Tropical Marxism

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Tropical Marxism

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Rethinking Marxism in the Shadow of Empire 1- 2 March, 2024

Tropical Marxism: Rethinking Marxism in the Shadow of Empire 

During his visit to Cuba for the 1968 Cultural Congress of Havana, Aimé Césaire used the phrase “tropical Marxism” to call for creative re-interpretations of Marxism that would rework Marxian concepts and analyses for the particular conditions of non-Western societies. In the spirit of Césaire’s call, this conference explores efforts to theorize Marxism anew from the peripheries of the global order.

Throughout its global career, Marxism’s relationship with the Western European origins of its articulation has been a bone of contention for theorists and practitioners of this tradition, generating a myriad of conceptual puzzles, political dilemmas, and theoretical experimentation. As capital brought more and more arenas under its fold, it also generated new contradictions and registers of difference which supplanted or merged with pre-existing configurations. This historical unevenness of capitalist modernity prompted, especially in the colonized world, a reexamination of some of the central thematics of the Marxist tradition, such as the promise of a universal destiny, the role of class vis-à-vis other entrenched modalities of social difference, and the relationship between pre-capitalist and other “non-capitalist” forms, on the one hand, and the socialist horizon, on the other. 

This conference explores these situated attempts to rethink Marxism. Following Césaire’s invitation to devise original approaches to Marxism which respond to the specificities of a society, the conference will feature presentations on theories and practices of Marxism from the colonial and postcolonial world.  The heuristic of tropical Marxism will allow us to attend to particularity while charting larger theoretical questions posed by the dazzling trajectory of Marxism beyond the West. 

Organizers: Arwa Awan and Jennifer Pitts

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2-3:30 Panel 5: Tropical Marxism Today: Pan-Africanism and 21st Century Socialism

Chair: Arwa Awan (University of Chicago)

– Neoliberal trap or Socialist renewal? Pan-Africanism is back in the agenda Amzat Boukari-Yabara (Independent researcher)

– Revolutionary Pan-Africanism and the Formation of a Multicentric and Pluripolar World Layla Brown (Northeastern University)


Date et heure

02 - 03 - 24 à 14:30 (CEST) à
02 - 03 - 24 à 15:30 (CEST)

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