Historical Materialism – 2010  London

The dates for this years Historical Materialism Conference have been set. Notes From Below intend to present a paper  on the crisis and left recomposition. If you would also like to submit papers for discussion please follow the link below. Abstracts between 200-300 words must be submitted by the 1st of June.  We look forward to participating with you there.

‘Crisis and Critique’: Historical Materialism Annual London Conference 2010,

Central London, Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th November*

Call for Papers

Submission and Abstract Deadline: 1 June 2010

Notwithstanding repeated invocations of the ‘green shoots of recovery’, the effects of the economic crisis that began in 2008 continue to be felt around the world. While some central tenets of the neoliberal project have been called into question, bank bailouts, cuts to public services and attacks on working people’s lives demonstrate that the ruling order remains capable of imposing its agenda. Many significant Marxist analyses have already been produced of the origins, forms and prospects of the crisis, and we look forward to furthering these debates at HM London 2010. We also aim to encourage dialogue between the critique of political economy and other modes of criticism – ideological, political, aesthetic, philosophical – central to the Marxist tradition.

In the 1930s, Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht projected a journal to be called ‘Crisis and Critique’. In very different times, but in a similar spirit, HM London 2010 aims to serve as a forum for dialogue, interaction and debate between different strands of critical-Marxist theory. Whether their focus is the study of the capitalist mode of production’s theoretical and practical foundations, the unmasking of its ideological forms of legitimation or its political negation, we are convinced that a renewed and politically effective Marxism will need to rely on all the resources of critique in the years ahead. Crises produce periods of ideological and political uncertainty. They are moments that put into question established cognitive and disciplinary compartmentalisations, and require a recomposition at the level of both theory and practice. HM London 2010 hopes to contribute to a broader dialogue on the Left aimed at such a recomposition, one of whose prerequisites remains the young Marx’s call for the ‘ruthless criticism of all that exists’.

We are seeking papers that respond to the current crisis from a range of Marxist perspectives, but also submissions that try to think about crisis and critique in their widest ramifications. HM will also consider proposals on themes and topics of interest to critical-Marxist theory not directly linked to the call for papers(we particularly welcome contributions on non-Western Marxism and on empirical enquiries employing Marxist methods).

While Historical Materialism is happy to receive proposals for panels, the editorial board reserves the right to change the composition of panels or to reject individual papers from panel proposals. We also expect all participants to attend the whole conference and not simply make ‘cameo’ appearances. We cannot accommodate special requests for specific slots or days, except in highly exceptional circumstances.

*Please note that, in order to allow for expected demand, this year the conference will be three and a half days’ long, starting on the Thursday afternoon.

Please submit a title and abstract of between 200 and 300 words by
registering here by 1 June 2010

Possible themes include:

• Crisis and left recomposition

• Critique and crisis in the global south

• Anti-racist critique

• Marxist and non-Marxist theories of crisis

• Capitalist and anti-capitalist uses of the crisis

• Global dimensions of the crisis

• Comparative and historical accounts of capitalist crisis

• Ecological and economic crisis

• Critical theory today

• Finance and the crisis

• Neoliberalism and legitimation crisis

• Negation and negativity

• Feminism and critique

• Political imaginaries of crisis and catastrophe

• The critique of everyday life (Lefebvre, the situationists etc.)

• The idea of critique in Marx, his predecessors and contemporaries

• Art criticism, political critique and the critique of political economy

• Geography and crisis, geography and the critique of political economy

• Right-wing movements and crisis

• Critiques of the concept of crisis

• New forms of critique in the social and human sciences

• Aesthetic critique

• Marxist literary and cultural criticism

• Reports on recent evolution of former USSR countries and China

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