Examining the Relevance of Marx and Marxism to Contemporary Global Society

Examining the Relevance of Marx and Marxism to Contemporary Global Society

Newcastle University, 29th and 30th of January 2011

Rationale, Outline and Aims

The 21st century has so far seen US-led military interventions, global financial crises, identity conflicts, terrorism on a grand scale, environmental disasters and fraught industrial/labour relations. These dramatic events have challenged the notion of an ‘end to history’ and the widespread belief that the collapse of the Soviet Union has made Marx and Marxism irrelevant. With growing instability in the social, political and economic functioning of human societies, we wish to examine the relevance of Marx to contemporary global society.

In order to do this, Global Discourse (http://global-discourse.com) is organising a two-day conference at Newcastle University on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th of January 2011.

The aims of the event are:

  1. to examine the relevance and application of Marxian, Marxist, Neo-Marxist and Post-Marxist thought to contemporary issues.
  2. to reassess scriptural and doctrinal commitments within various ‘Marxisms’.
  3. to facilitate interdisciplinary, inter-paradigmatic discourse on a range of contemporary issues.

Keynote Papers

The keynote talks will be given by Prof Norman Geras, author of Marx and Human Nature, whose paper will relate to the general theme, ‘What does it mean to be Marxist?’, and Prof Stuart Sim, author of Post-Marxism: An Intellectual History, who will be examining the achievements of Post-Marxism.

Framework and Timetable for the conference

The conference will encompass a series of workshops examining particular issues and aspects of Marxian and Marxist thought. There will be two panels/workshops running simultaneously in each panel session.

There will be a maximum of 40 slots for presentations, with panels lasting 2 hours and mainly containing 4, 20 minute papers and 40 minutes of discussion. Panels will be held in either the Law Lecture Theatre in the Law Building, or Rooms G6 and G5 on the ground floor of the Politics Building. Registration, lunch and refreshments will be held in the Undergraduate Common Room and Staff Room on the ground floor of the Politics Building.


Time Event Law Lecture Theatre G6 Politics Building G5 Politics Building
Day 1
9:00-10:30 Registration
10:30-12:30 Keynote Session 1. Norman Geras: What Does it Mean to Be Marxist?

Stuart Sim: The Achievements of Post-Marxism

Chair: Matthew Johnson

12:30-13:30 Lunch – buffet
13:30-15:30 Panel Session 1 2. What Does it Mean to Be Marxist?

Chair: Matthew Johnson

6. IPE

Chair: Martyn Griffin

15:30-16:00 Refreshments
16:00-18:00 Panel Session 2 3. Theory, Practice and Praxis

Chair: Mark Edward

7. Neoliberalism and Its Discontents

Chair: Esteban Castro

18:30 Conference dinner
Day 2
10:00-12:00 Panel Session 3 4. Popular Culture

Chair: Megan O’Branski

8. Development

Chair: George Brathwaite

12:00-13:00 Lunch – buffet
13:00-15:00 Panel Session 4 5. Post-Marxism and the Political Subject

Chair: Mark Edward

9. Developments in Theory in Relation to Developments in Circumstance

Chair: Russell Foster

15:00-15:30 End of conference refreshments


There will be no conference fee.

A lunch buffet and refreshments will be provided free of charge.


Details of transport to and from Newcastle can be found on the following webpage:


Maps and Locating the Politics Building

A series of maps of Newcastle can be found here:


A map of the campus can be found here:


The Politics Building is building number 37 on the campus map above, while the Law Building is number 38.

In order to reach the Politics Building from the Haymarket metro station, walk to the end of Northumberland Street, cross over the pelican crossing towards St Thomas’ Church, follow the Great North Road past the church which will be on your right, with Blackwells and the Northern stage across the road to your left. Continue for 500 metres until you reach the Robinson Library on your right and the walkway over the road on your left. The Politics Building is the converted house immediately ahead. The


Unfortunately, there is no on-campus accommodation available during the conference. The attached ‘Accommodation’ guide gives links to sites where budget accommodation can be booked and lists university approved accommodation.

The following are university approved places of accommodation.

Copthorne – Newcastle Quayside

Hilton – Gateshead

Jesmond Dene House

Jury’s Inn – City Centre

Marriott Gosforth Park – Gosforth Park

Marriott Metro Centre – Metro Centre Gateshead

Novotel Newcastle Airport – Between Airport and Newcastle

Thistle Hotel – Newcastle

Gibside Hotel – Near Metro Centre

Malmaison – Newcastle Quayside

Caledonian Hotel – Jesmond

Hotel Du Vin

General bookings for accommodation in Newcastle can be made here:


Budget accommodation which has not been subject to University approval can be found and booked here: