Conference: ‘Local Communisms’, 1917-89

May 30, 2011

Programme and Fees: ‘Local Communisms’, 1917-89
First Annual Conference of the Journal Twentieth Century Communism

Venue: University of Glamorgan (South Wales, UK)
Date: Thursday 30th June and Friday 1st July 2011

The study of communist parties globally has, perhaps inevitably, always involved finding a balance between overarching relationships with Moscow and the specific influences of a diversity of local environments in which the individual parties functioned. While recognising the importance of the former, this conference aims to address the extent to which national and sub-nation political, social and cultural traditions and developments, crises and continuities shaped the character of ‘world communism’.

The conference programme can now be downloaded here. (Updated May 27th.)

Please register to attend the conference at our online form.

The conference fee, payable by all speakers and attendees, will be as follows:

For academic and others in employment, the fee is £20.00 for one day and £35.00 for both. The registration fee covers afternoon coffees/tea and biscuits. Lunch is charged separately at £9.50 a head.

For postgraduates, the fee is £10.00 for one day or £20.00 for both. Lunch is charged separately at £9.50 a head.

See map for the route from Cardiff Queen Street Railway Station to the Atrium.

Download further details of travel and accommodation here.

View Conference Home Page.

Contact: Lois Thomas (Conference Co-ordinator) ( / Dr Norry LaPorte (


‘Not just Orwell’ – People’s History Museum

March 22, 2010

‘Not just Orwell’ – Saturday 8 May 2010 – 2.00pm-2.45pm

Author Chris Hall we bringing to life the experiences of British and Irish anti-fascist volunteers who fought with Orwell in the Spanish Civil War. Lecture suitable for adults. Access is free, although pre-booking required.

Peoples History Museum
M3 3ER
Tel: 0161 838 9190

For more information on the event, contact Christopher Hall [].

Roundtable discussion on Western European Communist Leaders

January 8, 2009

Roundtable discussion on Western European Communist Leaders: John Bulaitis on Maurice Thorez; Donald Sassoon on Palmiro Togliatti; Andrew Thorpe on Harry Pollitt. Discussants: Giuseppe Vatalaro, Stephen Hopkins.

Saturday 31 January 2009
Club Room, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1; 2.00-5.00p.m.
Admission £1.50
Nearest tube: Holborn.

Organised by the Socialist History Society.

A Man Between Two Worlds? Palmiro Togliatti, the PCI and the Making of Post-War Italy – Manchester

October 6, 2008

A Man Between Two Worlds? Palmiro Togliatti, the PCI and the Making of Post-War Italy

Professor Aldo Agosti (Turin)

University of Manchester, Samuel Alexander Building room A7, Friday 17 October, 3-5 p.m.

Further details from

Download a promotional flyer for this event.

A Man Between Two Worlds? Palmiro Togliatti, the PCI and the Making of Post-War Italy – London

October 5, 2008

A Man Between Two Worlds? Palmiro Togliatti, the PCI and the Making of Post-War Italy

A roundtable discussion to mark the appearance in English of Professor Aldo Agosti’s biography of Palmiro Togliatti and featuring leading specialists in the field of modern Italian history:

  • Tobias Abse
  • Aldo Agosti
  • Geoff Andrews
  • Maud Bracke
  • Carl Levy
  • Linda Risso (chair)

To be held at : Marx Memorial Library, Clerkenwell Green, London EC1 (Farringdon tube station) 2-4 p.m., Tuesday 14 October.


Download a promotional flyer for the event.

Looking For Lukács symposium

June 22, 2008

Looking For Lukács: A symposium in the School of Social Science, Media and Cultural Studies, University of East London, June 25th 2008 1:00pm – 5:00pm, Room EB.G.11

In an era when the hegemony of capitalism within Western culture appears to be almost unchallengeable, can we afford to ignore one of the greatest critics of capitalism’s fundamental cultural processes? A range of recent and current work to be presented here has taken up the challenge of Györky Lukács, arguably the father of ‘Western Marxism’.

Speakers and Titles

Andrew Hemingway

Totality vs. Reification: The Significance of Romantic Anti-Capitalism in History and Class Consciousness

Andrew Hemingway is Professor in History of Art at University College London. His publications include Artists on the Left: American Artists and the Communist Movement, 1926-1956 (2002) and the edited volume Marxism and the History of Art: From William Morris to the New Left (2006).

