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 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

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