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SOUTH AFRICA TODAY: HOW DO WE CHARACTERISE THE SOCIAL FORMATION?

The 2011 ILRIG April Conference
Community House, Salt River, Cape Town
29 and 30 April 2011

Since 2007 ILRIG has been hosting an annual conference in April, either on behalf of, or in partnership with, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. It is our intention to continue this tradition of conferences in April as an interface between critical analysts showcasing their work and activists in the labour and social movements debating the nature of the current juncture and strategic challenges facing our movements. In 2010 we looked at the causes and consequences of the global capitalist crisis and the possibilities for developing anti-capitalist alternatives.

In 2011 we have decided to call for papers and to invite participants on the question: how do we characterise the Social African social formation today?

2011 is the 17th year of the achievement of democracy in SA. But in that time, instead of the mass struggles of the 1970s; 1980s and early 1990s leading to radical transformation we have seen a decline in the extent and depth of those struggles and the triumph of a neo-liberal order. South Africa has joined the BRICS as an aspiring power, South African corporations have become global players, the composition of the ruling class is still overwhelmingly white and we are now the most unequal society in the world. At the same time we have an ex-liberation movement in government, carried there by the struggles of a black working class majority and with a ruling Alliance which includes the biggest trade union federation and a long standing Communist Party. More recently we have seen the rise of movements and community-based activists who have waged struggles quite relentlessly for some 5-10 years – serving as a source of optimism and renewal on the left and yet not galvanising into a social force capable of speaking in its own name, let alone challenging the neo-liberal order. We have also seen a readiness of some organised workers to strike and test the limits of the partnership that comprises the ruling tripartite Alliance.

Part of the many challenges facing activists today is characterising what the nature of the new order is in South Africa today – unlike in the apartheid period where the nature of that order was starkly apparent. This means that activists battle with the tension between the legitimacy of their cause and the legitimacy of the liberation credentials of the current government and its associated democratic institutions in the state.

On the left, in the broadest sense, this tension has been variously characterised as “a society carrying out transformation against residual apartheid forces”; a victim of global forces imposing neo-liberalism “from the North”; a developmental state; a natural consequence of a nationalist or a social democratic project triumphing over a more radical alternative; and even the triumph of neo-apartheid.

How do we characterise this social formation? What configuration of social forces led to this conjuncture and what are the strategic, programmatic and organisational consequences of taking one characterisation over another? How does one’s choice/s inform how one sees international solidarity in Africa and the wider world today?

The conference will consist of two components:
1. Inputs by speakers on the basis of draft papers submitted by interested activists and analysts – South African and international, and
2. Workshopped and parallel sessions in which ILRIG facilitators engage the issues raised
at facilitated sessions using educational methodologies

Themes:
1. The recent evolution of the capitalist class in SA, its relations to other capitals globally, its “racial” and gendered make-up; its mode of accumulation and its relation to the state
2. The recent evolution of the ANC, the changing social composition of its cadre, its relations to the state and to the capitalist class, and to the dominated classes.
3. The working class of SA today and its changing “racial” and gendered nature as well its re-composition across both the sphere of production and reproduction; its consciousness and struggles and how do these impact, or otherwise, on various organisations today.

To this end ILRIG is inviting papers from any interested person.

! Final papers must be submitted by 21 April 2011 Where possible, ILRIG will provide travel and accommodation for successful candidates. All communication must be directed to Russell Dudley ilrigaprilconference@gmail.com or 084-915 9709

Publication
After the Conference the papers will be published in an annual journal to be edited, published and distributed by the conference hosts.

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Crisis Sublime

NEOLIBERALISM AND THE CRISES OF ECONOMIC SCIENCE


May 20-22, 2011, Istanbul University, Beyazit

FINAL CALL FOR PAPERS

The global crisis of the last years of the ‘noughties’ has cruelly exposed the deficiencies of both mainstream economics and broader strands of political economy from across the social sciences that have promoted neoliberalism. But the degree of consequential rethinking has been strikingly underwhelming. This conference will examine the multiple crises of economic science, informed by perspectives of political economy that have long been ignored and marginalised by the mainstream.

IIPPE has decided to extend the deadline for submission in order to allow for more participants. So we are issuing a final call for individual contributions and proposals for panels that address Neoliberalism and the Crises of Economic Science. But to maximize your chance of a place on the programme, you may need to apply sooner rather than later.
    • The final deadline for submission of both individual abstracts of papers and proposals for panels is 28th February 2011 (On line submission on http://www.iippe.org/wiki).
    • Potential participants will be notified by 21st March.
    • The deadline for the submission of full papers remains 15th April.

