Sixteenth Annual Conference.

Claps of Thunder: Disaster Communism, Extinction Capitalism and How to Survive Tomorrow

7th Nov 2019 12:00 - 10th Nov 2019 8:00

SOAS, Russell Square, Central London

Poster by David Mabb

Call for Papers

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! Click here to register for the Sixteenth Annual Conference.

You can download the final timetable and paper’s abstracts below:



Humanity faces an unprecedented crisis in the conditions for its long-term survival. The planet has warmed before, but never this fast. Mass extinction is a regular geological event, but it is now happening faster than at any time since the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction: a megaphase crisis in microphase time. And humanity has never before faced the comprehensive exhaustion of top-soil fecundity.

The emerging forms of authoritarian reaction are characteristically denialist about this catastrophe, from Trump’s Sinophobic conspiracism to Bolsonaro’s efforts to extirpate the landless workers’ movement. But the dominant response of fossil fuel giants is that of the majority of capitalist sectors and liberal states: to embrace ‘green’ capitalism, carbon markets, carbon taxes, and green technologies, whose total effect is to lock in carbon emissions. The Pentagon positions itself as an ally against climate change while securing the conditions for the efficient exploitation of oil and gas concealed under thawing Arctic ice. Environmental movements have coalesced and dispersed since the Seventies, but have hitherto lacked the structural, disruptive capacity, and perhaps also the strategy, to achieve the depth and scale of social transformation necessary to slam on the brakes of the crisis.

The roots of this ongoing disaster are social. The very evolution of fossil fuel use is linked a growth paradigm based upon the imperatives of capitalist accumulation ever since the beginning of the ‘industrial revolution.’ Advocates of ‘green capitalism’ have failed to offer a plausible solution to a catastrophe that is more imminent than ever. Any attempt to avert climate change requires a mobilisation of resources and a profound change in production and consumption forms that are incompatible with capitalist social relations of production. But even if such an attempt is launched tomorrow, we are likely to face a long-lasting legacy of damages to the earth system

 How does communism fare in a world thus despoiled? What alternatives to the various miserable endgames mapped out for us by capital can Marxists envision? What new configurations of agency, strategy and vision are necessary for human emancipation and survival? Beyond denialism, how do we avert the potential for new climate-driven security regimes, eco-Malthusian crackdowns on the poor, and murderous eco-fascism?

This is the overarching theme for this year’s Historical Materialism Conference. We welcome papers on:

– Relationships between climate change, mass extinction and capitalism, and the consequences of ecological deterioration for the long-term reproduction of capitalism, the organisation of capitalist states, the viability of capitalist democracy, and new axes of imperialism.

– Potential for new modalities of racial capitalism, or a new form of ‘climate sovereign’ or ‘climate Leviathan’, to emerge around the militarisation of climate policy under the rubric of ‘natural security’.

– Commodification of climate change, as for example with the pursuit of carbon markets, ‘green capitalist’ technologies, and the opening of the Transpolar Sea Route and the military struggles for control over it.

– History of environmental struggles, from Bhopal to the Dakota Access Pipeline, the sometimes ambiguous role of the organised working-class therein, the salience of anti-racist and anti-colonial movements, and the ideological contest between various registers of ecological thought including eco-socialism, eco-Malthusianism, Deep Ecology, black ecology, the environmentalism of the poor, and eco-fascism.

– Popular militancy, denial, apathy, anger and ‘melancholia’ in the face of climate crisis, and the ideological or psychoanalytic bases thereof.

– Emerging forms of climate reaction, from libertarian strategies of denial/affirmation, to eco-fascist Arcadias based on racist genocide.

– Ecological and political viability of strategies of mitigation — from Green New Deals to geoengineering to ‘half-earth’ strategies — and the meaning of any plausible scenario of communist plenty in a de-carbonised future.

– The recent ecological reformulations of historical materialism, the relevance of Marxist categories for analysing the geological scales of ‘Deep Time’ on which the climate crisis is predicated, and the relationship between Marxism and the ‘hard sciences’.

The conference will also include the following usual streams which will run through the conference (see below for full details):


Race and Capital

Workers’ Inquiry

Sexuality and Political Economy

We also have open calls for paper and panel proposals on the following themes, around which we would like to particularly emphasise our desire for submissions (see below for full details):

Rethinking Sovereignty

A luta continua: Contemporary Radical Politics confronts Disaster Capitalism in the Middle East and North Africa

Utopia & Post-Capitalism

Marxism and World Literatures

In addition, the conference will, as always, be open to proposals not directly related to the main theme on all areas of Marxist and left-wing thought and politics, including political economy, political science and state theory, history and historiography, philosophy, law, cultural and aesthetic theory, science studies, and any other relevant discipline.

Please Note: Although we welcome preconstituted panels, after extensive feedback from previous years we are tightening up on panels with just titles or incomplete names. Panels should provide title, abstract and full names, emails of each participant and abstract/note of contribution (where relevant). Incomplete panel proposals will be put on the reserve list and may ultimately be rejected. We also reserve the right to reject certain papers in a preconstituted panel and to reconstitute panels as we see fit.

CHILDCARE: HM is in the process of organising childcare arrangements and ensuring accessibility for our 2019 conference. We hope to announce details of the provision soon, but are still ironing out the details and costs. Please bear with us until we have sorted these out.

Conference submission website here.

Start here to submit an abstract to this conference.

Below are the separate call for papers.

Call for Papers for the Marxist-Feminist Stream

Capital and life are in a deadly opposition. The social capacities for making and maintaining life are increasingly under threat. From conditions of birth —reproductive rights, access to healthcare— to simple provisions that can ensure dignity in old age —pensions, social security— the life cycle of the majority is now marked by food shortage, poisoned water, and school closures. In decimating social provisioning, capitalism undermines our collective life-making, but the harm is no longer limited to the ‘social’ – and whether capitalism was ever limited to the ‘social’ or the ‘economic’ is worth revisiting. What is certainly the case is that capitalism’s relentless accumulation drive has triggered climate change, threatening all life as we know it.

Whereas social movements increasingly respond to the urgency of our planetary predicament under capitalism, eco-politics is often caught in the ideological traps of contemporary capitalism – for instance, in France Macron’s fuel tax, which was presented as an eco-tax, became the excuse for expropriating further the working classes and triggered the Yellow Vests movement; or, as in ecofascism, where exclusionary-racist violence is used as an excuse for defending the land against climate change. This convoluted and not always progressive landscape of eco-politics is where Marxist feminism must intervene in bringing forth nuanced analyses and radical propositions concerning the needs of life versus the needs of capital.

Feminists have been thinking about and resisting these and other environmental crises at least since the early 1970s. Today, eco-feminist ideas about women’s spiritual or conceptual connection to nature have in some cases given way to more materialist understandings. Rather than stretching women’s innate connection to nature, they analyse and politicise around women’s historically evolved connection to land, water and bodies – all of which are mediated by the various relations of exploitation and oppression; and, all of which come into conflict with capital’s relentless expansion and development supported by techno-scientific knowledge regimes on the one hand and imperialist and settler colonialist forces on the other.

This year, the Marxist-Feminist Stream of Historical Materialism 2019 invites papers that address (but are not restricted to) broadly conceived environmental feminist perspectives on themes such as:

– Reproductive health and social policy

– The relationship of climate justice to gender justice

– Gender and the politics of climate migration

– Agricultural work and agribusiness

– Water politics, food production, gendered and racial struggles

– Gendered and racialised science

– Indigenous environmentalism and radical ecopedagogy

– Ecosocialism: legacy, prospects, challenges

– Transnational feminism, social reproduction and the question of ‘sustainability’

– The gender, class, and racial politics of global environmentalism

– Does nature even exist? Technologies and ideologies of de/acceleration and de/alienation in relation to Marxist-feminism

– The common: can a political principle save the Earth?

– Ending capitalism: Communism as real feminism?

– BirthStrikes and reproductive technologies

In order to be included in the stream, abstracts and panel proposals should explicitly mention the Marxist-Feminist Stream. Panel proposals should include names and abstracts of all panel participants.

Call for Papers for Race and Capital Stream

The resurgence of visible racism through the organised right has brought forward a number of questions around identity, race, class, capital, empire, resistance and solidarity. Alongside largely unchanged institutional forms of racism and the mobilisation of traditional racist tropes and signifiers by the right, new forms of racialisation have been articulated through increasingly virulent official racism. This official racism has been deployed internationally – to legitimate and drive imperialist interventions and restructurings – and domestically – to channel social discontent away from the status quo and towards migrants and racial others.

