Rethinking Marxism’s 5th International Gala Conference

6-8 NOVEMBER 2003

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The editors of Rethinking Marxism announce “Marxism and the World Stage,” the fifth in its series of international Gala celebrations of the Marxian tradition. Marxism continues to inspire rich and diverse analyses and politics across the globe. Within academia, Marxism provokes new critical insights and excites passion in political economy, philosophy, anthropology, geography, biology, literature, languages, sociology, cultural studies, art, and many other discourses. Beyond the academy, Marxism resonates among those the world over who are resisting oppression in its myriad forms; it provides a theoretical grounding for projects that seek social liberation and justice, international solidarity, and ecological sanity. 

Despite a century of effort by its opponents (and even by some advocates), Marxism continues to resist containment—be it geographic, intellectual or political. Banished from one quarter, banned from another, Marxism soon emerges and flourishes in many more. And at a time of deepening international flows and exchanges—of capital, commodities, weapons, persons, ideas and aspirations—Marxism is proving its vitality and power as a unifying ground for those seeking a just and sustainable world.

The prior four gala celebrations, each attended by over a thousand people from across the globe, brought together a variety of Marxian and other liberation communities to discuss, debate, and strategize about diverse theoretical and political concerns:

•In 2000, “Marxism 2000: the party’s not over” marked the new millennium by reflecting on the many Marxisms that have shaped the last 150 years while also articulating new visions and analyses to move Marxism’s future forward.

•In 1996, “Politics and Languages of Contemporary Marxism” continued the dialogue to open creative new spaces for political, cultural and scholarly interventions in the face of global restructuring of social relations.

•In 1992, “Marxism in the New World Order: Crises and Possibilities” confronted directly the challenges—theoretical, organizational, and spiritual—which faced the Left and Marxism as the new millennium neared.

•In 1989, “Marxism Now: Traditions and Difference” created a forum where new, heterogeneous directions in Marxism and the Left could be debated after the breakup of orthodoxy.

Like the previous four Galas, “Marxism and the World Stage” promises to register the heterogeneous work, achievements, shortcomings and failures of this tradition, and to promote lively interchange and debate among these who draw on Marx in their contemporary theoretical, practical and expressive practices. In keeping with the spirit of Rethinking Marxism, the conference will feature the exchange of academic and political analysis while providing a venue for installation and performance art. The goal is to nurture the critical yet utopian spirit of Marxism while stimulating the senses and provoking the mind. The editors of Rethinking Marxism invite you to join with us in this examination and celebration of this extraordinary tradition.