The (re)birth of Marx(ism): haunting the future?

Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 09:30

Marx’s work dramatizes one of the most vital impulses in contemporary thought and politics, a spectre haunting not only Europe but the world. 150 years after Capital, 100 after the October revolution, and 50 after 1968, Marxist voices and echoes of Marx continue to flow into popular and intellectual attempts to understand and transform the world.

This major international conference, held on 4 and 5 May, explored Marx and Engels’ contributions to analysis and political practice, how their life and work helped shape history and culture around the world, the many different strands and meanings of “Marxism”, and how we can understand their legacy and ongoing relevance today. How can Marxism continue to contribute intellectually and practically to critique, understanding and transformation, in Ireland and globally. 

Coinciding with on Marx’s 200th birthday, the conference was attended by over 200 scholars, students, community and civil society activists, with participants from Argentina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the UK, Ukraine, the US and of course Ireland. The conference exemplified the interdisciplinarity of Marxist academic traditions as evidenced in the many different University departments which supported the event and the many disciplines represented, including adult and community education, anthropology, applied languages, Chinese studies, computer science, education, English, equality studies, geography, history, history of ideas, humanities, media studies, philosophy, political economy, politics, social policy, social psychology, sociolinguistics, sociology and independent scholars.

The conference was supported by the Depts of Anthropology, English, Geography, Philosophy and Sociology; the Dean of Social Sciences; the Commemoration Committee; the Conference and Workshop Fund; and the Sociological Association of Ireland.