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Marxist Theory Seminar

Seminar in Contemporary Marxist Theory

A speaker series organised by King’s College London (Departments of European and International Studies, Geography and French; School of Management & Business), Queen Mary University of London (Law), and Loughborough University London (Institute for International Management). All seminars are open to the public. No registration is required. 

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Scheduled Talks

Talat Ahmed (Edinburgh University)
Gandhi @150: Rethinking India’s non-violent revolutionary

Wednesday 13 March 2019
King’s College London
BH (SE) 2.12
South East Wing, Bush House, Strand Campus
30 Aldwych
London, WC2B 4BG

2019 marks the 150th birth anniversary of Mohandas Gandhi. To many he remains an inspirational figure - the apostle of peace who almost single-handedly led the struggle to free India from the yoke of empire. Contemporary activists involved in climate change, peace and anti-imperialist movements point to Gandhi as the iconic exemplar of non-violent resistance. But in the era of decolonising education, it has been agreed to remove a statue of Gandhi in Ghana over accusations of racism, and the #MeToo campaign has ignited controversy over his attitude towards women. Inspiration and controversy also apply to his non-violent approach - both its efficacy and effectiveness. Gandhi's mass movements in many respects lay at the intersection of the disparate interests of varied social constituents: corporate magnets, landlords, rich peasants, and workers, poor and landless peasants, untouchables and forest dwellers. This paper (drawing on Dr Talat Ahmed's new book, Mohandas Gandhi: Experiments in Civil Disobedience, London: Pluto Press; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019) will locate Gandhi’s life, ideas and work within a larger process and examine the contradictions of how he stimulated mass movements for social change, but then strove to limit their impact within certain bounds. As such, Gandhi was arguably a contradictory revolutionary. In her paper, Ahmed will interrogate Gandhi's non-violence as a political strategy and argue that only by making a distinction between his intentions and outcomes can we unravel this enigmatic ‘non-violent revolutionary’. In this way the relative successes, limitations and weaknesses of his peculiar approach can be addressed.     


Past Speakers

Virginia Fontes (Universidade Federal Fluminense) and Alfredo Saad-Filho (SOAS)
From Lula to Bolsonaro: Debating the rise of the far right in Brazil
Wednesday 6 February 2019

Michael Roberts (independent economist), Maria Ivanova (Goldsmiths), and Juan Pableo Mateo (University of Valladolid)
Book Launch: World in Crisis: A Global Analysis of Marx's Law of Profitability
Wednesday 13 February 2019

Matthias Lievens (KU Leuven, Belgium)
Jean-Paul Sartre on masses, classes and their struggles
5 December 2018

Lee Wengraf (Activist and writer)
Extracting Profit: Neoliberalism, Imperialism and the New Scramble for Africa
Book launch with discussant: Elisa Greco (University of Leeds)
21 November 2018

William Clare Roberts (McGill)
Marx’s politics of freedom
8 November 2018

Majed Akhter (King's College London)
Geopolitics of the Belt and Road: Space, State, and Capital in China and Pakistan
17 October 2018

Dr Tomas Rotta (University of Greenwich)
Unproductive accumulation in the USA: Knowledge, exploitation and income Inequality
21 March 2018

Dr Alexander Loftus (King’s College London)
Gramsci as a historical geographical materialist
9 May 2018

Dr Julia Nicholls (King’s College London)
Marx's Capital and the origins of Marxism in modern France
14 February 2018

Professor Bill Bowring (Birkbeck)
Marx, the State, and Spinoza: Against Hobbes and Schmitt
17 November 2018

Dr Anne Alexander (University of Cambridge)
Marxist approaches to understanding Islam and Islamism: a critical reappraisal
29 November 2017

Professor Claude Serfati (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin)
Le militaire: une histoire française (book launch)
Discussants: Prof Alex Callinicos (King’s College London) and Dr Eva Nanopoulos (Queen Mary)
18 October 2017

Professor Leo Panitch (York University)
Trumping the American Empire?
8 November 2017

Dr Rutvica Andrjiasevic
Foxconn beyond China: Capital-labour relations as co-determinants of global organisation of production
9 May 2017

Professor Lea Ypi (LSE)
Legitimacy, Dictatorship and Utopia: A Marxist Perspective on Political Obligation
22 March 2017

Professor Alan Cafruny (Hamilton College, USA) and Professor Magnus Ryner (King's College London);
The European Union and Global Capitalism (book launch)

Discussants: Professor Jane Hardy (Hertfordshire) & Professor Engelbert Stockhammer (Kingston)
15 March 2017

Dr Tony Norfield
Finance and the Imperialist World Economy
8 February 2017

Dr Claes Belfrage (University of Liverpool)
Financialisation and the Crisis-tendencies in the New Swedish Model
30 November 2016

Dr Ana Dinerstein (University of Bath)
Discussing Utopia in 21st Century Capitalism
29 November 2016

Professor Stefan Kipfer (York University)
Which Decolonial Gramsci? A Case for the Fanon-Gramsci Lineage
9 November 2016

Ian Angus (Editor of Climate & Capitalism)
Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System
19 October 2016

Professor Erik Olin Wright (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
How to be an anti-capitalist for the 21st century
6 October, 2016

Dr Paolo Gerbaudo (King’s College London)
‘Anarcho-populism: on the ideology of the movement of the squares of 2011’
17 February 2016

Dr Yuliya Yurchenko (University of Greenwich)
‘Social forces in the making of contemporary Ukraine: capitalist rivalries and the dispossessed’
20 January 2016

Professor Riccardo Bellofiore &Professor Alex Callinicos
A Dialogue on Alex Callinicos’s book Deciphering Capital: Marx’s Capital and Its Destiny
9 November 2015

Dr Stathis Kouvelakis
Lessons of the Greek Crisis
21 October 2015

Dr Nicholas De Genova
Theorising the ‘Crisis' of the European Border Regime
25 November 2015

Dr Matt Vidal (King's College London)
Postfordism: the geriatric stage of Atlantic capitalism
18 February 2015

Dr Lucia Pradella (University of Venice Ca' Foscari and SOAS)
Globalization and the critique of political economy: new insights from Marx’s writings
18 March 2015

Professor Bob Jessop (Lancaster University)
Re-reading Poulantzas in and for the current crisis
21 January 2015 


Seminar Organisers

Alex Callinicos (King’s College London)

Stathis Kouvelakis (King’s College London)

Alex Loftus (King’s College London)

Eva Nanopoulos (Queen Mary University of London)

Lucia Pradella (King’s College London)

Matt Vidal (Loughborough University London)



Videos of the "Capital.150: Marx’s 'Capital' Today" conference, featuring David Harvey, Michael Roberts, Guglielmo Carchedi, Paul Mattick Jr, Ben Fine, Tony Norfield, Alex Callinicos, Fred Moseley and Beverly Silver. 

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