Marxism in Culture

Marxism and the Visual Arts Now poster

The Marxism in Culture seminar was set up in 2002 in the aftermath of the large international conference on Marxism and the Visual Arts Now held at UCL in April of that year.  Speakers have included:  Caroline Arscott, David Cunningham, Angela Dimitrakaki, Carol Duncan, Richard Godden, Tom Gretton, Suman Gupta, Simon Jarvis, Stathis Kouvelakis, David Mabb, David Margolies, Stewart Martin, Fred Orton, Alex Potts, Adrian Rifkin, Mark Sanders, Fred Schwartz, Greg Sholette, Julian Stallabrass, Blake Stimson, James Van Dyke, Ben Watson, O.K. Werckmeister, and many more.  This seminar series was conceived to provide a forum for those committed to the continuing relevance of Marxism for cultural analysis.  Both "Marxism" and "culture" are conceived here in a broad sense.  We understand Marxism as an ongoing self-critical tradition, and correspondingly the critique of Marxism's own history and premises is part of the agenda.  "Culture" is intended to comprehend not only the traditional fine arts, but also aspects of popular culture such as film, popular musics, and fashion.  From this perspective, conventional distinctions between the avant-garde and the popular, the elite and the mass, the critical and the commercial are very much open for scrutiny.  All historical inquiry is theoretically grounded, self-consciously or not, and theoretical work in the Marxist tradition demands empirical verification.

We welcome contributions that are concerned primarily with principles and methods as well as those that focus on the interpretation of particular cultural practices, historical or contemporary.  As with all the best examples of Marxist work, we hope to provide a forum for analysis that while it looks to the past is also marked by an urgent sense of present realities.

Programme for Autumn 2014

Date Speaker Topic

Friday 17 October


Julian Stallabrass (The Courtauld Institute)

Dave Beech (Chelsea College of Art and Design)

'Anti Frieze' - An anti-celebration of Frieze week
Friday 21 November

Briony Fer (UCL)

Cadence Kinsey (UCL)

Pete Smith

roundtable discussion

Book launch for Frances Stracey, Constructed Situations: A New History of the Situationist International (Pluto Press)

5-7.30pm UCL, Pearson G22 Lecture Theatre

followed by a drinks reception in the History of Art department at UCL

Friday 28 November
Jeremy Spencer (Camberwell College of Art and Design and the Open University)
Aesthetics and Politics within Godard's cinema
Friday 12 December
Danny Hayward (Birkbeck)
Marxist Irrationality: A Cultural Prospectus and Overview

Organisers: Matthew Beaumont, Dave Beech, Alan Bradshaw, Warren Carter, Gail Day, Steve Edwards, Larne Abse Gogarty, Esther Leslie, David Mabb, Antigoni Memou, Chrysi Papaioannou, Nina Power, Dominic Rahtz, Pete Smith, Peter Thomas, Alberto Toscano.

The seminar meets four times a term.  All seminars start at 5.30pm, and are held in the Large Conference Room (unless otherwise stated) at the Institute of Historical Research in Senate House, Malet St, London WC1E 7HU.

The seminar closes at 7.30pm and retires to a bar.

For further information, contact Larne Abse Gogarty or Chrysi Papaioannou

www.marxisminculture.org

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