Rethinking Marxism



Conference Program (Final)

Call For Papers

RETHINKING MARXISM: a journal of economics, culture & society is pleased to announce its 8th international conference, to be held at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst on the evening of the 19th through the 22nd of September 2013.

RETHINKING MARXISM's seven previous international conferences have each attracted more than 1000 students, scholars, and activists. They have included keynote addresses and plenary sessions, formal papers, roundtables, workshops, art exhibitions, screenings, performances, and activist discussions.

The confirmed keynote events for Rethinking Marxism 2013: Surplus, Solidarity, Sufficiency include

  • A series of panels focused on the possibilities and necessities of working for communism today including a plenary address with Jodi Dean and Stephen Healy.
  • Richard Wolff presenting an opening plenary celebrating the work and life of Stephen Resnick.
  • Katherine Gibson giving the inaugural Julie Graham Memorial Lecture
  • A series of panels engaging with and celebrating the different aspects of the work of Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff.
  • An installation of the late artist Susan Kleckner's work at Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp, along with a series of conversations and film screening organized by Susan Jahoda and Jesal Kapadia.

In 2013, 5 years into the greatest economic and social depression since the Great Depression, and 4 years after the last international conference convened, we want to invite participants to explore and interrogate three keywords: SURPLUS, SOLIDARITY and SUFFICIENCY. We find these keywords to be particularly useful in critically engaging with our historical conjuncture from different perspectives. Needless to say, fellow participants who would like to bring in other concerns, other concepts, other debates and engagements into the mix should definitely feel free to do so. Our international conferences have always functioned as pluralistic and open platforms that represent the vast richness of the Marxian tradition. When we propose these keywords, we only intend them as possible provocations for scrutiny and invitations for engagement.

The keyword SURPLUS, as in surplus labor (whether it takes the capitalist value-form or the various non-capitalist forms in our contemporary economies) and surplus laborers (especially with skyrocketing unemployment), enables us to approach the causes, consequences and solutions to the current economic crisis by deploying Marxian vocabularies and frameworks. The keyword SOLIDARITY, on the other hand, makes possible reflections on how to do things differently — together, collectively, communally, whether it is the organization of a democratically run workplace, a journal, a conference, a neighborhood association, a political party, a social movement, an international solidarity effort, or a revolutionary insurgence. And finally, the keyword SUFFICIENCY opens to investigation the bipolar convulsions of growth (fetishism) and austerity, various logics of invidious (over-)consumption, and the ecological and social destruction unleashed by the acephalous and endless movement of the circuits of capital.

Rather than uncritically endorsing these keywords, we would like them to be both utilized and rethought in investigating the current economic and ecological crises and articulating new revolutionary imaginaries and vocabularies that will enable the work of enacting communism here and now.

For more information on the proposed theme, visit: http://www.rethinkingmarxism.org/sss

We encourage, however, scholars and students in all disciplines, activists and artists working in areas that intersect with Marxism to submit proposals on themes other than those proposed above. Participants can present in areas such as critical race theory, feminism, political economy, anarchist studies, cultural and literary studies, art and art criticism, literature and literary studies, queer theory, working-class and labor studies, postcolonial studies, geography and urban studies, psychoanalysis, social and natural sciences, philosophy, history, and around issues of class, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, and disability. Historical analyses are especially welcome.

In addition to three plenary sessions, an art installation and screenings, there will be concurrent panels, workshops, and cultural events. We invite the submission of organized sessions that follow traditional or non-traditional formats (such as workshops, roundtables, and dialogue among and between presenters and audience) as well as individual presentations. Anyone engaging with Marxism in any discipline or form of activism is encouraged to submit paper and panel proposals. We also welcome video, poetry, performance, and all other modes of presentation and cultural expression.

The deadline for proposal submissions is July 1, 2013.

  RM 2013