Within and Against the Metropole, University of Manchester – 30 November

30th Jul 2018

Within and Against the Metropole: Communism and Transnational Anti-Colonialism in Interwar Europe

(University of Manchester// November 30th, 2018// 9:30 am- 4:30 pm)

The professed internationalism and anti-imperialism of the Communist movement has attracted the attention of historians of transnational labour movements, Empire and colonialism. A resurgence in studies which focus on the relationship between Communists and anti-colonial movements has taken place, due to both the growing availability of formerly-restricted source materials, and the rise of increasingly-sophisticated transnational methodologies. These new sources and methods have allowed for a richer study of the development, growth, transformation, and decline of anti-colonial networks involving Communist activists, with emphasis placed on the role of border-crossing populations and individuals, local cultures of activism, and patterns of conflict and cooperation in both the Comintern and national Communist Parties’ apparatuses.

This one-day workshop will bring together an international group of scholars to explore the relationship between Communism and anti-colonialism in the interwar period. This will include sessions on the transnational connections and journeys of individual activists and their relationship to the structures of International Communism; various anti-colonial milieus’ connections to labour and social movements in differing national and regional contexts; and the broader relationships between Communists, race, and nationalism, both in colonial and metropolitan settings.

 Confirmed speakers include:


Satnam Virdee (University of Glasgow)


Kasper Braskén (Åbo Akademi)


Oleksa Drachewych (Independent Scholar)


Daniel Edmonds (Independent Scholar)


David Featherstone (University of Glasgow)


Kate O’Malley (Royal Irish Academy)


Professors Kevin Morgan, John Callaghan, and Neville Kirk, in a roundtable discussion.


Thanks to the generosity of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, attendance will be free, and registered attendees will receive lunch as well as tea and coffee. To book your place please email