All of this has not gone uncontested. Organised anti-racist politics throughout the world have made significant political interventions. Indeed, many elements of the new right-wing movements’ platforms are the direct response to the growing significance of these anti-racist movements. A key component of analysing and challenging the resurgence of the right, therefore, is understanding the role that racism plays in their construction and maintenance.

This necessity has led to a series of heated political debates within the anti-racist movements concerning the relationship between racism and other oppressions; the relationship between capitalism, colonialism and racism, and the relationship between different racial oppressions on the domestic and international stage.

The Race and Capital stream seeks to provide a historical materialist position in these debates. Taking seriously the rich history of black and postcolonial Marxisms, we seek contributions mapping the contemporary and historical connections between capitalist accumulation and practices of racialisation and empire. We are driven by the conviction that understanding racism within social relations of exploitation can offer an explanation for its existence and persistence.

Understanding this in a broad sense to include issues of race, racism, indigeneity, colonialism, imperialism and migration, we would be especially interested in panels or papers concerning:

• Engagements with Afro-Pessimism and the relationship between anti-black and other racisms
• Engagement with, and contestation of, the concept of ‘racial capitalism’
• Marxist analyses of the relationship between racism, colonialism and indigeneity
• The relationship between Marxism and postcolonial theory
• Mappings of the relationship between racism and the right in both historical and contemporary contexts
• Historical accounts of the relationship between different forms of racism and different practices and regimes of accumulation
• Recovering anti-racist resources within the Marxist tradition
• Black and Third World feminisms
• Political Blackness and other historical accounts of anti-racist movements and their attempts to build solidarity with other oppressed groups
• Marxist engagement with intersectionality
• Histories of anti-colonial nationalism and its intersections with Marxism

Call for Papers for the Workers’ Inquiry Stream

The method of workers’ inquiry and class composition analysis has continued to grow in popularity, reflected in the streams during the last two years Historical Materialism London, as well as in Notes from Below, Viewpoint, Plateforme d’Enquêtes Militantes, and the re-publication of autonomist marxist “classics”.

By workers’ inquiry, we mean a set of methods that seek to understand work from the perspective of workers. This includes interviews, ethnography, and forms of co-research that draw workers into the process of research. However, unlike traditional forms of workplace research, these methods are tied into projects of organising: not only seeking to describe the conditions of work, but developing practices to refuse and overcome them.

Class composition refers to way classes are formed and operate within capitalist society. For Notes from Below, this means going beyond Workerism to analyse class composition in three ways: first, technical composition, how workers are organised, that is to say ‘technically arranged’ within any given work. Second, social composition, how workers are composed in society. Third, political composition, how workers resist and are organised. We seek to understand strategies and tactics by which capital de-composes working class power and workers themselves re-compose their own power by overcoming divisions and developing new tactics and strategies.

For this stream, we welcome papers that use the workers’ inquiries methods and/or class composition analysis. As in previous years, we especially welcome papers from workers, activists, and organisers. We are flexible on the format of papers, which can be co-presented or take alternative forms.

In particular, we are inviting papers that focus on:

• Workers’ inquiries across different sectors and countries
• The circulation of struggles across sectors and borders
• Rethinking unions and strikes
• Struggles over reproductive labour including care work, education, health care
• Global choke points
• The role of urban social composition in contemporary and historical struggles

The editors of Notes from Below are also happy to discuss proposals beforehand. In the past we have collaborated with potential speakers to develop ideas for the conference. If you would be interested in this, please email

Otherwise, the abstracts should be submitted through the conference website.

Call for Papers for the Historical Materialism Sexuality and Political Economy Network (HMSPEN) stream

Struggles, Struggles Everywhere: Sexuality and Sexual Politics in Global Contexts

For many, the 21st Century should be characterized by a period of the progressive recognition of sexual rights, equality and justice, reinforced by a respect for gender and sexual fluidity, reasoned boundaries of sexual morality and prohibition, and an enlightened approach to queerness. Instead, the litany of struggles against oppression and exploitation increase. In 2019 in Brunei, to far too little international outcry, Brunei instituted (and later suspended but did not withdraw) a death penalty of stoning for homosexuality. It is not the only example. In Russia and Chechnya, gangs use violence to ‘convert’ gay men with the collusion of state policing. In countries that were formerly relatively open, like Indonesia, there are movements towards repression, and there are ongoing threats in a number of Subsaharan African countries. In the US and across Europe, a right-wing backlash is destabilizing the legal and cultural progress of non-heterosexual sexualities, simultaneously with commercial exploitation. Homonormativity and homonationalism have neutralized progressive politics rather than enabled them, and leading politicians like US Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg have led the incorporation of sexual politics into mainstream pathologies. Trans people face attacks from the right, notably a belligerent and prejudiced Trump administration, and from some feminists, who deny trans identity and reject non-binary and queer identities and activisms. Across the globe, sex traffickers exploit the women and children of poor countries for use by sex tourists and the rich. Sex workers are continually subject to violence by clients and legal frameworks that leave them vulnerable and precarious in their work. Queer people and sexual minorities, due to their lack of support from family and state structures, are particularly vulnerable to the broader political dangers posed by climate change and global economic turbulence. Struggles, struggles, everywhere………

