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The Island

The Island


Call for Papers: RGS–IBG Annual International Conference 2014, London, 26–29 August 2014

Session: Anti Production & Co. Unthinking capitalist realism (Perish the thought)
Organizers: Marcus A. Doel, David B. Clarke, and Richard G. Smith
Sponsor: History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group (HPGRG)

Expected format: Two 100-minute sessions, comprising eight 20-minute papers (inc. 5-minutes each for Q&A), and two 20-minute discussants

“It cannot be stressed enough: THERE IS NEVER ANYTHING TO PRODUCE” (Jean Baudrillard, The Ecstasy of Communication)

The advent of the term ‘co-production’ should be a cause for concern for all Left-leaning Geographers. With its conjoining of a generalized busyness on the one hand (production) and a harmonious coming together on the other hand (co-), the term’s dissimulation and occlusion of the agonistic division of labour and the expropriation of the commons seems perfectly attuned to the ideological obfuscation of capitalist realism, zombie neoliberalism, and objective violence. Since everything is supposedly produced (made to appear, manufactured, assembled, fabricated, and constructed), we are all seemingly compelled to produce together; and we are all ostensibly in it together (humans and nonhumans, producers and consumers, dead labour and living labour, and so on and so forth). Such is the fantastical and phantasmagorical meaning of ‘co-production’ – an assembling assembly, toiling away for the common good. This session will challenge this cozy, heart-warming, and peaceable notion of ‘creative togetherness’ by welcoming a return of the ideologically repressed: the dis- and the de- against the co-, and the se- and the re- against the pro- (disjointure and deconstruction; seduction and sedition; reduction and retraction; et cetera).

We would welcome papers that challenge the notion of ‘co-production,’ particularly with reference to:
* Capitalist realism
* Zombie neoliberalism
* Objective violence – symbolic and systemic
* Anti-production and general economy
* Seduction and the mirror of production
* The violence of critical theory and fatal theory
* Being forced to think otherwise
* Deconstruction and poststructuralism
* Revolutionary and counter-revolutionary theory
* Schizoanalysis and psychoanalysis
* Commonization of knowledge production
* The destruction of meaning
* Uncreative thinking
* Interpassivity and desubjectification

Please send a proposed title, an abstract (up to 200 words), and your contact details to Marcus Doel, Swansea University (, by 25th January 2014.

Marcus A. Doel, David B. Clarke, and Richard G. Smith
Centre for Urban Theory
Department of Geography
College of Science
Swansea University
Singleton Park
Swansea SA2 8PP
United Kingdom
Tel. +44(0)1792 513090
Twitter: @MarcusDoel

“Through the mirror of production the human species comes to consciousness in the imaginary’” (Jean Baudrillard, The Mirror of Production)

Further details about the Annual Conference can be found at <> and about HPGRG at: <>.




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Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory

Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory




Vol.36 Issue 6

November 2012


This Special Issue is concerned with the work of Piero Sraffa and with recent developments in its interpretation, occasioned by the opening of the Sraffa Archives in late 1993. It brings together some of the contributions to a workshop on this theme that was sponsored by the Cambridge Journal of Economics and held in July 2010 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Piero Sraffa’s major work, Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities (PCMC).

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Politics of Consumption


Dublin, Ireland, 9-11 May, 2012.

Ephemera: theory & politics in organization:

This conference explores the relationships between consumption, accumulation, production, reproduction and politics today. Taking the apparent generalisation of conditions of austerity as an opportunity to re-visit longer ongoing debates surrounding the extra-economic nature of commodity consumption, and its complex relationship to commodity production, the conference asks whether traditional conceptualisations of the politics of consumption require revision. What empirical developments have become crucial? What theories remain helpful? What political mobilisations have become inevitable?

The conference gathers together leading figures for the sake of debating and contesting such issues. The conference also forms the basis of a special issue of ephemera: theory and politics in organization – please read the call for papers for more information.

Venue and getting there
The conference will take place at the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 63 Merrion Square, Dublin 2 (see Google Map). Conveniently located at the heart of Georgian Dublin, this is a fitting venue for the conference theme, both because Ireland has taken centre stage within contemporary debates concerning compulsive excessiveness and retributive austerity, and also by virtue of the fact that cultural and historical nationalism has become a principal foundation of the contemporary politics of consumption. Visit the Society’s website for more information (

Dublin’s City Centre is a 30-45 minute bus ride from Dublinairport. The easiest way of getting there is to take the 747 bus to the city centre (€6): alternative routes exist, some cheaper, others more expensive. The conference venue is about a five minute walk from famous central landmarks such as Trinity College Dublin and St Stephen’s Green. The nearest DART stations to the venue are Pearse Streetand Grand Canal Dock – the area is also well served by a variety of Dublin Bus Services. Further details can be found at (Trains) and (Buses).

Submission deadline
The special issue deadline is on or before the 30th of November, 2011, and has already been widely publicised. Conference submissions are to be received before the 23rd of January, 2012. On time of submission, please be clear whether you would like your work to be considered for inclusion in the special issue, the conference, or both.

Conference fee
Fees will be determined in the New Year. The intention is to maintain keep costs as close to free as possible, as has been the case with previous ephemera conferences. If fees are required, attendees can expect these not to exceed £100. Non wage-earners can expect to be exempt from fees.

Further information
For queries, you can contact one of the conference organizers:

Alan Bradshaw (
Norah Campbell (
Stephen Dunne (


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It's CrisisTime!

It's CrisisTime!



 Critical Labour Studies: 6th Symposium 2009

Venue: The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Saturday 21st/Sunday 22nd November 2009

Statement of Intent
It is clear to researchers and activists, both in the trade union movement and universities, that global capitalism is increasingly shaping the worlds of work and employment. The imposition of this neo-liberal orthodoxy has many profound implications, not least that states seek to both de-legitimise workers’ opposition and marginalise their organisations. However, just as capitalism has embraced neo-liberal strategies, there has emerged a new politics of resistance that is varied and diverse, embracing: trade union and socialist organisations, green and ecological protest movements, anti-war activists, feminists, human rights campaigners and NGOs. It is against this background that the Critical Labour Studies (CLS) symposium has aimed to bring together researchers and activists to discuss key features of work and employment from a radical and labour-focused perspective. We recognise that while left academic researchers participate in the usual round of mainstream conferences, the scope for focused radical debate around these themes is actually quite limited. Through CLS we have developed an open working group and discussion forum that engages with many of the challenges facing researchers and trade unionists within the current environment of work and employment. By ‘labour’, we anticipate, in the traditions of radical researchers over the ages, a broad understanding of myriad social, economic and political agendas. To date, themes have included: race, identity and organising migrant workers, global unionism and organising internationally, the new politics of production, privatisation, outsourcing and offshoring. The list of themes and questions that concern us continues to develop over time, and the intention will be to reflect this evolving agenda at this year’s symposium. An ancillary objective is to engage in genuinely critical debate, rescuing this term from its co-option by mainstream agendas.

The Format of the Symposium
Building on the successes of the past five years, the forthcoming symposium will be structured as a series of plenary sessions. Each will be organised around a particular theme with speakers and discussants, followed by a broad discussion. It has been an important principle of CLS that the conference is not based on the convention of academic conferences with specific papers being presented in separate streams. Rather our intention has been to deepen discussion and debate, and to bring together researchers and labour/union movement activists (where possible) in joint sessions. All sessions are genuinely open and inclusive and involve a broad range of participants, from established academics to early-career researchers, and from established trade union officials to shop-floor representatives and grass-roots activists. The distinctive organising principles of CLS are, therefore, to assist unions and workers in dealing with the challenges faced in the neo-liberal world of work and employment. Ultimately, discussion of strategies and tactics are related to the broader aim of creating a socialist society.


VENUE: School of Oriental and African Studies
– Khalili Lecture Theater (KLT), University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG

DATES: 21st and 22nd of November

Organisers: Demet Dinler, Jane Holgate and Miguel Martinez Lucio

Saturday 21st

8.30-9.30 Registration (with coffee and tea)

9.30 Welcome and introduction

First Session – Work Intensification and Lean Production

10.00 – 11.00

‘Is that Banana Active?’ Lean and Mean in the Civil Service
Speaker from PCS, Bob Carter (de Montfort University), Andy Danford (University of West of England), Debra Howcroft (University of Manchester), Helen Richardson (University of Salford), Andrew Smith (University of East of London), Phil Taylor (University of Strathclyde)

11.00-11.30 tea and coffee


Challenging lean production in the car industry. The politics of developing critical research agenda in and beyond the shop floor.
Steve Craig (UCATT), Ken Murphy (UNITE and Paul Stewart (Strathclyde University)


Prospects for a Critical Labour Psychology
Thomas Ryan (Northumbria University)

1.00-2.00 Lunch

Second Session – Labour Markets, Migration and Labour


The growth of living wage campaigns across university campuses

Clare Soloman – SOAS coordinator of the campaign; Jose Stalin Bermudez – shop steward; Demet Dinler – SOAS


Adapt or Decline – A Trade Union Future for Black Workers

Jane Holgate (Working Lives Institute) and Wilf Sullivan (TUC)

3.30- 4.00 tea and coffee


Racism, Nationalism and the Labour Movement in Northern Ireland: Racist bigots; they haven’t gone away you know

Independent Workers Union (IWU) address to CLS – Tommy McKearney IWU

4.30-5.30 Towards a Critical approach to Migration and Labour

Migration research: Why theory and methodology matters
Jutta Moehrke, Stoke-on-Trent Citizens Advice Bureau
Steve French, Centre for Industrial Relations, Keele University

Migration and the Politics of Research: Comparisons and Stereotypes
Heather Connolly and Miguel Martinez Lucio (University of Manchester)

Social 7pm onwards Rugby Tavern, 9 Great James St London, WC1N 3ES

Sunday 22nd

Third Session: Politics and Unions: Class and Organising

9.30 tea and coffee


Organising and Class
Mel Simms (Warwick) and Martin Smith GMB


Towards a Typology of Alternative Trade Union Futures in Western Europe
Martin Upchurch (Middlesex University), Andy Mathers (University of the West of England), Graham Taylor (University of the West of England)


Time for a different model of public sector trade unionism
Roger Kline (UCU)
12.30-1.30 – Lunch

1.30 -2.30 – Open Discussion: CLS and Future Developments

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If you would like to be added to the CLS email list, please go to:

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Registration and Contact for the Conference

• The sessions will be held at the Khalili Lecture Theater (KLT) and registration is at the entrance of this lecture theatre in SOAS.
• The registration fee for the weekend is £60.00 (unwaged or low waged £40). This will include food, tea/coffee and Saturday evening’s entertainment.
• For further information contact Demet Dinler, Jane, or Miguel Martinez Lucio
• TO REGISTER AND SEND YOUR CHEQUE CONTACT Jane – Dr Jane Holgate, Working Lives Research Institute, London Metropolitan University, 31 Jewry Street, London EC3N 2EY – Make cheques payable to the ‘LONDON ORGANISERS NETWORK’.
• It is recommended that you register and confirm attendance in advance of the conference due to the restrictions on numbers.

This event is supported by Historical Materialism, Capital and Class, and the BUIRA Marxist Study Group

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