Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory is a Marxist journal, appearing four times a year, based in London. Founded in 1997, it asserts that, notwithstanding the variety of its practical and theoretical articulations, Marxism constitutes the most fertile conceptual framework for analysing social phenomena, with an eye to their overhaul. In our selection of materials, we do not favour any one tendency, tradition or variant. Marx demanded the ‘merciless criticism of everything that exists’: for us that includes Marxism itself. Details for submitting articles to the journal can be found here.
Since 1997, the Editorial Board has extended its activities beyond the production of the journal. We contribute to producing the Historical Materialism Book Series published first in hardback by Brill followed by a paperback edition published by Haymarket. We organise the annual HM London conference in mid-November, now in its 15th year. Affiliated networks are this year 2018-2019 organising conferences in New York, Toronto, Sydney, Athens, and Ankara with past conferences in Montreal, Beirut, Rome and Delhi.
The main role of the website is to advertise the journal and its related activities. We therefore post News items, new blogs and relevant blogs from affiliated websites that relate to the journal, book series or conferences, as well as more general Book reviews, Reading Guides, Interviews, and Figures. We also publish archive Articles and book reviews from the print journal (please note that from 2018-2019, the journal will no longer publish book reviews in its print edition). If you want to contribute to one of these categories, by writing on historical and contemporary issues of interest to Marxists and critical authors and activists, please contact the website editor on email@example.com. We accept pieces no longer than 10,000 words.
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The Editors of Historical Materialism
Faculty of Law and Social Sciences
SOAS, University of London
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Marxism is nothing if not ‘interdisciplinary’, or, put differently, a theory of totality. The relations of production are dominant relations that exert influence across the whole social matrix. It makes no sense to plug away in one small area of the curriculum without exposing insights to other researchers, in order to probe further their meaningfulness and value.
The task of the Marxist critic is to offer a self-reflexive account of historical differentiations between areas of knowledge, without naturalising them or reifying their separation. To this end, the journal opposes the compartmentalisation of knowledge. Given the pressures of careers and the institutionalisation of researchers, this is no easy task. Historical Materialism welcomes contributions that cut across disciplines and evade academic jargon.
Historical Materialism has published enough grey-beards in the past and will continue to do so. We are, however, optimistic that our diagnosis of real-existing world conditions, with the recurrent upsurge of class antagonisms and the continual exertions of imperial violence, produce ever new Marxist constituencies. Their hither-to unheard voices are welcome in our journal. Furthermore, Historical Materialism, as proper to a Marxist forum, cultivates international contacts, giving room to analysts from across the world, including non-Anglophone countries. We attempt to host a worldwide scrutiny as our contribution to a denunciation of capitalism worldwide.
Miriyam Aouragh is Senior Lecturer at University of Westminster, where she teaches Critical Theory of Social Media and the Internet (MA) and Media & Globalisation (UG), and where is a researcher with the Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI). She is also (with Tarik Sabry) co-director of the Arab Media Center. Aouragh is an anthropologist and specialist in media and communication. She combines ethnographic offline methodologies (fieldwork in Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco) with critical theory and online media analyses. She writes about the complex revolutionary dynamics in the Arab world with special interest in the impact of the digital suppression and cyber imperialism during the paradoxical context of revolution/counter-revolution. Her PhD (NWO, University of Amsterdam, 2008) concerned the implications of the internet as it first appeared in Palestine, and in particular the significance of this coinciding of techno-evolution with the outbreak of the Second Intifada. Her postdoc (Rubicon, Oxford University, 2011) focused on the political role of digital media/Web 2 for grassroots activists, an area she continues to explore after the outbreak of the Arab revolutions (Leverhulme, University of Westminster, 2013) with a specific focus on Syria and Morocco. Her work is published in several books and journals including her own monograph Palestine Online (IB Tauris 2011), her second book in progress studies the rise and fall of mass political protest in Morocco. Her research interests include: digital imperialism; cyber warfare; social media; activism; Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon.
Svenja Bromberg is a Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research and teaching focus on issues of emancipation, radical democracy, citizenship and human rights between the 18th and 21st century as well as on different conceptions of (historical, dialectical, new) materialism. She completed her PhD “Thinking ‘Emancipation’ after Marx - A Conceptual Analysis of Emancipation between Citizenship and Revolution in Marx and Balibar" in 2016 at Goldsmiths funded by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung and the German Academic Exchange Service. Svenja is a co-editor of Eurotrash (published 2016 at Merve Verlag, Berlin) and a member on the editorial board of the publisher August Verlag Berlin.
Sebastian Budgen works as senior editor for Verso Books. He lives in Paris and works particularly on transformations of French political and intellectual life.
