Historical Materialism
A podcast on critical Marxist theory

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Episode 9


How does racialisation shape the labour process? How is race formed in the transition from slavery to wage labour? What is the role of racecraft in wage labour exploitation? Looking at the history of the Siddis, ‘liberated’ East African slaves settled in the Indian subcontinent, helps answer these questions. In this episode, Lukas Slothuus and Ashok Kumar interview Tania Bhattacharyya from the University of Cambridge about Tania’s article Steam and Stokehold: Steamship Labour, Colonial Racecraft and Bombay’s Sidi jamāt from the Race and Capital special issue of the HM journal

Episode 8


What is the role of Israeli settler colonialism on Palestinian agriculture? How is indigeneity invoked in the commodification of land and produce? How does land matter for the Palestinian struggle for liberation? In this episode, Ashok Kumar and Lukas Slothuus speak with Gabi Kirk from California Poly State University about her article Commodifying Indigeneity? Settler Colonialism and Racial Capitalism in Fair Trade Farming in Palestine from the 31.2 issue of the Historical Materialism Journal.

Episode 7

Marxism and Health

What does the Covid-19 pandemic tell us about the relationship between humans and nature? And how can eco-Marxism help us understand the pandemic? What does a Marxist account of health look like? In this episode, Lukas Slothuus and Ashok Kumar speak with Jacopo Nicola Bergamo from the University of Vigo about his article Pandemic Capitalism: Metabolic Rift, World-Ecology Crossing Dialectical Biology. The article is in the 31.1 issue of the Historical Materialism journal.

Episode 6

Insurgent Universality

How can we trace a continuity with the past to inspire a future of emancipation? What can we learn from the experiments of the 1793 sans-culottes, the 1871 Paris Communards, the 1918 Soviet constitution, and the Zapatistas? Is modernity inherently oppressive? In this episode, Lukas Slothuus and Ashok Kumar speak with Massimiliano Tomba, Professor of History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz about his article and book Insurgent University: An Alternative Legacy of Modernity. The article is in the 30.4 issue of the Historical Materialism journal.

Episode 5

Landownership and Class

Are landowners a ‘third class’ beyond capitalists and workers? Or are landowners simply a class fraction of capitalists? How can tenants resist the power of the landowning class? In this episode, Lukas Slothuus and Ashok Kumar talk with Francesca T.C. Manning, author of A Defence of the Concept of the Landowning Class as the Third Class: Towards a Logic of Landownership from issue 30.3 of Historical Materialism.

Episode 4

Marxism and the Climate Crisis

Can Marxism offer a convincing understanding of the present climate crisis? What is the metabolic rift? How have different Marxists – Marx, Engels, Lukács, and others – theorised the relationship between capitalism and nature? How can we understand nature in a dialectical way? In this episode, Lukas Slothuus and Ashok Kumar talk about these and further questions with John Bellamy Foster, Editor of Monthly Review and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Oregon. John’s article The Return of the Dialectics of Nature: The Struggle for Freedom as Necessity is based on his Deutscher Memorial Lecture. from the most recent journal issue 30.2 of Historical Materialism.

Episode 3

The Political Economy of Tar Sands

What is the future of the tar sands in Canada and how does this industry fit in the larger global political economy of fossil fuels? What is the rentier’s dilemma and how does it affect the tar sand economy? In this episode, Lukas Slothuus and Ashok Kumar talk with Tyler McCreary, author of Crisis in the Tar Sands: Fossil Capitalism and the Future of the Alberta Hydrocarbon Economy from the most recent journal issue 30.1 of Historical Materialism.

Episode 2

The Economics of Modern Imperialism

How does imperialism function economically today? What constitutes economic imperialism and what is the law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall? In this episode, Lukas Slothuus and Ashok Kumar ask Michael Roberts, co-author (with Guiglielmo Carchedi) of the The Economics of Modern Imperialism, from the most recent journal issue 29.4 of Historical Materialism.


Political Marxism

How relevant is Political Marxism today, and what are its main critiques? Join for our inaugural episode of the Historical Materialism Podcast to find out. The podcast offers a deep-dive into each new issue of the Historical Materialism Journal, starting with Issue 29.3, a symposium on Political Marxism. With Svenja BrombergMaïa PalRob Knox, and Javier Moreno Zacarés.