HM Australasia

Historical Materialism Sydney 2018 Contesting the Survival of Capitalism | University of Sydney | 13-14 December

Call for papers

Capitalism has been able to attenuate but not resolve the contradictions of capital, doing so by occupying and producing space, extending urbanism, programming consumption, expanding the frontiers of primitive accumulation, and sustaining the reproduction of the relations of production. This is not an inexorable process; nor are its participant-witnesses ignorant of the continued constitution and presence of spaces of non-capitalism. Yet within considerations of the survival of capitalism there has been less focus granted towards the social reproduction of the relations of production comprising gendered, racialised, ecological, decolonial and class hierarchies. It was Henri Lefebvre in The Survival of Capitalism who indicated that the theory of reproduction brings out the imperative for critical analysis to consider the false “new” within capitalism. ‘The false new gets christened neo-something or other’, he stated. But under neoliberalism what is the relation between the fragmentation of space and the capacity of the relations of production to produce space on a planetary scale? How does the jigsaw puzzle of the rural and the urban come together in processes of “development” forming the survival of capitalism? Where are the spaces of social reproduction embedded in the materialisation of the relations of production and their ongoing arrangement? On which terrains of confrontation are the social reproduction of the relations of production that decentre and contest the survival of capitalism located? How do cultural relations participate in, or potentially resist, processes of social reproduction? How does culture in the broad sense of the term constitute a field in which the dynamic tension between representation and material (re)production plays out?

The organisers of Historical Materialism Sydney 2018 invite proposals for panels and individual papers dealing with these themes or any other topics that engage with historical materialist thought from critical sociology and geography; heterodox economics and the critique of political economy; cultural, literary and aesthetic theory; political science and theory; history and historiography; philosophy; law; science studies and any other relevant discipline.

Abstracts should be no more than 250 words in length and should be sent to by September 30, 2018.

All conference information including registration, venue and program details will be available at as it becomes available.

Keynote Speakers

Lisa Adkins

Lisa Adkins is Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Sydney. Her home Department is Sociology and Social Policy. She is also an Academy of Finland Distinguished Professor (2015-19). She has previously held Chairs in Sociology at the University of Manchester and at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has served as a member of the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts (Social, Behavioural and Economic Sciences Panel), 2011-13. Lisa’s contributions and interventions in the discipline of Sociology lie in the areas of economic sociology, social theory and feminist theory. Her recent research has focused on the restructuring of labour, money and time in the context of the growth of finance. A book based on this research – The Time of Money – will be published in 2018 by Stanford University Press. The book appears in the Currencies: New Thinking for Financial Times series edited by Melinda Cooper and Martijn Konings. Her recent research has also focused on the condition of unemployment and on wageless life. This has been supported by the Australian Research Council, the Academy of Finland and by a 2018 National Library of Australia (NLA) Fellowship. Lisa is joint editor-in-chief of the journal Australian Feminist Studies (Routledge/Taylor&Francis).

Andreas Bieler

Andreas Bieler is Professor of Political Economy and Fellow of the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice at the University of Nottingham, UK.  Prof. Bieler’s main research interest deals with the global dynamics of capitalism, neoliberal globalisation and the possibilities for resistance. Particular emphasis is placed on the potential role of trade unions in resistance to restructuring, the possibilities for labour movements more generally to establish links of transnational solidarity across borders, as well as theoretical discussions of how these struggles can be conceptualised from a historical materialist perspective. Moreover, he has analysed struggles over the future European Union model of capitalism and the possibilities of national economic-political models different from a neoliberal, Anglo-American model of capitalism. His most recent book, co-authored with Adam David Morton, is Global Capitalism, Global War, Global Crisis, published by Cambridge University Press. He runs the blog on Trade unions and global restructuring, providing analytical commentary on labour movements and their attempts to resist exploitation in today’s neoliberal, global capitalism.

Melinda Cooper

Melinda Cooper graduated from the University of Paris VIII in 2001 and is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney. Her research focuses on the broad areas of social studies of finance, biomedical economies, neoliberalism and new social conservatisms. She has recently completed a manuscript Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism, which has been published in Zone Book’s Near Futures series. She is one of the editors of the Journal of Cultural Economy and (with Martijn Konings) of the Stanford University Press book series Currencies: New Thinking for Financial Times. You can consult the book series here.



Capital and the revolt against capitalism

The sixth annual Historical Materialism Sydney conference on new Marxist research will be held at The University of Sydney New Law Building on Thursday 7th and Friday 8th December, 2017.


Call for papers:
This year marks the 150th anniversary of Marx’s Capital and the centenary of the Russian Revolution. Both anniversaries raise vital questions for Marxist theory and practice today. How can value theory inform an analysis of modern capitalism? What can we learn from history and how do we understand theory and politics in the changed conditions of the 21st century in Australasia and around the world? What do contemporary debates around social reproduction mean for the Marxist tradition? And how should Marxist theory and practice inform an understanding of and resistance to today’s ecological crisis?


HM Sydney 2017 Conference: Capital and the revolt against capitalism welcomes papers addressing the questions of Capital, capitalism and anti-capitalist politics. We continue to welcome papers on all general topics of interest to the Marxist tradition but particularly encourage papers on the following themes:

  • Capital and value 150 years on
  • Socialism and ecology
  • Social reproduction and oppression
  • Capital and critical receptions of Capital
  • Revolutionary history and politics since 1917
  • Art and culture in and after the Russian revolution
  • Socialism and populism today

This year the conference will feature a keynote by Jason W. Moore, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Binghamton University, and Coordinator of the World-Ecology Research Network. In 2015 Jason published the widely praised and debated Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology & the Accumulation of Capital (Verso). His research fields include political ecology, agro-food studies, historical geography, social and spatial theory, environmental history, environmental humanities, political economy, world history, and neoliberalism.

Please send proposals for papers and panels to by Friday 4 August 2017. Proposals should be no more than 250 words. Papers should be 20 minutes long, and panels may include three speakers.

The convenors of the conference can be reached by email here.

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