political-economy-of-financial-innovation

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

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money

Capitalism No

Capitalism No

THINKING BEYOND CAPITALISM

Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade

June 24-26, 2015, Belgrade

Abstract Submission Deadline: April 10 2015

Call text: http://instifdt.bg.ac.rs/conference_capitalism.html

The conference Thinking Beyond Capitalism is part of a week-long series of events, entitled Reflections on Capitalism (June 22nd – 27th 2015). Reflections on Capitalism will include public discussions, roundtables and plenary lectures. All events are open to the public.

Confirmed Speakers:

Confirmed speakers for the Reflections on Capitalism include: Anselm Jappe (Collège international de philosophie, Paris), Alex Demirovic (Universität Frankfurt am Main), Catherine Samary (Université Paris Dauphine), Chiara Bonfiglioli (Center for Cultural and Historical Research of Socialism, Juraj Dobrila University of Pula), Claus Offe (Hertie School of Governance, Berlin), Danijela Majstorović (University of Banja Luka), Dominique Lévy (CNRS, Paris), Gezim Krasniqi (SSEES-University College of London), Giuseppe Masturzo (International University College Torino), G. M. Tamás (CEU, Budapest), Gérard Duménil (Université Paris 10, Paris), Hauke Brunkhorst (Universität Flensburg), Ivana Pantelić (Institute for Contemporary History, University of Belgrade), Kristen Ghodsee (Bowdoin College, Brunswick), Laurence Fontaine (CNRS, Paris), Ljubica Spaskovska (University of Exeter), Maeve Cooke (University College Dublin), Mi slav Žitko (University of Zagreb), Mladen Lazić (University of Belgrade), Rainer Kuhlen (Department of Computer and Information Science University of Konstanz), Simon Susen (City University, London), Toni Prug (Queen Mary University of London), Ugo Mattei (University of California, Hastings College of the Law / Università di Torino), Vedran Džihić (Austrian Institute for International Affairs, University of Vienna), Wolfgang Merkel (WZB, Berlin Social Science Centre), Wolfgang Streeck (Max Planck Institute for Social Research, Cologne), Yann Moulier-Boutang (Université Technologique de Compiègne), Zoran Janković (Cégep de Saint-Laurent, Montreal).

 

Program Committee:

Petar Bojanić, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade

Laurence Fontaine, CNRS, Centre Maurice Halbwachs/ENS, Paris

Mladen Lazić, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade

Toni Prug, Queen Mary University of London

Catherine Samary, Université Dauphine, Paris

  1. M. Tamás, Visiting Professor, CEU, Budapest

Mislav Žitko, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb

 

Organization of the conference:

The conference is organized by the Group for the Study of Social Engagement, unit of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade, with support of the Serbian Ministry of Education, Scientific and Technological Development, Institut français de Serbie, Center for Advanced Studies (Rijeka, Croatia), Balkan Trust for Democracy, Goethe Institute, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Singidunum University, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation for Eastern Europe, The German Marshall Fund, Cultural Center of Belgrade, Center for Ethics, Law and Applied Philosophy (Belgrade).

 

For information on the time schedule, organization and future events, follow us on:

e-mail: ifdt.capitalism@gmail.com

Facebook: facebook.com/instifdt

Twitter: twitter.com/ifdt_beograd

 

First Published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/cfp-reminder-thinking-beyond-capitalism-belgrade-24.6-deadline-10-april

Beyond Capitalism

Beyond Capitalism

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The Failure of Capitalism

The Failure of Capitalism

Kevin Andersdon

Kevin Andersdon

THE CHARLIE HEBDO ASSASSINATIONS IN GLOBAL CONTEXT: FROM FRANCE TO THE MIDDLE EAST AND BEYOND

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2015

7:00-9:30 PM

Westside Peace Center

3916 Sepulveda Blvd., near Venice Blvd. (free parking in rear)

Suite 101-102, press #22 at door to get into building

Culver City (LA area)

 

SPEAKERS:

Ali Kiani, Iranian Marxist activist and translator

Mansoor M., Iranian cultural worker

Kevin Anderson, author of “Marx at the Margins”

 

On the one hand, the assassination of the editors of French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” needs to be viewed in terms of the danger of ISIS and other radical Islamist groups bent on the destruction of the left and of secular democratic culture. These movements took the world stage with their hijacking of the Iranian revolution of 1979, followed a decade later by Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa against Anglo-Indian writer Salman Rushdie, himself from a Muslim background, for allegedly insulting Islam. On the other hand, the recent French events show the results of decades of segregation, discrimination, and police harassment/imprisonment of immigrants of Muslim background from the Middle East and North Africa, and of their descendants. These racist policies have been abetted by Islamophobic, anti-immigrant movements and ideologies. If radical Islamism is a new form of reactionary ideology that can undergird oppressive regimes in the Muslim world, the same is also true of Islamophobia in Europe and other regions, with both of these ideologies feeding on each other. As part of the Left, how can we break this vicious cycle?  How can we build upon the victory of the Kurds of Kobane, Syria against ISIS and that of the leftist Syriza Party in Greece in the face of efforts by a well-funded neofascist party that sought to blame immigrants for the crisis of capitalism?