Demet Şahende Dinler is Helena Normanton Research Fellow in International Development at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex. She holds undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Sociology from the Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey and completed her MSc and PhD degrees in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her PhD was a multi-sited analysis of the recycling market including waste pickers, scrap traders in Turkey and the London Metal Exchange. She is currently working on an ethnographic research project entitled “Governing Nature and Market: Farmers, Traders and Experts in the Cut Flower Industry” which traces the varieties of production and exchange relations in the cut flower market from farms/greenhouses to local/global auctions. Apart from her academic research, Demet worked as the UPS workers’ organising campaign coordinator for the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and has been an experienced trainer and organiser for informal workers’ associations/unions including waste pickers, construction workers and domestic workers in Turkey. Her articles on labour and class struggle have been published in Third World Quarterly and and Class Strikes Back (Azzellini and Kraft (eds.), 2018, Brill). She is also a member of the Turkish Collective/Magazine 1+1 Express.
Elia El Khazen is an active member of the Lebanon-based revolutionary socialist organisation The Socialist Forum and an editorial member of its publication Al-Manshour. He works on the political economy and the “logistics revolution” in the MENA region, its waves of uprisings, islamophobia and the outsourcing of the war on terror to the Middle East.
Sai Englert is a lecturer at Leiden University. He works on the Political Economy, Labour Movements, Zionism, anti-Semitism and Settler Colonialism.
Juan Grigera is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow based at University College London Institute of Americas. He completed a PhD from the University of Buenos Aires with support from CONICET (Argentina), after being awarded an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. His work on the Argentine 2001 crisis, ECLAC, deindustrialization and class formation has been published in several journals and he has recently edited Argentina despues de la convertibilidad (2002-2011). He is an active member of the editorial board of Cuadernos de Economía Crítica (Argentina) in addition to Historical Materialism. His latest research project is entitled Bringing the global market back in. Industrialising and exporting commodities: Argentina and Brazil (1950-2010) and proposes an in-depth comparative study of the long-term economic performance of Brazil and Argentina after 1950s. This research concerns both the comparative assessment of the economic dynamics of two key countries of Latin America and the theoretical modes in which they have been approached.
Alex de Jong is co-director of the International Institute for Research and Education, based in Amsterdam. His research interests include communist movements in South-East Asia, as well as historical and contemporary far-right movements and ideologies. He co-edited October 1917 – Workers in Power (2017, IIRE & Merlin Press) and edited a collection of essays by Enzo Traverso: Critique of Modern Barbarism. Essays on fascism, anti-Semitism and the use of history (2019, IIRE). He is a member of the socialist group Grenzeloos in the Netherlands.
Robert Knox is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Liverpool. His primary interest lies in the fields of Marxist and critical legal theory, especially as regards international law. More specifically, his research attempts to analyse the close interconnection between capitalism, imperialism, processes of racialisation and international law. His work has also attempted to examine the role that law plays in promoting and inhibiting radical social change, focusing particularly on the way in which law is able to reshape collective political subjectivity. He is currently working Against International Law (Verso) co-authored with China Miéville. Some of his publications can be found here.
Esther Leslie is Professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author of Walter Benjamin: Overpowering Conformism (Pluto, 2000), Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant-garde (Verso, 2002), Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry (Reaktion 2005), Walter Benjamin: Critical Lives (Reaktion, 2007) and Liquid Crystals: The Art and Science of a Fluid Form (Reaktion, 2016). As well as her association with Historical Materialism, she is in the editorial collective of Radical Philosophy and an editor of Revolutionary History. Her research interests are in Marxist theories of aesthetics and culture, with a particular focus on the work of Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno. Other research interests include European literary and visual modernism, the 'everyday' and value, memory and history, madness and expression and digital aesthetics. Together with Ben Watson she runs the website www.militantesthetix.co.uk.
Andreas Malm is an associate senior lecturer in human ecology at Lund University. He is the author, most recently, of Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming (Verso, 2016) and The Progress of This Storm: Nature and Society in a Warming World (forthcoming from Verso in 2017). His primary research interest is the role of fossil fuels in the history of capitalist development, but he also writes on other aspects of climate change and currently works on a book about the politics of wilderness.
Søren Mau teaches Philosophy at the University of Southern Denmark and is interested in value-form theory, Marxist Feminism, Marxist Ecology, Marxology, German Idealism and contemporary non-Marxist radical philosophy. He writes for the Danish newspaper Information and is a member of the board of Danish Society of Marxist Studies. He is currently finishing a book entitled Mute Compulsion: A Marxist Theory of the Economic Power of Capital and will soon begin a new research project under the title ‘A Marxist Theory of the Body’.
