Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Abstraction Conference

Marx and Philosophy Society

Seventh annual conference

Abstraction, Universality and Money Saturday

5th June 2010, 9.30am - 6.00pm

Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London

Richard Seaford (Exeter) Money, Abstraction, and the Genesis of the Psyche

Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths) The Dead Pledge of Society: Methodological Problems and Political Consequences of 'Real Abstraction'

Christopher Arthur Abstraction, Universality and Money

Graduate panels:

Jan Sailer (Freiburg) Securities: The Purest Form of Abstract Wealth

Nick Gray (Sussex) Abstraction, Universality, Money and Capital

Marina Vishmidt (Queen Mary, University of London) Art in and as Abstract Labour

Brian Fuller (York, Toronto) Materialism and Dialectic: Reading Marx after Adorno

Tim Carter (Sussex) Alienation and Domination in Marx and Wittgenstein

Chris Allsobrook (Sussex) The Ideological Normative Grounds of Immanent Critique

£15 waged, £10 unwaged (provides annual membership of the society)

To reserve a place in advance please email David Marjoribanks

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Variant - new issue

New Issue of Variant Magazine: The Tyranny of Rent

Variant, issue 37, Spring / Summer 2010

...the free, independent, arts magazine. In-depth coverage in the context of broader social, political & cultural issues.

Culture is one of the most important fields in the struggle for a more democratic, egalitarian and free society. If the changes currently proposed to this field by the Polish authorities are not subject to a wide social debate, consultation and criticism, they will bring catastrophic results for both the producers of culture and society as a whole. Culture should be perceived as a public good, not a privilege for a selected group of citizens. The dangers embedded in the governmental proposals for reforms in the domain of culture have already been discussed by artists, theorists, cultural and social activists. All agree that culture is a very specific field of production, and that it would be endangered by an exclusively market-oriented strategy of organizing it.

For the Polish authorities, culture appears to be just another life-sphere ready to be colonized by neoliberal capitalism. Attempts are being made to persuade us that the ‘free’ market, productivity and income oriented activities are the only rational, feasible and universal laws for social development. This is a lie. For us – the cultural producers – culture is a space of innovation and experimental activity, an environment for lively self-realization. This is under threat. Our lives, emotions, vulnerability, doubts, purposes and ideas are to become a commodity – in other words, a mere product to fuel the development of new forms of capitalist exploitation. It is not culture that needs “business exercises” it is the market that needs a cultural revolution. That revolution should not be understood as a one time “coup d’état”, but as a permanent, vigilant and compassionate dissent, a will to protest against, verify and criticize any form of colonization of the field of culture for the private interests of market players and bureaucrats.

Therefore we say: “We would prefer not to”. Our resistance is an expression of our more general protest against the commodification of social relations, its reifying character and general social injustice. We hereby express our existential and political solidarity with the people who oppose this marketization of all spheres of social and personal life. Culture plays an important role as a space for experimentation and reflection, for creating mutual trust and bonds between people. Cultural interactions based on the spontaneous activity of individuals and groups play a crucial role for the development of the society, including its economic dimension. Recognizing the importance of this is a necessary step in creating a space for self-realization and democratic debate.


Radical Change In Culture / Manifesto

On bullshit in cultural policy practice & research
Eleonora Belfiore

Remembering Brian Barry
Femi Folorunso

Launch of ‘Friends of Belge’ : An Appeal for Solidarity
Desmond Fernandes

Print Creations Comic & Zine reviews
Mark Pawson

Doodley-doo? Doodley don’t! Life and Sabotage
Gesa Helms

Comment : "Art Workers Won’t Kiss Ass"
Owen Logan

Precarious Labor: A Feminist Viewpoint
Silvia Federici

Overidentification and/or bust?
Stevphen Shukaitis

Learning to Breathe Protest
Salong, Interflugs, Academy of Refusal, 10th Floor
‘We have decided not to die.’

On taking and leaving the University
Marina Vishmidt

The Tyranny of Rent
Neil Gray

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Mediations - new issue

The editorial collective of Mediations, the journal of the Marxist Literary Group, is pleased to announce issue 24.2, a special issue that revisits the relationship between Marxism and literature. Mediations is published twice yearly. The Fall issues are dossiers of non-U.S. material of interest; the Spring issues are open submission and peer reviewed. Mediations has circulated in various forms and formats since the early 1970s, and is now available free on the web. Both a web edition and a print edition, downloadable in pdf form, can be accessed at mediationsjournal.org. Featured authors in the current issue include Gáspár Miklós Tamás, Imre Szeman, Neil Larsen, Mathias Nilges, Nicholas Brown, Aisha Karim, Leerom Medovoi, and Sarah Brouillette.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Fanaticism Q&A

Fanaticism Q&A, thanks again to Helen.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Crisis and Critique HM 2010

Historical Materialism London Conference 2010, 'Crisis and Critique'. Thursday 11th november to Sunday 14th november. Abstracts deadline: June 1, 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 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 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 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 inquiries 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.

Please submit a title and abstract of between 200 and 300 words by registering at http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/conferences/annual7/submit by June 1, 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)
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