 

Suggested background reading, available in English, Persian, and Spanish: Kevin Anderson, “The Paris Assassinations in Global Context,” International Marxist-Humanist, Jan. 12, 2015

 

Sponsored by the West Coast Chapter, International Marxist-Humanist Organization

More information: arise@internationalmarxisthumanist.org and http://www.internationalmarxisthumanist.org/

 

Here is URL for meeting for Facebook, Twitter, etc. http://www.internationalmarxisthumanist.org/events/los-angeles-charlie-hebdo-assassinations-global-context-france-middle-east-beyond

 

Join our Facebook page: “International Marxist-Humanist Organization” https://www.facebook.com/groups/imhorg/

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

 

Time and Space in the Social Universe of Capital’ – by Michael Neary and Glenn Rikowski, now at Academia: http://www.academia.edu/10545768/Time_and_Speed_in_the_Social_Universe_of_Capital

APOCALYPSE NOW

APOCALYPSE NOW

APOCALYPSE NOW: NEOLIBERALISM AND APOCALYPTIC NARRATIVES

 

Apocalypse Now: Neoliberalism and Apocalyptic Narratives

Conference website: http://www.unil.ch/aponow

Graduate colloquium

English Department, University of Lausanne

22-23 June, 2015 – Lausanne, Switzerland

With the participation of the University of York, and the University of Utrecht

 

Keynote Speakers:

Christian Arnsperger, University of Lausanne

Adam Kelly, University of York

Organizer: Anas Sareen (Anas.Sareen@unil.ch)

 

CALL FOR PAPERS

Western culture has a long-standing investment in the apocalyptic. Events such as 9/11, global warming, or the financial crisis of 2008 have directly impacted the way we perceive the world, and the ways in which we conceive of social structures. The recent events in Paris exemplify these apocalyptic interruptions in Western society, which bring issues of freedom of speech and democratic ideals to the fore, and reveal unresolved questions of race, religion, and ethnicity. Similar dynamics exist between the U.S. and North-Korea. After cyber terrorists hacked Sony Pictures in retaliation against the release of the film The Interview, public debates on race, satire, and cyber-terrorism have reanimated tensions between the two countries. The highly publicized hacker group Anonymous demonstrates yet another case of Internet-born geopolitics, though the ambivalence the group evokes does raise questions about our public sentiments towards the placelessness of virtual security. Evidently, the apocalyptic abounds today, and urges us to re-think issues of national identity, economy, and ethics in light of shifting geopolitical configurations. Immersed in such geopolitical shifts, neoliberal capitalism is the silent victor of many an apocalypse.

As established by David Harvey among others, the elusive object that capitalism is resurges with a renewed ideological agenda during the 1970s, particularly under the governments of Thatcher in Britain, and Reagan in the U.S., coalescing into what we now term ‘neoliberalism’ or ‘neoliberal capital’. Evidently, the apocalyptic urges us to consider the geopolitical configurations of national identity, economy, ethics. Neoliberal capitalism and the apocalyptic recently converged in the 2008 financial crisis, a circumstance of speculative excess pushed over the brink and salvaged by American and European government bailouts. Given these ties between neoliberalism and the nation, what might we mean today when we speak of the apocalyptic?

The ambivalence of the term ‘apocalypse’ may be the starting point of this reflection. If the ‘apocalypse’ means both the ‘end of the world’, and a ‘revelation’, then what does the apocalyptic reveal?

This colloquium aims to explore the ways in which the apocalyptic destabilizes social or narrative structures and, in doing so, reveals the constructed nature of both inclusionary and exclusionary modes of being/living. What are the dynamics behind ‘the end’ and behind renewal? What remains? What disappears? How long does an apocalypse last? Questions of temporality invite articulations around issues of questions of gender, sexuality, race, subjectivity, politics, and ethics among many others.

Therefore, we seek contributions that address such critical categories from a number of different locations, objects, and orientations. We invite innovative papers of 20 minutes (followed by 10 min discussion), which explore the apocalyptic/and neoliberal capitalism by engaging in contemporary cultural products.

Topics may include (but are not restricted to) the following:

  • Architecture and dystopia in contemporary film and literature
  • Apocalypse and the nation in contemporary film and literature
  • Apocalypse and the everyday
  • Apocalypse, capitalism, and seriality (TV series, comics)
  • Civil disobedience and/or “epistemic disobedience” (see Walter Mignolo, 2009)
  • Dancing on the edge: dance and capitalism/dance and the apocalyptic
  • De-colonial perspectives on capitalism/the apocalyptic
  • Hi-stories of apocalyptic capitalism from the Global South
  • Interrupted flows: music, capitalism, and the apocalyptic
  • Nuclear families, and alternative modes of belonging, kinship (queer theory, for example Lee Edelman’s No Future, Judith Butler’s Antigone’s Claim)
  • Posthumanism and capitalism (zombies, cyborgs, animals)
  • ‘Revealing race’ and the geopolitics of the apocalyptic
  • Staging apocalyptic capitalism
  • Social mouvements, and countering neoliberalism (new forms of political activism)
  • Subjectivity and affect under neoliberalism (for example Lauren Berlant’s Cruel Optimism)
  • The narrative architecture of the apocalyptic (the immediate and the aftermath)
  • The political capital of (cyber-) terrorism

 

Please send abstracts of 300 words, including an author’s bionote,

to aponow@gmail.com by 21 March 2015. Notification of acceptance on 1 Apri l 2015.

Scientific committee:

Catherine Chen (Columbia University), Anna Iatsenko (University of Geneva), and Anas Sareen

(University of Lausanne)

Neoliberalism

Neoliberalism

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

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

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/