CSE Midlands Summer Reading schedule

18 May

Following our recent launch, we have agreed on the following for our summer reading schedule. We also intend to hold a number of seminars and research events over the coming months – watch this space!

Schedule below – all welcome!

Monday JUNE 1 – Marxism and the Philosophy Internal Relations – University of Birmingham, Muirhead 415, 12.00 noon

Monday June 22 – The State – University of Birmingham, Muirhead 431, 12.00 noon

Monday July 13 – Operaismo (Workerism), University of Birmingham, Muirhead 415, 12.00 noon

Monday 14 SEPTEMBER Workers’ Inquiry, University of Birmingham, Muirhead 431, 12.00 noon

OCTOBER 5 – Autumn organising meeting & readings, University of Birmingham, Muirhead 431, 12.00 noon

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CSE Midlands launch event: What is to be done in the age of austerity and autonomy?

23 Mar

CSE Midlands launch event: What is to be done in the age of austerity and autonomy?

17 April 2015

University of Birmingham

Room: Muirhead 113

Confirmed participants include: Sarah Amsler (University of Lincoln), Malia Bouattia (National Union of Students), Craig Gent (University of Warwick/Plan C), Whyeda Gill-Mclure (University of Wolverhampton), Keir Milburn (University of Leicester), Doug Nicholls (General Federation of Trade Unions), Rob Johnston, Campaigns and Policy Officer for TUC Midlands

The ability, and desire, to mobilise, organise and associate, autonomously of traditional left institutions, has been widely noted of late. Much theorising on the left highlights the move towards a ‘politics of autonomy’; and the wave of anti-austerity movements that have challenged established institutions (in the form of the indignados, Occupy, Gezi Park, and UK Uncut) seem to chime with this theoretical agenda. This move towards an autonomous and vibrant left appears to be a source of hope especially as these new social movements add weight and renewed force to the continuing resistance from public service workers and their unions to years of austerity and public service reform.

Yet, this occurs at the same time as the so-called ‘age of austerity’, in which concessions that have in the past been made by the capitalist state are now being withdrawn; repression, rather than concessions, is increasingly becoming the response of the state to social mobilisation. This repressive neo-liberal reaction is evidence of the underlying contradictions of capitalism which traditional Keynesian-type state intervention leaves intact.

These underlying contradictory trends in contemporary capitalism raise crucial questions of strategy, tactics and analysis. The launch of this CSE Midlands group is an attempt to provide a forum for radical and anti-capitalist activists, critical scholars, and activist/critical scholars to come together to discuss ‘what is to be done’ in this apparently contradictory age of autonomy and austerity. This launch event will feature a panel focusing on some of the key contextual developments that contemporary radicals face; followed by a roundtable discussion on “what is to be done?” We intend the launch of CSE Midlands to be followed by similar events across the Midlands, including on contemporary industrial relations, the 2015 general election, contemporary social movements, and current trends in radical and Marxist theory.

CSE Midlands launch event: What is to be done in the age of austerity and autonomy?

17 April 2015

University of Birmingham

Room: Muirhead 113

2.00 Intro/opening

2.15 Session One: conceptualising the contemporary context

Sarah Amsler (University of Lincoln), Higher education for social justice

Whyeda Gill-Mclure (University of Wolverhampton), The politics of public service reform

Keir Milburn (University of Leicester), Austerity and contemporary capitalism

3.30 break

3.45  Session Two: what is to be done?

Rob Johnston, Campaigns and Policy Officer for TUC Midlands

Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, General Federation of Trade Unions

Malia Bouattia, National Union of Students Black Students’ Officer

Craig Gent, University of Warwick/Plan C

5.00 END – Followed by drinks

POLSIS Marxist and Radical Politics Study Group 2014-15

19 Aug

The POLSIS Marxist and Radical Politics Study Group returns for 2014-15.

For the second term, we will begin by reading:

Monday 26 January, 4pm, Muirhead 431: Kathi Weeks (2011) The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries, (Duke University Press). We will start with a discussion of the introduction and the core themes of the book.

Monday 23  February, 12-1pm, Muirhead 431, Chapters 1 and 2, https://libcom.org/files/the-problem-with-work_-feminism-marxism-kathi-weeks.pdf

Monday 9th March, 12-1pm, Muirhead 431, Chapters 3 and 4,  https://libcom.org/files/the-problem-with-work_-feminism-marxism-kathi-weeks.pdf
Monday 30th March, 12-1pm, JG Smith G21, Chapter 5 and Epilogue, https://libcom.org/files/the-problem-with-work_-feminism-marxism-kathi-weeks.pdf

For the first term we are intending to read Bertell Ollman’s Dance of the Dialectic: Steps in Marx’s Method. All welcome – and also if people want to suggest readings for next term, and/or to present papers – please do so.