Tim Hall

Materialism and Metaphysics: Lukács & Adorno

Tim Hall is senior lecturer in International Politics at the University of East London where he teaches courses on the history of political thought and contemporary political philosophy. He is the co-author of Theories of the Modern State: theories & ideologies (Edinburgh University Press, 2007) with Erika Cudworth and John McGovern and has written various articles and reviews on Critical Social Theory. He is currently working on a book on Adorno and Hegelian Marxism.

Timothy Bewes

How to Escape from Literature: Lukács, Cinema, and The Theory of the Novel

Timothy Bewes is Associate Professor at Brown University. He is the author of Cynicism and Postmodernity (1997) and Reification, or the Anxiety of Late Capitalism (2002), both published by Verso, and is currently working on a book called The Event of Shame: Literature after Colonialism.

Andy Fisher

Allan Sekula’s ‘Novelistic Fantasy’: Lukács, Aesthetic Totality and the Literary Problematisation of Photographic Form.

Andy Fisher is an artist and Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College. Most recent publication, ‘Beyond Barthes: Rethinking the Phenomenology of Photography’, Radical Philosophy, No. 148, March / April, 2008. Coeditor of Photography and Literature in the Twentieth Century, eds. David Cunningham, Andrew Fisher and Sas Mays, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2005.

Stewart Martin

The art of capital in Lukács

Stewart Martin is a member of the editorial collective, and reviews editor, of Radical Philosophy, and teaches philosophy and art at Middlesex University.

Attendance is free and open to all.

To register email Jeremy Gilbert:

For transport info:

Book launch: ‘Syndicalism and the Transition to Communism’

May 20, 2008

To celebrate the launch of his new book ‘Syndicalism and the Transition to Communism’, Ralph Darlington will appear at the Salord University branch of the Blackwells bookshops on Thursday 19 June between 1.00pm-2.00pm. Wine and light refreshments will be provided. To confirm that you would like to attend please contact:

Salford Crescent railway station (with links to Oxford Road and Piccadilly) is just around the corner from the bookshop; car parking is available at Irwell Place, just off The Crescent (A6) and the main University campus/reception.

During the first two decades of the twentieth century, amidst an extraordinary international upsurge in strike action, the ideas of revolutionary syndicalism developed into a major influence within the world wide trade union movement. Committed to destroying capitalism through direct industrial action and revolutionary trade union struggle, the movement raised fundamental questions about the need for new and democratic forms of power through which workers could collectively manage industry and society.

This study provides an all-embracing comparative analysis of the dynamics and trajectory of the syndicalist movement in six specific countries: France, Spain, Italy, America, Britain and Ireland. This is achieved through an examination of the philosophy of syndicalism and the varied forms that syndicalist organisations assumed; the distinctive economic, social and political context in which they emerged; the extent to which syndicalism influenced wider politics; and the reasons for its subsequent demise.

The volume also provides the first ever systematic examination of the relationship between syndicalism and communism, focusing on the ideological and political conversion to communism undertaken by some of the syndicalist movement’s leading figures and the degree of synthesis between the two traditions within the new communist parties that emerged in the early 1920s.

Front cover of 'Syndicalism and the Transition to Communism'

The Public Intellectual and the Left in the 21st Century

May 20, 2008

The Public Intellectual and the Left in the 21st Century:
A conference to celebrate Shelia Rowbotham’s intellectual and political contribution

Helena Kennedy, Peter McMylor, Shelia Rowbotham, Lynne Segal, Hilary Wainwright

Saturday 7th June 2008


Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street, Manchester M2 1NL (opposite Ann Street)

Admission free

Sponsored by the Lipman Miliban Trust; Sociology, Cultural Theory Institue and Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change, University of Manchester

Gareth Stedman-Jones speaking on his biography of Marx

May 11, 2008

Gareth Stedman-Jones will be speaking on his biography of Marx at 2.00pm on Saturday 17 May 2008 at Marx House, 37a Clerkenwell Green, London EC1 (nearest tube: Farringdon). Admission to the public meeting: £1.50.

The meeting follows the AGM of the Socialist History Society which convenes at the same venue at 1.00pm.