Thursday, 29 November 2012

African Americans in Britain 1850-1865

Institute of Commonwealth Studies, in conjunction with the Black & Asian Studies Association

Black and Asian Britain seminars

Senate House, University of London, Russell Square, London WC1 
6 to 7.30 pm,
Everyone is welcome. You do not have to pre-book/register.

4 December (room 261, second floor)

Jeff Green  

African Americans in Britain 1850-1865
A wide-ranging summary of the Black American presence with details and evidence to support the view that escaped or "fugitive" slaves were just one aspect of British history in those years.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Next LSHG seminar

Dear Comrade
The next seminar in the socialist history series at the Institute of Historical Research is on Monday 26th November.
Beer writer Pete Brown brings a new take on the controversial subject of the tavern drinking school of social history with a discussion on the research for his new book Shakespeare's Local about the George pub in Borough.
The seminar is at 5.30pm in the Gordon Room [G34] ground floor Senate House, Malet St WC1.
I hope to see you there.
A reminder in addition that the deadline for contributions to the next issue of the London Socialist Historians newsletter is December 1st. All contributions, complaints etc gratefully received.
keith Flett

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Caribbean Workers Struggles Book Launch

You are invited to come and celebrate with 

Richard Hart
founding member and Honorary President of Caribbean Labour Solidarity 
and member of the Socialist History Society

the launch of his new book

published by Bogle-L'Ouverture Press with the Socialist History Society

Thursday, 6 December 2012
Bishopsgate Institute,
230 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4QH
(nearest tube Liverpool Street or check this link for map and details of how to get there:

 If you can't make it, you may want to send a message to Dick Hart c/o Caribbean Labour Solidarity:

Monday, 19 November 2012

Today in Labour History

 From Edd Mustill:
Dear Keith,

I am working at, a news service and campaigning website for trade unionists. We are currently starting to build a 'Today in Labour History' calendar that people and union branches can add as a widget to their website. We want as many people as possible to be involved in the project in order to give it as much detail and flavour as we can. As an internationalist website, we are looking at adding dates of strikes, protests, congresses, and so on from all over the world. It would also be good to have some lesser known local disputes covered as well.

Would you or anyone involved in the LSHG be interested in sending in any dates and descriptions of things they think should definitely be included in such a calendar? All we need is a date, very brief desciption of the event, and if possible a link to more information.

People can send any ideas over to me at

I'd be grateful if you could forward this out to your email lists, and/or put out the call on your blog.


Edd Mustill

Friday, 16 November 2012

Jairus Banaji Deutscher Memorial Prize Lecture online

Delivered at the recent London Historical Materialism conference 

Lenin Plaque Unveiling

The Marchmont Association  unveiling of a commemorative plaque to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin on Friday 30th November 2012 from 2.30pm at 36 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9RE.
Lenin stayed at this address (formerly numbered 21) in 1908 whilst reading at the British Museum and writing 'Materialism and Empiriocriticism'.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Eric Hobsbawm - A Tribute

Eric Hobsbawm (1917-2012) – A Tribute

Saturday 8th December

University of Brighton
10-11 Pavilion Parade
Brighton BN2 1RA
“Human beings are not efficiently designed for a capitalist system of production.”
Age of Extremes (1994), p.414

“The imagined community of millions seems more real as a team of eleven named people.”
Nations and Nationalism Since 1780 (1990), p.143

Bandits, Rebels and Resistance * Marx and the Historical Imaginary * Jazz and the Sounds of the Subaltern * History in Theory and Theory in History * Culture, Biography and Politics * Socialism, Communism and Labour History * Industry, Empire and Revolution * Long and Short Centuries * Education, Activism and the Academy

Alex Callinicos, Mark Perryman, Eileen Yeo, Stuart Laing, Patricia McManus, Louise Purbrick, Paddy Maguire, Mark Erickson, Tom Hickey, Lucy Robinson, Mark Abel