Hosted by Turkish Social Sciences Association (TSSA) and Istanbul University Research Center for Global Politics and Administration (GLOPAR).

The original call for papers can be found at: http://www.iippe.org/wiki/Second_International_Conference_in_Political_Economy

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William Godwin

ANARCHIST PEDAGOGIES

CALL FOR CHAPTER PROPOSAL SUBMISSIONS

For a book entitled

Anarchist Pedagogies

Editor: Robert Haworth PhD

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Overview:

Anarchist movements have a long history of resisting traditional schooling and authoritative pedagogical practices, while at the same time, attempting to construct transformative educative processes. Examples include Francisco Ferrer’s (1913) work entitled, Origins of the Modern School and the creation of the Escuela Moderna schools in Spain, the Modernist Schools in the United States (Emma Goldman, Voltaraine de Cleyre, Alex Berkman and others) during the early 20th century as well as contemporary anarchists who are experimenting in participatory informal learning spaces. These examples are important to acknowledge within radical notions of teaching and learning being that they are experiences that enable activists and scholars to critically re-imagine education and build theories on “how” and “where” individuals experiment in constructing knowledge through differing learning spaces (Coté, Day & Peuter, 2007; de Leon, 2008, Malott, forthcoming).

Moreover, as totalizing efforts of the nation-state continue to develop standardized curriculum, efficiency models and data driven outcomes, anarchist pedagogies attempt to construct ongoing collective learning environments that can be described as ‘disciplined improvisation’ or ‘spontaneous’ in nature (Goldman, 1969; Haworth, forthcoming; Sawyer, 2003; Ward, 1972). Furthermore, these informal learning spaces create new ways of exposing illegitimate corporate and state power, as well as participating in the ‘coming communities’ (Day, 2007).

This edited book calls on international scholars (15 single authored or collectively authored chapters) in anarchist studies to critically reflect on historical and contemporary experimentations in anarchist pedagogies. Scholarly efforts will focus on what we have learned from past anarchist experiences and current transformative learning environments — where individuals are engaged in collective, participatory, voluntary and mutual efforts that contest global capitalist structures.

The edited collection responds to the need to reflect on anarchist pedagogies and will highlight three major themes. Authors in the first section will be encouraged to focus on historical discussions surrounding anarchism and education. The authors will give introspective critiques of historical practices, including theories of teaching and learning and alternatives to compulsory public schools. Authors in the second section will construct philosophical and theoretical frameworks evolving from contemporary anarchists, particularly through individuals participating in cooperatives, independent media collectives, infoshops, political zines, open source projects, DIY, direct action networks and other autonomous and cultural spaces.

Continued efforts to construct theoretical and philosophical discussions surrounding anarchism have also provided opportunities to build affinities and tensions with frameworks outside of anarchist writings (Cohn, 2007). The third section will encompass anarchist theories of teaching and learning. Authors will be asked to construct linkages and apprehensions to theories surrounding critical pedagogies and critical theory, autonomous Marxism, postmodernity and poststruturalism.

Proposed sections:

Forward:

Zack de la Rocha

1) Introduction

2) Section 1: Anarchism & Education: Historical experimentations

a. Anarchist perspectives on education

b. Modern Schools; Spain and the United States

c. Pedagogical practices: teacher/student relationship

d. Issues of the state and compulsory education

e. Connection and/or tensions between progressive education and social reconstruction

f. What have we learned?

3) Section 2: Anarchist Pedagogies in the “here and now”

a. Contesting power through multiple fronts: Movements against neoliberalism and learning through collective processes: Infoshops, cooperatives, autonomous spaces, zines, DIY

b. Teaching and learning in non-hierarchical, mutual and voluntary spaces — issues surrounding race, class, gender, LGBT

c. Technology: Issues surrounding the use of technology: open source, listservs, blogs & discussion boards

4) Section 3: Anarchism: Theoretical Frameworks on Teaching & Learning

a. Affinities: Anarchism & Critical pedagogies. Relationship to Postmodernism and Poststructuralism-Postanarchism

b. Informal learning spaces

c. De-schooling

d. Anarchism & the role of the university

e. Pedagogical practices

Audience:

Anarchist Pedagogies will draw upon and make connection to contemporary anarchist studies literature, particularly in education. The book will be important for scholars in anarchist studies, critical pedagogy, as well as undergraduate students and activists who are interested in building philosophical, theoretical, historical and contemporary discussions and imaginations beyond traditional forms of education.

