Call for Papers: Racism and Anti-Racism: from the labour movement to the far-right. A Two-Day Conference to be held at the University of Glasgow, 5-6 September 2014

The first decades of the 21st century have seen two worrying developments for anyone concerned with opposing oppression:
the continuing mutation and expansion of racism into new ‘cultural’ forms, above all in the form of a virulent Islamophobia; and
the electoral consolidation of parties of the far-right, who are not always fascist, but committed to deeply reactionary positions on most social issues, above all in relation to migration.

These two developments are distinct, but overlapping. On the one hand, racism is more widespread than on the far right, institutionally embedded over centuries in even the most notionally liberal states and exerting an influence even in the labour and trade union movement which might be thought to have most to lose from the divisions which it engenders. On the other hand, the far-right almost always includes racism among its repertoire of mobilising issues, but has politics which extend beyond it.

The plenaries and workshop sessions will interrogate:
racism in all its multifarious forms;
the new far-right of the neoliberal era (i.e. mid-1970s onwards), in both its fascist and non-fascist aspects, particularly its growing electoral impact; and
how the different varieties of racism and the far right can be challenged on the ground, and by whom.

Although our focus is international, no conference held in Scotland during September 2014 can avoid the fact of the independence referendum. While the national question is not our subject, any discussion of racism inevitably has to deal with its role in national formation, particularly in the case of the imperial powers of which Britain was once so preeminent. Themes which we hope to address in relation to Scotland are the reality (or otherwise) of claims that it suffers less from racism than England or other areas in Western Europe, and the reasons why, to date, it has remained relatively immune to the electoral appeal of the far-right.

Themes which the conference might address can include, but need not be restricted to the following:

Racism, class and globalised capitalism
Racism and neoliberalism
State racisms, in particular the racialization of migration and asylum
Anti-Muslim racism and the appropriation and mobilization of feminist discourses
Racism and the ‘white’ working class
Forms of anti-racist activism: from social movements to the everyday
Theorizing contemporary racisms – Feminist, Critical Race Theory, Postcolonial and Neo-Marxist perspectives are particularly welcomed.
The legacy of anti-Irish racism in Scotland
Scots, the Empire and the externalisation of racism
Different attitudes to immigration in Scotland and England

The Far Right
The changing class basis of far right party membership
Distinguishing the ‘non-fascist’ far-right from fascism
Tensions between neoliberalism and far-right policy (the Tea Party, UKIP, etc.)
The far-right and the different phases of capitalist development
Working class electoral support for far-right parties
Campaigning against the far-right
Scottish Loyalism and far-right politics in Scotland
Why is the far-right weaker in Scotland than England?

We invite proposals for individual papers or panels from both established academics and postgraduate students, but also from those involved in addressing racism on a practical basis in advocacy groups, community campaigns, anti-racist mobilisations and trade unions.

Proposals should be no longer than 250 words and submitted to both organisers:
neil.davidson@glasgow.ac.uk and satnam.virdee@glasgow.ac.uk
by 16 May 2014

We are grateful to the Centre for Dynamics on Ethnicity (CoDE) and Sociology at the University of Glasgow for providing financial support for the organization of the conference.


Richard Hart memorial meeting

Memorial Meeting for Richard Hart

A celebration of the life and times of Richard “Dick” Hart and the significant contribution he made as a scholar, historian, writer, editor and trade unionist in the development of a post colonial identity for the people the English speaking Caribbean

On 12th April 2014 From 12.30 to 4.30 p.m.
At the Bolivar Hall, 54 Grafton Way, London W1T 5DL
Admission is free but, as space is limited, so please register in advance by emailing info@cls-uk.org.uk

Professor Gad Heuman & Professor Richard Drayton
Linton Kwezi Johnson, Jean Binta Breeze, Keith Waithe and others
Juliet Alexander
Tributes from:
The People’s Progressive Party, People’s National Party,
the Socialist History Society and others


Taking Sides: Artists and Writers on the Spanish Civil War

Saturday 1 March 2014 

International Brigade Memorial Trust: 2014 Len Crome Memorial Lecture 

Taking Sides: Artists and Writers on the Spanish Civil War

Speakers: Carl-Henrik BjerstromCarmen HerreroPaul Preston andJane Rogoyska

Chaired by Mary Vincent 

Time: 11am-5pm

Place: Manchester Conference Centre, Sackville Street, Manchester M1 3BB

More information and bookings: http://www.international-brigades.org.uk/content/2014-len-crome-memorial-lecture 


Booklaunch for latest SHS Occasional Publication

Book launch for the latest Socialist History Society Occasional Publication
Mariner, Renegade and Castaway: Chris Braithwaite
On Tuesday 18 February, 6.30pm
Bookmarks Bookshop, 1, Bloomsbury Street
With author Christian Hogsbjerg
Chris Braithwaite (aka “Chris Jones”) was a black Barbadian seaman who became a leading organiser of colonial seamen in inter-war Britain.
He played a critical role in the Pan-Africanist and wider anti-colonial movement alongside figures such as C L R James and George Padmore.
Christian Hogsbjerg, author of Mariner, Renegade and Castaway: Chris Braithwaite, the latest SHS Occasional Publication, recovers this long overlooked life of a black radical and political trade unionist, and suggests his determined struggle for working class unity in the face of racism and austerity retains relevance for us today.
Admission £2, refundable on any purchase. Call 020 7637 1848 to reserve your place.
For past SHS Occasional Publications see here:

Richard Hart

Sad news via the email list of Society of Caribbean Studies:

This is to notify list members of the sad news that Richard Hart,
political activist and Jamaican historian, died earlier today.

He was 96, an honorary life member of SCS and also author of the
Society’s constitution.

There is no information as yet about a memorial service.

Seasonal good wishes,
Gad Heuman


London Socialist Historians Group Newsletter # 50 online

Featuring Keith Flett on the 1913 Dublin Lock Out and Neil Faulkner’s A Marxist History of the World, Ian Birchall on the importance of socialist history and James Heartfield’s Unpatriotic History of World War II, Steve Cushion on the continuing debate around how socialists should characterise and remember that war, an obituary of Terry Burton and a reminder of forthcoming seminars.
See here:



Eric Hobsbawm: Historian, Teacher and Critic 

This special SHS seminar will seek to assess the late Eric Hobsbawm’s enduring contribution to the study of history.  Panel Discussion  Willie Thompson, formerly Professor of Contemporary History at Glasgow Caledonian University;  Malcolm Chase, Professor of Social History, University of Leeds;  David Parker, Emeritus Professor, University of Leeds.

 Tuesday 1st October 2013, 7.00 pm. 

At Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4QH. Near Liverpool Street Station/underground.   

 Space is limited – please book early to ensure your place     To book, contact the Bishopsgate Institute on 020 7392 9200 or online at  : http://www.bishopsgate.org.uk/Events

April 2014
« Mar    


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.