 This one-day symposium is dedicated to the work and the life of Eric Hobsbawm as a tribute from some of the many who have benefited from his insights and collegiality, in their work as historians and as activists for a better world. It is hosted by the ‘Politics, Aesthetics, Philosophy’ group in the School of Humanities at the University of Brighton. Admission is free but places can be booked in advance via

Conference: The Philosophy of Walter Benjamin


Two-Day Conference, Friday December 14 & Saturday, December 15 2012
Goldsmiths College, University of London (Ben Pimlott Building, Lecture Theatre)
INC – Goldsmiths Continental Philosophy Research Group

The work of the German-Jewish critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin
(1892-1940) spans a vast array of themes, ranging from the metaphysics
of youth to the Paris arcades. His writings on Goethe and Scheerbart;
Kafka and Baudelaire, as well as his work on the relationship between
art and technology continue to fascinate and polarize in equal
measure. His singular intersection of Marxian and Jewish thought is
amply evidenced in the extensive correspondence with Ernst Bloch,
Theodor Adorno, Bertold Brecht and Hannah Arendt, amongst others.
Undoubtedly it is the sheer breadth of Benjamin's interests that
accounts for the enduring concern with his often fragmentary work
across academic disciplines. That is to say, Benjamin is no longer a
stranger at the Academy. Nevertheless, a central aspect of Benjamin's
work is all-too-often overlooked when his aesthetic and literary works
are treated in isolation. The manifest content of Benjamin's writing
is never merely incidental: rather, it is shot through with a
burgeoning philosophical project – from the 'Programme of the Coming
Philosophy' (1917) to the 'Theses on the Concept of History' (1940).
In this regard it appears that recent anniversary of Benjamin's birth
in 1892 warrants a re-appraisal of this legacy by asking the question:
how can the various strands of Benjamin's work be engaged to
illuminate the unfolding of his philosophical position, and – vice
versa – how does Benjamin's philosophy illuminate other aspects of his
thought? This conference aims, then – on the one hand – to explore
Benjamin's thought in relation to the various philosophical traditions
that inform his project (Leibniz, Kant, Schlegel, Lukács etc.), and –
on the other hand – to ask how these influences continue to operate
between the lines even where Benjamin is not explicitly concerned with
the philosophical canon? In short: how are we to understand the
philosophy of Walter Benjamin?




Day One: Friday, 14 Dec

10:00 - 10:45, Howard Caygill (CRMEP, Kingston) 'Keynote Address'
10:45 - 11:30, Paula Schwebel (Potsdam) 'Benjamin's Monadology: From
Idealism to Historical Materialism'
11:30 - 12:15, Blair Ogden (Oxford) 'Walter Benjamin's Philosophical
Conception of Happiness'
12:15 - 13:00, Jonathan Gray (Royal Holloway) 'Hamann and Benjamin on
the Concept of Experience'
13:00 - 14:00, LUNCH
14:00 - 14:45, Djordje Popovic (Minnesota) 'Theology of Hell:
Continuity of Thought in Walter Benjamin'
14:45 - 15:30, John Merrick (CRMEP, Kingston) 'Benjamin's Non-Hegelian
15:30 - 16:15, Jan Urbich (Jena/Weimar) 'Under Cover: Hegel's Logic in
Walter Benjamin's Epistemo-Critical Preface'
16:15 - 16:45, COFFEE BREAK
16:45 - 17:30, Elise Derroitte (KU Leuven) 'The Critic is the New
'Philosopher of the Spirit'. Comparing Benjamin and Fichte's
Conceptions of Critique'
17:30 - 18:15, Sami Khatib (FU Berlin/Jan Van Eyck) 'Teleology Without
End - Walter Benjamin's Methodological Nihilism'
18:15 - 19:00, Scott Ritner (New School) 'The God of Negation - Divine
Intervention in the Thought of Walter Benjamin, Georges Bataille and
Simone Weil'