Whilst HMSPEN is interested in any papers or panels that enhance understanding of sex and sexuality within the context of Marxist theory and politics, we are particularly interested in papers that address contemporary political struggles and assess the value of Marxist philosophical practice in understanding the terms of oppression and hegemony and exploring counter-hegemonic strategies and politics. Prospective paper and panel proposers are welcome to contact HMSPEN with ideas, as the stream will have particular panels it is keen to encourage and can advise on presenting your proposal. If you want to contact us, mail Paul Reynolds on

Open call for papers and panels 

(Open calls are themes around which we would like to particularly emphasise our desire for submissions. They are different to streams that run throughout the conference.)

Rethinking Sovereignty

Recently questions around sovereignty have returned to the fore of theoretical and political discussion from the continuous debates around the forms of contemporary authoritarian capitalist sovereign power, including the various challenges to the international institutional arrangements associated with ‘globalization’ but also the many forms of ‘states of exception’, to various movements attempting to reclaim ‘popular sovereignty’, to the Far Right’s attempt to insist on various versions of the ‘sovereign nation’. At the same time, there are open debates inside contemporary Marxist theory of the state, including whether we can think of our strategic goal as a socialist republic and consequently a form of sovereignty. All these attest to the need for theoretical discussion upon the very notion of sovereignty. To this end we encourage paper and panel proposals on this subject and in particular the following questions:

– How can we think the political constitution of contemporary ‘sovereign power’? Is it always, in the last instance, a question of domination and of the power to ‘decide on the exception’, or are we dealing with forms of power that are relational and thus traversed by subaltern resistances and aspirations and consequently open to transformation?

– What are the contemporary forms of capitalist ‘sovereign power’ emerging’? How are they related to the new antagonisms in the international plane?

– The challenges to a traditional ‘free trade’ conception of globalization, from ‘protectionist’ rhetoric to regional alliances, does it imply a retreat to classical version of ‘national sovereignty’?

– Can reclaiming sovereignty –as a process of delinking from contemporary forms of imperialism– be considered part of a radical anti-capitalist strategy?

– Can sovereignty be conceived as ‘sovereignty of the people’ in a democratic and emancipatory manner, or contemporary claims to ‘popular sovereignty’ from the part of left-wing movements entail the danger of supporting the attempt of the attempt of the Far Right to present itself as a defender of ‘sovereign nations’?

– Can we think of socialism as a republic and consequently a form of sovereignty? What does this imply in regards to political forms and institutions?


A luta continua: Contemporary Radical Politics confronts Disaster Capitalism in the Middle East and North Africa

Many are watching as the Sudanese and Algerian uprisings have emerged over the past few months, defying the counter-revolutionary wave that swept the region following the Middle East and North Africa uprisings of 2010/11. Ironically, Omar al-Bashir’s last international visit was to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad to show his support to the surviving ancien regime that looks to have weathered the storm, only to return to an uprising that has challenged everything from IMF austerity measures and GCC land-grabbing, to the authoritarian and patriarchal nature of the regime. Alongside this, tens of thousands of teachers protesting in Morocco in the past few months, and the ups and downs of revolt and repression throughout the region as a whole, recall FRELIMO’s famous slogan a luta continua: the struggle continues.

The level of sophistication of organizing in both the Sudanese and Algerian uprisings reignites the hope that a new wave of uprising can achieve the initial demands of the revolutionary processes started in 2010/11 in their quest for dignity, equality and freedom, while similarly going beyond them in crucial ways and providing a more radical blueprint for revolt. The Sudanese and Algerian diasporas have played a crucial role in spreading the revolution beyond their national borders, calling on all those who believe that the struggle should be international to join them. In both countries, the overthrow of individual figureheads of the regime is understood to be far from enough. The call is to continue and deepen the uprisings until fundamental political and socio-economic changes are made in favour of the popular classes, completely replacing the old regimes and their rulers.