Timeframe:

1) Proposals due by July 20th, 2010

2) Proposal confirmations: August 20th, 2010

3) Chapter drafts due by October 1st, 2010

4) Editor

5) Review of drafts: November, 2010

Editor will produce a comprehensive introductory and single authored chapter in one of the three sections. The forward will be written by an activist/scholar. Final editing and approval of the formatted version will be submitted December 30th, 2010. Publishing date will be set for early fall, 2011.

Contributors:

Process for submitting proposals:

Interested scholars, researchers, educators, activists and others should send to the editor, by July 20th, 2010, the following:

1) Names, positions, mailing addresses, fax and phone numbers, and email addresses of authors;

2) Title of proposed chapter;

3) Description, of no more than 300 words, of chapter, including type of research, approach, context, connection to the book, and other pertinent information;

4) Biographies of authors of no more than 200 words;

Biography of editor:

Robert Haworth is an Associate Professor in Multicultural Education at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He currently serves as the director for the Research Center for Cultural Diversity and Community Renewal. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses surrounding diversity and education, globalization and neoliberalism. He has published multiple peer reviewed book chapters and presented internationally on anarchism and informal learning spaces, as well as critical social studies education. He co-founded Regeneration TV, along with other research collectives that are directly involved in contesting neoliberal policies at the university level. This is Robert Haworth’s first edited book.

Robert Haworth PhD—Associate Professor University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, haworth.robe@uwlax.edu, 608.385.0891

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David Harvey

DAVID HARVEY AT KING’S COLLEGE LONDON

King’s College London Reading Capital Society

April 14th 2010


— –
http://www.kclreadingcapital.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=49539959005
– – –

The Centre for European Studies & KCL Reading Capital present:

The Enigma of Capital
A talk by the world’s most cited academic geographer
DAVID HARVEY
Author of ‘A Companion to Marx’s Capital’

Tuesday 27 April. 6.30pm. Free.
Great Hall, Strand, King’s College London

Please arrive early to avoid disappointment (Doors open 6pm).

For more info contact kclreadingcapital@gmail.com
http://www.kclreadingcapital.blogspot.com

With grateful thanks to
Bookmarks Bookshop
http://www.bookmarksbookshop.co.uk

Facebook event at:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=111026518917557&index=1

– – –

David Harvey is a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York (CUNY), and author of numerous books including ‘The Limits to Capital’, and ‘A Brief History of Neo-liberalism’. His most recent works are ‘The Enigma of Capital’ and ‘A Companion to Marx’s Capital’, which aims to get “you to read a book by Karl Marx called Capital, Volume 1, and to read it on Marx’s own terms…”. The latter book is based on his hugely popular on-line lectures at http://www.davidharvey.org They have been viewed over 700,000 times in 187 countries since June 2008.

David has been teaching Karl Marx’s Capital for nearly 40 years. His work has contributed greatly to a resurgent interest in Marx’s critique of global capitalism. He continues to bring his insights to these new debates about the economic crisis, social class and the continuing relevance of the methodological tools passed on to us by Marx. Join this discussion on TUESDAY 27 April in the Great Hall, Strand, King’s College London.

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Historical Materialism Sixth Annual Conference

 

27-29 November 2009, Central London

Another World is Necessary: Crisis, Struggle and Political Alternatives

Co-sponsored by Socialist Register and the Isaac and Tamara Deutscher  Prize

The world economy is traversing a sweeping crisis whose outcomes are still uncertain, but whose scope is undeniable. The name of Marx is now occasionally, if nervously, invoked in the financial press. The neo-liberal project is being reconfigured, and some have even rushed to pronounce it dead. Imperial strategies are being redrawn, while ecological and food crises deepen on a global scale. This situation of instability and uncertainty unquestionably lends itself to incisive analyses drawing upon and critically innovating the traditions of historical materialism. Critical Marxist theorists have already shed considerable light on the mechanisms and tendencies underlying the current crises and emphasised the conflicts and contradictions that are emerging as they develop.


Following upon previous annual conferences which worked towards a recomposition of an international Marxist intellectual sphere, this year’s Historical Materialism conference hopes to serve as a forum for papers and debates that will gauge the capacity of contemporary Marxism to confront this critical conjuncture and its multiple facets, both analytically and politically. We hope that the conference will serve not only as a collective investigation into the numerous global scenarios of capitalist crisis, but also as the opportunity to inquire – drawing on the political and conceptual reservoir of many Marxist traditions – into the class formations, political forces and organisational forms capable of responding combatively and inventively to the current situation. While the hegemony of a one-dimensional neo-liberalism demanded the affirmation that other worlds were possible, the current crises require arguments to demonstrate how we might achieve the other world that is now more than ever necessary.

