History of Art


Marxism in Culture

Spring 2019:

Please note there is a change of venue for this term

 All seminars start at 5.30pm. The seminar closes at 7.30pm and retires to the bar.

The first three seminars of the term on 01/02, 15/02 and 01/03 take place at the IAS Common Ground, University College London.

The final seminar on 15/03 takes place in the University College London History of Art Department, Seminar Room 3&4.

This change in venue is in solidarity with the boycott of Senate House.


01/02/19 Andrew Cole, Marx's Phenomenology of History in the ‘Eighteenth Brumaire’

15/02/19 Nizan Shaked, The Substance of Symbolic Value: Museums, Collections, and the Appearance of Value in Art

01/03/19 Toby Manning, John le Carré and the Cold War

15/03/19 Rose-Anne Gush, Contradictions in Time: Art and Resistance in Postwar Austria


Matthew Beaumont, Dave Beech, Alan Bradshaw, Warren Carter, Gail Day, Steve Edwards, Larne Abse Gogarty, Esther Leslie, Luisa Lorenza Corna, David Mabb, Antigoni Memou, Andy Murray, Nina Power, Dominic Rahtz, Pete Smith, Peter Thomas, Alberto Toscano, Marina Vishmidt 

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, Tom Gretton, Suman Gupta, Simon Jarvis, Stathis Kouvelakis, David Margolies, Paul Mason, Stewart Martin, Fred Orton, Alex Potts, Marcus Rediker, Adrian Rifkin, Fred Schwartz, Greg Sholette, Blake Stimson, James Van Dyke, Marina Vishmidt, Ben Watson, O.K. Werckmeister, the Warwick Research Collective (WREC) and many more. Marxism in Culture actively supports the research of postgraduate students and early career researchers. 

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 music, 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. 

Marxism in Culture welcomes 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.

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Research seminars at the IHR