Day Two: Saturday, 15 Dec

10:00 - 10:45, Lea Barbisan (Paris, Sorbonne) 'Körper - Leib -
Gestalt: Benjamin's Phenomenology of the Body'
10:45 - 11:30, Lucie Mercier (CRMEP, Kingston) 'Walter Benjamin on
Translation: a Strategic Hermeneutics of History?'
11:30 - 12:15, Hanping Chiu (Tamkang, Taipei) 'Translation as
Expression: Reinventing Benjamin's Language Philosophy'
12:15 - 13:00, Florian Telsnig (Vienna) 'The Monadological Tendency in
Benjamin's Philosophy of the Name'
13:00 - 14:00, LUNCH
14:00 - 14:45, Leena Petersen (Sussex) 'Poetics of the Space in-Between'
14:45 - 15:30, Phil Homburg (Sussex) 'Symbol, Sign and Fetish: Walter
Benjamin and the Post-Kantian Concept of the Symbol'
15:30 - 16:15, Maria Andrade (Universidad de los Andes) 'Exiled
Between Romantic Absolute and Baroque Allegory'
16:15 - 16:45, COFFEE BREAK
16:45 - 17:30, Ben Noys (Chichester) 'Emergency Brake: Benjamin and
the Critique of Accelerationism'
17:30 - 18:15, Tom Allen (Independent) 'Fixed Manifestations:
Benjamin, Blanqui and the Caption of History'
18:15 - 19:00, Christian Garland (FU Berlin) 'Redeeming the Past in
the Present: Benjamin's Messianic Materialist Philosophy of History'

CfP: Social Movements Conference on Alternative Futures and Popular Protest

abstracts due by Monday 25th February 2013

From 1995 to 2012, Manchester Metropolitan University hosted a series of very successful annual international conferences on 'ALTERNATIVE FUTURES and POPULAR PROTEST'.

We're very happy to announce that the Eighteenth AF&PP Conference will be held, between Monday 25th March and Wednesday 27th March 2013.

The Conference rubric remains as in previous years. The aim is to explore the dynamics of popular movements, along with the ideas which animate their activists and supporters and which contribute to shaping their fate.

Reflecting the inherent cross-disciplinary nature of the issues, previous participants (from over 60 countries) have come from such specialisms as sociology, politics, cultural studies, social psychology, economics,  history and geography.  The Manchester conferences have also been notable for discovering a fruitful and friendly meeting ground between activism and academia.


We invite offers of papers relevant to the conference themes.  Papers should address such matters as: 

* contemporary and historical social movements and popular protests

* social movement theory

* utopias and experiments

* ideologies of collective action

* etc.

To offer a paper, please contact either of the conference convenors with a brief abstract:  

EITHER Colin Barker, Dept. of Sociology  
OR Mike Tyldesley, Dept. of Politics and Philosophy  
Manchester Metropolitan University  
Geoffrey Manton Building, Rosamond Street West  
Manchester M15 6LL, England  
Tel: M. Tyldesley  0161 247 3460   
Fax: 0161 247 6769 (+44 161 247 6769)  
(Wherever possible, please use email, especially as Colin Barker is a retired gent. Surface mail and faxes should only be addressed to Mike Tyldesley)  

Thursday, 8 November 2012

LSHG News update

Dear Comrade

A reminder that the next seminar in the autumn series is next Monday 12th November at 5.30pm in Room G34 Ground Floor Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St WC1. All welcome. The seminar will be podcast but you can only take part in discussion if you turn up in person!

Chris Blakey will speak on Georges Cheron and the 1936 Hotchkiss factory soviet.

As discussion focuses on Obama's victory and policies to deal with capitalist crisis, an historical perspective from the 1930s will be of particular interest.

Finally there will be an event to mark the 100th anniversary of the Dublin Lock-Out on Saturday March 2nd 2013 Midday-5pm. Put it in your diary now! Offers of papers are welcome

Keith Flett