Maïa Pal is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Oxford Brookes University. She defended her PhD in International Relations at the University of Sussex in 2013 on 'The Politics of Extraterritoriality: a historical sociology of public international law'. Her research interests are early modern European and colonial history, law and state formation, global governance and free trade agreements, extraterritorial jurisdiction, and contemporary student movements in relation to counter-conduct and critical pedagogy. She has published in Global Society and in International Studies Perspectives. She is currently working on a monograph entitled Jurisdictional Accumulation: an Early Modern History of Law, Empires, and Capital(forthcoming, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), and on a co-edited volume The Extraterritoriality of Law: History, Theory, Politics (2019, Abingdon: Routledge). She is also a member of the Political Marxism research group at the University of Sussex.
Paul Reynolds is Reader in Sociology and Social Philosophy at Edge Hill University in the UK. His research interests and publications lie in the areas of Marxism and radical philosophy/social theory with special reference to: sexuality and sexual politics, ethics and difference; class and political critique; and the role and responsibilities of intellectuals. He is currently developing critical work on sexual consent, literacy and well-being and the power of cultural materialism. He is co-convenor of the International Network for Sexual Ethics and Politics (INSEP - http://www.insep.ugent.be/) and editor of its Journal and also co-convenors the Historical Materialism Sexuality and Political Economy Network. He is Co-Director of the Cultural Difference and Social Solidarity (CDSS - http://www.differenceandsolidarity.org/).
Sara Salem is an Assistant Professor in Sociology at the London School of Economics. Sara’s research interests include political sociology, postcolonial studies, Marxist theory, and global histories of empire. She has recently published articles on Angela Davis in Egypt in the journal Signs; on Frantz Fanon and Egypt’s postcolonial state in Interventions: A Journal of Postcolonial Studies and on Nasserism in Egypt through the lens of haunting in Middle East Critique. Her forthcoming book with Cambridge University Press is entitled Anticolonial Afterlives in Egypt: The Politics of Hegemony.
Panagiotis Sotiris has a PhD from Panteion University Athens. He currently works as a journalist and editor in Athens, Greece. He has taught social and political philosophy at various Greek Universities. His research interests include marxist philosophy, the theory of imperialism and left strategy. His book A Philosophy for Communism. Rethinking Althusser is forthcoming from Brill in the Historical Materialism Series.
Peter Thomas is Lecturer in the History of Political Thought at Brunel University, London. He is the author of The Gramscian Moment: Philosophy, Hegemony and Marxism (Brill, 2009; Haymarket, 2011), and (with Juha Koivisto) Mapping Communication and Media Research: Conjunctures, Institutions, Challenges (Tampere University Press, 2010) and co-editor (with Riccardo Bellofiore and Guido Starosta) of In Marx’s Laboratory: Critical Interpretations of the Grundrisse (Brill, 2012). He has published widely on Marxist political theory and philosophy, the history of political thought and the history of philosophy. He is the translator of Antonio Negri, Goodbye Mr Socialism, (Seven Stories Press, 2008), (with Alberto Toscano) Alain Badiou and Slavoj Zizek’s, Philosophy in the Present (Polity, 2009), Mario Tronti’s Workers and Capital(Mayfly, 2012) and (with Sara R. Farris) Mario Tronti’s The Autonomy of the Political(forthcoming, 2012). He is currently working on three research projects: first, a critical history of contemporary Western European Marxisms, from 1945 to the present; second, a study of recent debates about the notion of the Political; and third, a critical reconstruction of the history of the concept of conjuncture in modern political thought and the social sciences.
Alberto Toscano is Reader in Critical Theory and co-director of the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Cartographies of the Absolute (2015), The Theatre of Production: Philosophy and Individuation Between Kant and Deleuze (Palgrave, 2006) and Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea (Verso, 2010) as well as the translator, most recently, of Alain Badiou’s Logics of Worlds (Continuum, 2009) and The Century(Polity, 2007). He also edits the Italian List for Seagull Books.
Jamie Woodcock is a Fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE). He is the author of Working The Phones: Control and Resistance in Call Centres (Pluto, 2017). His current research focuses on digital labour, the sociology of work, the gig economy, resistance, and videogames.
Corresponding Editorial Board
Alex Anievas, Samantha Ashman, Liam Campling, Giorgio Cesarale, Gail Day, Dae-oup Chang, Angela Dimitrakaki, Ana Cecilia Dinerstein, Steve Edwards, Félix Boggio Ewanjée-Epée, Adam Fabry, Sara Farris, Harrison Fluss, James Furner, Giorgos Galanis, Saroj Giri, Owen Hatherley, Paul Heideman, Dhruv Jain, Jim Kincaid, Gal Kirn, Ashok Kumar, Alex Levant, Grant Mandarino, Geoff Mann, Thomas Marois, China Miéville, Benjamin Noys, Chris O'Kane, Nicole Pepperell, Gonzalo Pozo-Martin, Alfredo Saad-Filho, Guido Starosta, Richard Seymour, Greg Sharzer, Mike Wayne, Lea Ypi.