In keeping with the multi-disciplinary and exploratory character of the journal, we welcome abstracts on any matter of relevance to critical Marxist theory, but will especially welcome papers responding directly to the call, or dealing with some of the following issues:

    • Theories of crisis, and their history
    • Neo-liberalism in retreat?
    • Histories of class struggle, crisis, and revolution
    • Socialist Feminist Responses to Crisis
    • The future of the new imperialism
    • ‘Neo-Keynesian’ responses to the crisis
    • Environmental crisis and eco-socialism
    • Left interventions in the crisis
    • Utopian and non-utopian Marxisms
    • Political agency and subjectivity
    • Theories of political organisation
    • Political economy and labour in contemporary cultural theory
    • Class struggle and class composition today
    • The geography and urbanisation of contemporary capitalism
    • Non-Marxist traditions on the Left
    • Marxist perspectives contemporary art, art history and visual culture
    • Displacing crisis onto the Global South
    • War, militarism, insecurity, and violence
    • Immigration, migrant labour, and anti-racism
    • Socialism in the Twenty-First Century

Note to all those who wish to propose papers and panels: instructions will follow shortly on the procedure for proposals. PLEASE DO NOT SEND THEM UNTIL THESE INSTRUCTIONS HAVE BEEN CIRCULATED.

Preference will be given to subscribers to the journal.

Please note also that participants are expected to attend the whole conference – special arrangements for speaking on certain days only cannot be made, except for very extreme circumstances.

Deadline for abstracts: 1 May 2009.

 

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Working In, and Against, the Neo-Liberal State: Global Perspectives on K-12 Teacher Unions

 

Call for Papers

 

Special Issue for Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor

(http://www.workplac e-gsc.com)

 

The neo-liberal restructuring of national education systems is a global phenomenon and represents a major threat to the possibility of a democratic, public education committed to meeting the needs of working class and oppressed groups.  Teacher unions, across the world, despite all the attacks on them, represent perhaps the most formidable obstacle to neo-liberal restructuring.  Teachers remain highly unionized and although they have suffered many setbacks in recent years, their collective organizations generally remain robust.

 

Despite the significance and importance of teacher unions they remain largely under-researched.  Mainstream academic literature on school sector education policy often ignores teacher unions, even in cases where scholars are critical of the market orientation of neo-liberal reforms.  Two recent exceptions to this tradition are the contributions of Compton and Weiner (2008) and Stevenson et al (2007).  The strength of Compton and Weiner’s excellent volume is the breadth of international perspectives. However, individual chapters are largely short ‘vignettes’, and the aim is to offer fairly brief and readable accounts, rather than detailed and scholarly analysis.  Stevenson et al offer a series of traditional scholarly articles, although the emphasis is largely on the Anglophone nations (UK, North America, Australasia) , and the collection fails to capture the full breadth required of an international perspective.  In both cases, and quite understandably, these contributions were not able to take account of the seismic developments in the world capitalist economy since Autumn 08 in particular. These developments have significant implications for the future of neo-liberalism, for the development of education policy in nation states and for the policies and practices of teacher unions. There is now a strong case for an analysis of teacher unionism that is detailed, scholarly, international and able to take account of current developments.

 

This special section of Workplace will focus on the ways in which teacher unions in the K-12 sector are challenging the neo-liberal restructuring of school education systems in a range of global contexts.  Neo-liberalism’ s reach is global. Its impact on the restructuring of public education systems shares many common characteristics wherever it manifests itself.  That said, it also plays out differently in different national and local contexts.  This collection of papers will seek to assess how teacher unions are challenging the trajectory of neo-liberal reform in a number of different national contexts.  By drawing on contributors from all the major world continents it will seek to highlight the points of contact and departure in the apparently different ways in which teacher unions interface with the neo-liberal agenda. It will also ensure that analyses seek to reflect recent developments in the global capitalist economy, and the extent to which this represents threat or opportunity for organized teacher movements.

 

Compton, M. and Weiner, L. (2008) The Global Assault on Teachers, Teaching and their Unions, London: Palgrave.

 

Stevenson, H. et al (2007) Changes in Teachers’ Work and the Challengs Facing Teacher Unions. International Electronic Journal of Leadership for Learning. Volume 11. http://www.ucalgary .ca/~iejll/

 

Submissions

Contributions to Workplace should be 4000-6000 words in length and should conform to MLA style.  If you are interested, please submit an abstract via Word attachment to Howard Stevenson (hstevenson@lincoln. ac.uk) by 31st July 2009. Completed articles will be due via email on 28th December 2009.  All papers will be blind peer-reviewed.

 

 

E. Wayne Ross

http://www.ewaynero ss.net

wayne.ross@mac. com

 

 

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