Friday 26 Sep – 4.30, Muirhead 431: Ollman, Dance of the Dialectic, Intro, Step 1, and Step 2

Friday 17 Oct – 4.30, Muirhead 431: Ollman, Dance of the Dialectic, Step 3

Friday 7 Nov – 4.30, JG Smith G21: Ollman, Dance of the Dialectic, Step 4

Friday 28 Nov – 4.30, Muirhead 431: Ollman, Dance of the Dialectic, Step 5

All welcome!

POLSIS Marxist and Radical Politics Study Group 2013-14

25 Oct

The POLSIS Marxist and Radical Politics Study Group returns for 2013-14.

We intend to meet every fortnight, although we haven’t yet decided exactly what we’re going to read (suggestions welcome!):

Wednesday 30 October 2013:   11.00am –  Muirhead 1250:  Nitzan and Bichler’s Capital as Power: A Study of Order and Creorder and  introductory overview notes here

Wednesday 13 November: 2.00pm – Muirhead 415: We will be reading the exchange between Nitzan and Bichler and Andrew Kliman, in Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies, available here.

Wednesday 27 November: 2.00pm – Muirhead 528: Following our reading of Kliman’s view of Nitzan and Bichler at the last meeting, we’re going to be reading Kliman’s own work. Kliman (2011) The Failure of Capitalist Production (Pluto). A review of the book by one of the study group members is here.

Wednesday 11 December 2.00pm –  Kliman (2011) The Failure of Capitalist Production Notes: kliman-on-profit.pdf.

Wednesday 8 January 2.00pm: CANCELLED

Wednesday 22 January 200pm: Reading schedule discussion

Wednesday 5 February 2.00pm – JG Smith Building, Seminar Room A: Sylvia Federici, Revolution at Point Zero: Introduction, Wages Against Housework, Why Sexuality is Work, Feminism and the Politics of the Common in an Era of Primitive Accumulation

Thursday 20 February 4.00pm The British Oak: 1364 Pershore Road: Alex Sutton talk: Towards an Open Marxist theory of imperialism. Alex Sutton will be joining us from Warwick to present his recently published article in Capital and Class, ‘Towards an Open Marxist Theory of Imperialism’, followed by a reading group social event. Facebook event page here.

Future dates: We aim to start reading Rosa Luxemburg’s Accumulation of Capital – dates yet to be decided.

POLSIS Marxist and Radical Politics Study Group 2012-13

15 Feb

We are pleased to launch this website for the POLSIS Marxist and Radical Politics Study Group, which has been in existence (on and off) for 5 years. We are adjusting the format slightly, in particular to include more invited speakers, research seminars, and research workshops, and thereby broaden our focus beyond being solely a reading group (although this remains the core of our activities). All are welcome to join in – on either a regular or ad hoc basis.

The schedule over the coming months is as follows, although we are working on a number of events to fit into the ‘gap’ weeks in the schedule – more details to follow:

ALL MEETINGS FROM 2-3pm UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED

13 Feb: Introduction to a Critique of Political Economy & Theses on Feuerbach
27 Feb: Germany Ideology (Muirhead 429)

6 Mar: BOOK LAUNCH AND STUDY GROUP RE-LAUNCH: Ross Abbinett, 2013, Politics of Happiness: Connecting the philosophical ideas of Hegel, Nietzsche and Derrida to the Political Ideologies of happiness (Muirhead Common Room, Room 718)

13 Mar: Poverty of Philosophy (Muirhead 415)

20 Mar: Paper: Stephen Bates: The Body in General: Corporeality, Marx and Critical Realism (Nuffield G18)

27 Mar: Capital Vol. I : Chapter 1 (Muirhead 1250) TIME FOR THIS CHANGED TO 10.00 am
11 Apr: Capital Vol. I: Chapters 2&3  (Muirhead 1250)
17 Apr: Capital Vol. I: Part Two (Muirhead 431) NOTES

24 Apr: Capital Vol. I Chapters 7, 8, 9 (Muirhead 431) NOTES

8 May: CANCELLED

15 May: I.I. Rubin – Essays on Marx’s Theory of Value Muirhead 431 Notes on Rubin
22 May: Capital Vol. I: chapters 10 and 11 (Muirhead 1249)
29 May: Capital Vol. I: chapters 12-14 (Muirhead 1249) NOTES

5 Jun: J.K. Gibson-Graham, 2006, A post-capitalist politics (Muirhead 1250) NOTES

12 Jun: chapter 15 (Muirhead 1250)

19 Jun: Capital Vol. I: Part Five (Muirhead 1250)

26 Jun: Spivak, Can the Subaltern Speak  (Muirhead 1249) – CANCELLED

Later: Capital Vol. I: Capital Vol. I: Parts Six, Seven, Eight