Monday, November 23, 2009

Historical Materialism Conference 2009: Pre-Registration and Abstracts


Pre-registration for the HM Conference will close at midnight tomorrow:

Registration on the door will be possible on a first-come-first-served basis.The abstracts for the papers are now online:

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Two New Christmas Songs - by Neil Southwell


It’s Christmas Time!

Neil Southwell has updated his music website for Christmas! He has written two new Christmas songs: one for the pre-Christmas period and another one for the post-Christmas timeframe. There is also the snow song from when we had the unusually large amounts of snow last February – which is a bit Christmassy too! One of the Christmas songs can be downloaded, and, obviously, you can listen to the others.

For details see:

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Demonstration Against Higher Education Fees!


Government puts education into the hands of big business

No university fees! Demonstrate 28 November!

We won’t pay for the bosses’ crisis!

New Labour and the Conservatives are determined to make young people and workers pay for this crisis. On the one hand, they say there are jobs available for all, all you need is ‘determination’. At the same time, they slash funding for youth training and put corrupt fat cats in charge of setting university fees.
Lord Mandelson refused the National Union of Students a voice in the review of university fees because that would harm the ‘objectivity’ of the review. Instead, we have an ‘objective’ board of some of the biggest capitalists and privateers in Britain, chaired by Lord Browne. Lord Browne was Chief Executive of BP until 2007, making billions of pounds out of war in Iraq and environmental destruction. Browne left BP, amidst allegations of corruption, with a £5 million payoff and a £21 million pension pot. Is this man seriously going to say that society cannot afford our education?

David Eastwood, Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, also sits on the review. As part of the Russell Group, he has been demanding students pay more for education for years. The university is currently trying to close its entire sociology department, without consultation with staff, because it is not bringing in enough money. Aston University’s vice chancellor is also ‘objectively’ reviewing university funding, fresh from slashing 18 jobs over the summer.

The rest of the board is made up of a former advisor to Tony Blair (the Prime Minister who abolished free university education), two NGO bigwigs and, unbelievably, Peter Sands, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank. Is he going to demand the same level of investment in education, in our future, that him and his peers have received over the last eighteen months? Of course not. The bosses organisation, the CBI, call for fees of £7,000 a year. Labour and the Tories say similar. Before the review board has met, the outcome is clear. Peter Sands, Lord Browne, Lord Mandelson and all the others want to make us pay for the crisis of their system.

£350 million cuts are being made in vocational education. Out of around 600,000 school leavers, 8,000 will get real apprenticeships, ones which lead to a job and a qualification.

Never mind that young people want to learn, want to work! Never mind that 55% think university education should be free! Since when did the politicians care what we think? Since when did big business and university bosses do favours for us?

Since we organised and fought them. Youth Fight for Jobs says no to university fees, no to writing off our generation, no to mass youth unemployment. We are demonstrating on 28 November – for real jobs, for free education. Join us in the fightback!

Join the demonstration in central London, Malet Street, WC1E, nearest tube Euston / Russell Square. For details of transport from outside London, see:

Youth Fight for Jobs:

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Marxism and Psychology Conference


Call For Papers
Marxism and Psychology Conference
The University of Prince Edward Island
August 5-7, 2010
Submission Deadline: January 15, 2010

In the history of social thought, it is difficult to find a more divisive figure than Karl Marx. For many, the mere mention of his name conjures up images of totalitarian regimes dominating nearly every aspect of an individual’s existence. Yet for others, Marx’s critique of the capitalist mode of production draws attention to the fact that our beliefs, thoughts, and desires inevitably emerge against the background of specific cultural, historical, and social practices.

The purpose of this conference is to bring students, scholars, and activists together to discuss exciting issues at the intersection of Marxism and Psychology. While it is clear that a number of organizations are making important contributions to this area of study, we believe that the time is right to open up a space for students, scholars, and activists from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds to reflect on the role that Marxism can play in psychological theory, research, and practice.

In bringing together scholars at the forefront of research in Marxism and Psychology, we also hope to give new students and activists an opportunity to interact with individuals who have made significant contributions within this area. By organizing an impressive collection of plenary participants, we hope to foster an environment where students, activists, and scholars can identify potential graduate advisors, research assistants, and participatory investigators.

This year, confirmed plenary participants include:
John Cromby
Raquel Guzzo
Lois Holzman
Gordana Jovanovic
Joel Kovel
Athanasios Marvakis
Morten Nissen
Ian Parker
Carl Ratner
Hans Skott-Myhre
Thomas Teo

Biographical information for the plenary participants can be found on the conference website.

We welcome submissions for individual papers and panel sessions. For individual papers, please submit an abstract (150-200 words) no later than January 15, 2010. For panel submissions, please include an abstract (150-200 words) for each paper as well as a brief description of the panel (150-200 words). Please submit all materials to Abstracts should either be in the body of the email or sent as an attachment (DOC or PDF format).

While the conference poster is available at the conference website, we also have color posters that need to be distributed widely. If you are interested in receiving some posters, please send us an email ( with your mailing address.

For further information, please visit the conference website:


Michael Arfken, PhD.
Director, Marxism & Psychology Research Group (MPRG)
Department of Psychology
University of Prince Edward Island

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Left Forum Conference 2010 NYC


A message from Seth Adler

Dear past Left Forum panel organizers, speakers, and friends,

I am pleased to be getting back in touch with you after you helped make last year’s conference the best attended Left Forum yet.

We would like you to consider proposing a panel for the upcoming Left Forum conference at Pace University in New York City March 19-21, 2010, and we look forward to working with you in the panel and conference organizing process. Consider starting this process right away by proposing a panel in any of the following ways: go to our website ( and follow the panel submission instructions (by clicking call for panels or panel instructions), email us at, or call our office (212 817-2003).

The last conference marked one of the most diverse and engaged left dialogue experiences to date. This year, with "recovery" of capitalist crisis meaning bailouts for the banks and continued suffering for working people, a new stridency in right wing voices, and a conservative tilt in Washington politics as a backdrop, we offer the following conference theme as one point of collaborative reference. The theme is “The Center Cannot Hold: Rekindling the Radical Imagination” (for the 2010 thematic statement click here).

This year we have an easier and more accessible online panel submission process that you will find on our website by clicking this link: call for panels. I am also happy to say that we will include bios and other panel information online and in the program, to ensure maximum turnout and awareness of the content of your panel. Also, among many panel options, one that often draws large audiences is when panel organizers secure speakers with respectfully different perspectives on the same topic or politics; such dialogues also inspire spirited audience participation.

Your participation is vital if we are to continue to strengthen the Left Forum space for critical political dialogue.

Feel free to call me or other conference organizers in the office if you have any questions. Please note the panel submission deadline is December 1st and you must have a panel description proposed by then. We urge you to get started now. It takes a while to get ideas and people together for a strong proposal.

In Solidarity,
Seth Adler
Conference coordinator
212 817-2003
Left Forum:

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