cfp: Is Black and Red Dead?

Is Black and Red Dead?

7th – 8th September, 2009

An academic conference organized and supported by the:
PSA Anarchist Studies Network,
PSA Marxism Specialist Group,
Anarchist Studies,
Capital & Class,
Critique-Journal of Socialist Theory &
Historical Materialism.

Hosted By:
The Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice
University of Nottingham

«Crowned heads, wealth and privilege may well tremble should ever again the
Black and Red unite!»

(Otto Von Bismark, upon hearing of the split in the First International)

What is the political relevance of the ideological labels «anarchist» and
«Marxist» in the contemporary geo-political climate? Despite recurrent
crisis, the costs typically borne by the people, neoliberal capitalism
continues to colonize the globe in a never ending quest for profit and new
enclosures. Meanwhile, an effective political response from the left to the
wars, ecological destruction, financial collapse and social problems created
by capital and state has so far failed to garner the widespread support and
influence it needs. Indeed, the sectarianism of the left may well have
contributed to this failure.
Still, despite fracture, there have always been borrowings across the left.
Most recently, post-’68 radicalisms have contributed to a blurring of the
divisions between the anarchist and Marxist traditions. Traditionally
regarded as hostile and irreconcilable, many of these ideas find expression
in the «newest social movements», taking inspiration from the Situationists,
left communists, and social anarchist traditions. The anti-statist,
libertarian currents within the socialist movement have repeatedly emerged
during periods of acute political and economic crisis, from the council
communists to revolutionary anarchism. Is this one such historical juncture
in which dynamic reconciliation is not only welcomed but vital? To rephrase
the question, what can we learn from 150 years of anti-statist,
anti-capitalist social movements, and how might this history inform the
formulation of a new social and political current, consciously combining the
insights of plural currents of anarchism and Marxism in novel historical
junctures? Indeed, to what extent have these traditional fault lines been
constitutive of the political imagination? The modern feminist, queer,
ecological, anti-racist and postcolonial struggles have all been inspired by
and developed out of critiques of the traditional parameters of the old
debates, and many preceded them. So, to what extent do capital and the state
remain the key sites of struggle?
We welcome papers that engage critically with both the anarchist and the
Marxist traditions in a spirit of reconciliation. We welcome historical
papers that deal with themes and concepts, movements or individuals. We also
welcome theoretical papers with demonstrable historical or political
importance. Our criteria for the acceptance of papers will be mutual
respect, the usual critical scholarly standards and demonstrable engagement
with both traditions of thought.
Please send 350 word abstracts (as word documents), including full contact
details, to:
Dr Alex Prichard (ESML, University of Bath):

Closing date for receipt of abstracts: 1st May, 2009

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