Meanwhile we are seeing increasing migration flows connected to disaster capitalism, and an intensifying necropolitical population management/demographic engineering that both the Saudi and Syrian regimes have been undertaking respectively in Syria and Yemen. It would be remiss to discuss the effects of an emboldened Capitolicene without mentioning its effect on migration flows cause by the victory of the counter-revolution over first wave of Arab uprisings and the probable counter-evolutionary alignments that will rally to prevent the second wave from succeeding.

We are especially interested in papers/panels on the following topics:

– Protest politics and mobilisation: Class composition, social movements, unionization

– Space, the built environment and capital: reconstruction, logistics, ports and maritime supremacy

– Care work in the context of neoliberalism: Alienation, gendered social reproduction and mental health

– Revolution and Counterrevolution: The role of Middle Eastern/foreign capital and military intervention

– Marxist thought and activism in the Middle East: The role of the left during revolutionary and counterrevolutionary periods

– Climate disaster, violence, and austerity: Migration and moving bodies

– Strikes and worker mobilisations: The role of unions, bureaucracy, technocracy, technopolitics, new forms of activism and the role of the left.

– Transnational politics and solidarity: Networks of solidarity, history and contemporary forms of cross-regional solidarity

– Necropolitics and the state/capital nexus: The externalization of Fortress Europe to the region, manufacturing permanent precarity and the role of borders

– Empire and its afterlives: Legacies of colonial policing, traveling modalities of counter-insurgency, Israeli settler colonialism, and the war on terror

– BDS: The crackdown on BDS in Europe the US and beyond, victories and strategies for the future


Utopia & Post-Capitalism 

What would relations of production, exchange and social reproduction look like in a post-capitalist society? How can individual desires and the collective good be reconciled? What past and present experiments, successes and failures haunt our utopian dreams? How would our embodied experiences of time and space alter in a post-capitalist future? How would our relationship with nature change in a non-human centred universe? What kind of emotions induce or inhibit revolutionary change?

In a period where there is a need and desire to not only criticise but also build concrete alternatives to capitalism, our 2019 Conference invites examinations of historical and contemporary cases including commons, communes, workers’ cooperatives, sharing economies, complementary currencies, peer-to-peer lending, multiple monies. We welcome papers that revisit old debates (Socialist Calculation) and engage with new ones (De-Growth, Post-Work society, Eco-Feminism, Fully Automated Luxury Communism). We are particularly interested in contributions, which investigate how technologies (Chilean Cybersyn algorithms, digital platforms, open source softwares) can be used for common good and communist design. We would like to examine policy experiments and proposals at various scales: local (participatory budget and planning, common resource management practices), national (expansionary fiscal and monetary policies, commonfare, universal basic income), international (global clearing house for financial stability). Papers engaging with economic and literary science fictions are also welcome. In our panels, we aim to question colonial, patriarchal, heterosexist and Taylorist imaginaries of some past socialist experiences and de-colonise utopia by examining and conceiving feminist, trans, queer and black utopias.

The call also opens up to a rather overlooked aspect of utopias and revolutionary politics, the constitutive role of emotions. It invites participants to reflect on the contemporary sentiments of resentment, rage, envy, suspicion, which not only divide societies on political, racial and gender-based conflicts but also revolutionary groups and social movements. What is the place of feelings in revolutionary movements and why have they been so little examined? What energies are offered by Walter Benjamin’s politics of hate? We suggest taking seriously the affective swing from intense periods of euphoria, solidarity, joy, comradeship and optimism during social upheavals, strikes or even during everyday life in a revolutionary party to left-wing pessimism and melancholia in times of defeat, reaction, loss of momentum or party break up. In addition, what models exist to explore how positive emotions or atmospheres can be collectively shaped to counter defeatism and build a sustainable movement  towards a post-capitalist future? In what analysable ways do new technologies of communication produce and stoke emotional responses? Do older analyses of the psychologies of crowds play a role here, in an age of crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, crowd simulation? Are there communist emojis? What might be a Marxist approach to atmosphere, their analysis, manipulation as hostile environments or production as hospitable reams for free living?


