Call for Papers

Marx & the City

6th Aug 2018

Marx & the City

Friday, 2 November 2018

A one-day symposium at Arcadia University, The College of Global Studies, London Center, 16-17 Southampton Place, London, W1A 2AJ


Confirmed speakers: Professor Ursula Huws; Professor Donald Sassoon; Dr Lindsey German


Deadline for abstracts: 3 September 2018


There are three interlocking aims behind Marx and the City, the first symposium to be held at Arcadia University’s London study abroad centre in Holborn. The first point is to mark the life and work of Karl Marx: we do so both in the two hundredth year since his birth and in a building a mere ten-minute walk from his first proper London home. Second, we wish to stress ‘the city’ as an object of study that makes a mock of and does away with rigid disciplinary boundaries. As such, we encourage abstracts from anyone and everyone, most certainly including those outside the academy. Finally, this symposium will seek to involve Arcadia students at all levels of decision-making. All too rarely do students get to see their teachers’ ideas challenged publicly: by contrast, Marx and the City will invite some of Arcadia’s fall 2018 intake to actively participate through chairing and attending panels, reviewing abstract submissions, and so on.

Karl Marx found in the industrialising cities of the nineteenth century both the epitome of modern capitalist exploitation and the revolutionary agents of capitalism’s demise.  Marx himself has extensive contact with the city; he spent most of his life living as a revolutionary exile in London, the city at the heart of the British Empire.  This symposium examines Marx’s approach to the city, how he envisaged its revolutionary transformation as well as the relevance and resonances of his approach. 

We welcome abstracts for papers or contributions in other media. A non-proscriptive list of potential subjects follows: 

– Marx’s cities (Paris, London, Berlin, Brussels etc.) 

– Marxist approaches to the city

– Utopia and reimaginings of the city

– Engels’ ‘great towns’

– ‘Beneath the pavement . . .’: the city and revolution

– Marxist feminist approaches to the city

– The revolutionary exile in the foreign city

– Marx and urban culture

– Marx and the urban underworld

– Marx and the city in film

– Marx, sex, and sexuality in the city

– Marxist conceptions of suburbia

– Social class and revolution in the city

– The neoliberal city



Please send proposals for 20-minute contributions to &  Abstracts should be no more than 250 words.