Archive for February, 2016

03
Feb
16

Conference: “Before ’68: the left, activism and social movements in the long 1960s”

Saturday February 13, 2016 and Sunday February 14, 2016

Hosted by the School of History, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, and organised in conjuction with Socialist History journal and the Institute of Working-Class History, Chicago.

Venue: 2.02, Norwich Medical School Building (MED), University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

Registration is now open. Speakers include: Toby Abse – The Origins of the Italian New Left • Irene Andersson and Roger Johansson – Experiences from the 60s – activism for Peace Education in the 80s • Ian Birchall – Peace Is Not Enough. Algeria and Vietnam and their impact on the French and British lefts • Geoff Brown – Before ’68 in Greater Manchester, a worm’s eye view • Pau Casanellas – The road to violence. Radicalization under Franco regime in the 1960s • Matthew Caygill – The Left and the Counterculture: ‘The Dialectics of Liberation’ Congress (1967) and the Moment of Libidinal Politics • Madeleine Davis – Activist intellectuals: the British New Left as a social movement • Jared Donnelly – Learning to Protest: Anti-War Protests in West Germany in the Late 1950s • Radha D’Souza – Two Registers, Two Trajectories: The Sixties and the Left in the First and Third Worlds • Axel Fair-Schulz – Robert Havemann: From Party Loyalist to East Germany’s Most Famous Marxist Dissident in the 1960s • Jack Fawbert – Blacklisted! A history of rank-and-file class struggle on construction sites • Wladek Flakin – German Trotskyism in the runup to 1968 • Sharif Gemie – Racism, Orientalism and Anti-Colonialism on the Hippy Trail, 1957-78 • Nicolas Helm-Grovas – Early Wollen: Cultural politics in New Left Review, 1963-1968 • Mark Hobbs – The Enemy on Stage: Battles for Trafalgar Square. Fascism and Anti-Fascism • Beáta Hock – Feminist intersectionality and equality claims-making in the global 60s • Christian Hogsbjerg – C.L.R. James and the British New Left in the long 1960s • Alan Hooper- The Long 1960s: challenges, consequences and (dis) continuities • Rozena Maart – Pavement Politics, Protests and the Mechanisms of the Mind: the emergence of the Black Consciousness Movement of Azania in South Africa • David Morgan – The 1960s: A Decade of Anarchy; A Decade of ‘Anarchy’? • João Arsénio Nunes – On the course to victory? The Portuguese Communist Party before the Carnation Revolution of 1974 • William A Pelz – The View from across the Great Pond: US Intelligence on the European Left, 1945-1968 • Pritam Singh – The Maoist/Naxalite movement in India • Bart van der Steen and Ron Blom – Trotskyist youth in the Netherlands, 1950s and 1960s • Giulia Strippoli – The PCI before ’68: operaismo, intellectuals and other troubles • Ernest Tate and Phil Hearse – Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 1960s • Tom Unterrainer – Ken Coates and ‘The Week’ • Derek Weber – The Austrian Left, pre 1968 • Benjamin Wynes – ‘Djilasism’ and ‘New Leftist’ Dissidence in Sixties Yugoslavia.

For further information or to register to attend, please contact f.king@uea.ac.uk. Attendance is free of charge but registration is necessary.

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03
Feb
16

Call for Papers: British Communism and Commitment

Day-school, 9th June 2016. Manchester

‘I am not ready to join the party’, wrote the novelist Harold Heslop to leading CPGB party theoretician, Rajani Palme Dutt in 1936, recognising the forbidding level of activism expected.  The mandatory Communist hyper-commitment repelled potential recruits and actual members alike, especially in the early years.  But others who joined the party then and later found through Communist commitment a meaningful way of life and a framework for understanding the world.
Bringing together academics from a wide range of disciplines and former party activists, this day-school analyses the complexities of commitment in the British Communist Party over its seventy-year history (1920-1991).  Papers (20 minutes) might cover, but aren’t restricted to:
•    The motivations and trajectories of party ‘hardliners’ who dutifully observed party discipline and the party line, regardless of misgivings;
•    Communism as a way of life;
•    Expulsion and the fear of it;
•    Autobiographies written by former Communists;
•    Figures who struggled to reconcile vocational, professional or artistic commitments with their Communism;
•    ‘Loyal dissidents’ who remained fundamentally committed to the party while often challenging and seeking to enlarge its assumptions, procedures and priorities;
•    Those who challenged what they saw as dominant party perceptions that ‘race’, gender and sexuality were secondary to class as sites of oppression;
•    Activists who considered their ultimate commitment as being to Communist principles from which they believed the party to have deviated, and who challenged the party on those grounds;
•    Those who transferred their abiding Marxist commitments to different currents or organisations—Trotskyist, New Left, Maoist—and the complex relations with the CPGB that followed.
Part of the AHRC-funded project ‘Wars of Position: Communism and Civil Society’, the day-school will be held in the Reading Room of the Labour History Archive and Study Centre in the People’s History Museum, Manchester, and will include a tour of the CPGB archive holdings.  It will mark the opening to researchers of a new tranche of significant CP archive material relating primarily to the 1950-91 period (the papers of John Attfield, Monty Johnstone and Paul Olive).  The event will conclude with a round-table discussion about Communism, commitment and the archive chaired by Professor Kevin Morgan and featuring Francis King (historian, former CP activist and archivist, editor of Socialist History), and John Attfield (historian and former secretary of the Communist Party History Group).
Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be e-mailed to Ben Harker (ben.harker@manchester.ac.uk) by 1/4/16




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