Marxism and World Literatures

Historically Marxists have had a fair deal to say about literature, with Marx’s own patchy analyses, and those of daughter Eleanor Marx, ballooning into full-blown aesthetics with warring factions on questions of base and superstructure, Realism and expressions, Surrealism and the unconscious, decadence and progressivism, social realism and Ideologiekritik, conditions and factors of production and distribution, the role of audiences and the part of alienation and so on across the twentieth century. These debates play out in works such as Lenin’s writings on Tolstoy, Trotsky’s Literature and Revolution, the investigative and practical work of Bertolt Brecht, the prescriptions of Georg Lukacs, the efforts of Christopher Caudwell, the lyrical voice of Aimé Césaire, the utopian cryptography of Ernst Bloch, the conjunctural methods  of Pierre Macherey, the sociology of Lucien Goldmann, the capacious view of Raymond Williams, along with many others.

Such a variety of approaches has led Imre Szeman, for one, to argue that ‘There is no such thing as a Marxist literary criticism: no established approaches, no clear methodology, no agreed-upon ideas about how to approach a text or what count as appropriate texts to read, or, indeed, no clearly established sense of why one might expend energy on literary analysis to begin with’. It may indeed be so, but in that sense Marxist literary criticism is an exemplary site of Marxism, arranged around debate, argument, reinvention constantly of the relevance of the object of study, criticism and self-criticism, unsettled. It should also be noted that Marxism has often had recourse to literature. Engels claims to have learned more from Balzac ‘than from all the professional historians, economists and statisticians put together’, and Marx’s writings are shot through with literary reference, as well as literary flair. He participates in a politics of form, (from manifestos and pamphlets to the multi-genre Das Kapital), a practice of literary production which is carried on in various ways by those who follow. Rosa Luxemburg is only one obvious figure who marshalled the powers of literature for and in Marxism.

With the arrival of ‘theory’, literary studies of a critical bent seemed to move towards non-Marxist approaches, and much of the energies of socially-informed analyses shifted towards cultural studies and the re-valuing of other apparently more popular media: such as film and TV or pop music. Of course, not everyone moved this way, and through the years of theory Marxist-inflected books and projects on literature continued to appear regularly, for example books by Fredric Jameson, Terry Eagleton, the Warwick Research Collective’s Combined and Uneven Development: Towards a New Theory of World-Literature (2015) and Barbara Foley’s work, including her recent Marxist Literary Criticism Today. Prompted by this book’s appearance, it might be a moment to observe, in particular, in recent years there has been a resurgence in Marxist approaches to literature. One example is new writing in online journals such as Endnotes, Viewpoint, Commune, Mediations, Jacobin, and other fora, which have responded to the situation of the global financial crisis and its aftermath. Marxism is present in the domain of literature as a context for engagements with political economy, as literary criticism addresses the value form, declining rates of profit, circulation and logistics, communization, expropriation, debt, and so on. Alongside this there are the emergent reading methods (as part of debates across literary studies about reading practices) rooted in systematic dialectics, political formalism and Marxian theories of real abstraction

In the context of ongoing and sharpening economic crises, of environmental degradation, the rise of reaction and hate, the peculiar subjectivity fostered by Neoliberalism, new recourse to the knowledges conveyed in literary forms have been developed: for example its capacity for other-thinking or the hosting of excluded voices, its ability to connect granular experience to larger contexts, and its capacity for combinatory thinking, in an orientation to the world. It is this orientation to the interactions between the local and global in recent world literary analyses by Neil Lazarus, Benita Parry, Sharae Deckard, Stephen Shapiro and Imre Szeman, amongst others, that has reinvigorated the development of a materialist world literary studies, for which capitalism is the horizon of world literary and economic systems.

In the forefront of Marxist materialist approaches to literature are fields such as World Literatures, developed out of comparative literature, but in recent times taking its materialist energy and critique in part from postcolonial literary studies, and Petrofiction analyses, or World Energy Literature, a politically-conscious variant of ecocriticism. Marxist literary criticism engages too, newly challenged, with the extraordinary ground opened up by a plethora of politically-engaged approaches in the humanities: including Critical Race Studies and intersectionality, working class fiction, Marxist-Feminism and social reproduction theory, migrant and refugee studies, ecocriticism, energy and resource extraction.

This CFP has a broad remit, but is especially interested in bringing together intersectional materialist analyses with world literature because analyses of the combined and uneven development of the capitalist world-system can help develop a materialist critique of subordinated positions, resource extraction, and radical forms of imaginative and narrative resistance across the capitalist world-system.

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