Communism, Class and the ‘Cultural Turn’: Call For Papers

Twentieth Century Communism and PSA Communism Specialist Group
Date: 16 January 2014

Location: School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University

The emergence of the New Left and ‘new social movements’ have long been recognised as heralding a reinvention of ‘the left’ and a challenge to the hegemony of Soviet-style marxism in the period after 1956.  Integral to this was the repositioning of ‘class’ as a determining factor in socialist politics. As alternate ‘sites of repression’ were explored (e.g. race, gender, age, sexuality), and as attention increasingly shifted towards the cultural sphere, so the socialist left’s relationship with the working class was renegotiated. This PSA symposium and subsequent issue of Twentieth Century Communism are therefore designed to explore some of the tensions inherent in such development.

Papers are invited on related themes and in connection with communist parties and movements across the world. In particular, papers are invited on questions such as class relations within the left, both in terms of members’ identity and the relationship between class and other identities; conceptions of progressive politics and the working-class community; communism and popular culture; the impact of student movements on socialist and communist identities; the theoretical challenges faced by marxists in relation to the ‘cultural turn’.

To propose a paper please send an abstract (maximum 300 words) to Professor Matthew Worley ( by 30 September 2013.

The conference will include the annual meeting of the PSA Communism Specialist Group.

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