Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year, New Listings

Wakefield Socialist History Group

"Thankyou for all your support during 2016. We had five well attended events on the Levellers and the Diggers, William Morris, The 1820 Rebellion, James Connolly and - most recently - Antonio Gramsci.
Look forward to seeing you in the New Year."

Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group

All events start 1 p.m. at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1.

Saturday 28 January: A SORT OF BURNS NIGHT* 

Saturday 11 March: THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR

[*Previously on this blog: For A’ That
*UPDATE on event (from Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group) - 
On Saturday 28 January 1-4pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 the Wakefield Socialist History Group are holding A SORT OF BURNS NIGHT: ROBERT BURNS AND OTHER RADICAL POETS.  Admission to the event is free. There will be free haggis (and vegetarian haggis).  Plus there is a bar with excellent real ale.  Below some comments about the real, radical Burns.... 
Robert Burns was the son of a working gardener. He had only a basic education and worked the land from an early age.  After his father -who had strong Jacobite sympathies- died prematurely Burns and his brothers were left, Woods (2009) says, with a "poor, undercapitalised farm."
Indeed the family tried, unsuccessfully to make a living out of apparently unprofitable holdings.  As Burton (2001) points out this was an age of rural change.  Peasants were finding themselves unable to maintain their debt bondage to landowners.  Many farms were failing and peasants were being squeezed out because of enclosures and "improvements."
Burns even had a stint as a dresser of flax and contemplated emigrating to the West Indies.  What changed his mind was literary success.  The publication of his poems in the form of the Kilmarnock Edition in 1786 saw him move to Edinburgh instead.
After a year enjoying adulation he returned to the soil at Ellisland near Dumfries before becoming an exciseman.  He was now a paid government officer.  It was slightly ironic given that Burns had republican sympathies.  Indeed he was accused of having joined in a rendition of the French revolutionary song "Ca Ira" in a Dumfries theatre.  He was also alleged to be in league with a local grouping of the radical "Friends of the People" in Dumfries.
Certainly Burns had written political poetry all his adult life.
HOLY WILLIE'S PRAYER attacks Calvinist ideas and religious cant.
IN ADDRESS TO BEELZEBUB clearly alludes to the Highland Clearances.
WHY SHOULDNA POOR FOLK MO was written against the background of a national seamen's strike.
And SCOTS WHA HAE, about Bruce and Wallace, also had coded attacks on the ongoing repression of the Pitt Government.
Morris (2009) confirms moreover that Burns remained a "staunch republican" until his death in 1796.
How shocking then that after his death he should be "incorporated into service for the empire."  His poetry would be sanitised and his imagery would be used as a tawdry decorative element in tourism/light entertainment.
Seminars, Spring Term 2017
5.30pm Room 304 
Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, London WC1. 
Free without ticket

Monday 16th January  - John Lindsay, Alan Turing’s Apple. Towards a history of ‘data science’

Monday 30th January - Geoffrey Bell, Hesitant Comrades: the Irish Revolution & the British Labour Movement

Monday 13th February - Daniel RachelWalls Come Tumbling Down. From Rock Against Racism to Red Wedge

Monday 27th February - Mike Haynes, The Peculiar Career of  Colonel John Walsh MP from the SDF and General Unionism to the Russian Counter-Revolution

Monday 13th March, - Ian BirchallLenin’s Moscow by Alfred Rosmer​

Public History Discussion Group 
Saturday 28 January 2017
Institute of Archaeology,
UCL 31-34 Gordon Square,
London, WC1H 0PY
11 am tea and coffee, room 619 11:30 talk, room 209

The next meeting of the Public History Discussion Group will take place on Saturday January 28th at 11.30am (tea and coffee from 11am) in the Institute of Archaeology Room 209 (refreshments on 6th floor).

 The talk is entitled: 

Local Roots/Global Routes: the Legacies of Slavery in Hackney

By Katie Donington, Kirsty Warren, Lucy Capes, and Emma Winch

This talk will discuss the 'Local Roots/ Global Routes' partnership project between the Legacies of British Slave-ownership project at UCL and Hackney Museum and Archives. The presenters explore some of their research findings, the process of working across academic and public history institutions, and what it means for young people to discover global histories embedded in the streets they call home.

The Public History Group sees public history broadly as the making of histories not created for the academic seminar room as such but as the creation of histories by families, communities and nations as a way of creating a useful past in the present. Our emphasis is upon the process of creating meaning rather than a specific subject content. We hope to provide a platform for presentations from a wide range of speakers, from those who are leaders in their field, to those who are just setting out on their research.
 The group started 18 years ago at Ruskin College, Oxford, initiated by the first graduates of the Public History MA there, and formed the base for subsequent conferences. The group now meets about six times a year at UCL and welcomes new speakers and new ideas from people who are interested in diverse aspects of public history.
Patron: Peter Hennessy
Founded in 1996, the club challenges the commercialisation and isolation of modern life. 
We meet monthly on Saturday evening.
 ‘Fellowship is life & the lack of fellowship is death’.  William Morris
At the Epicentre, West Street, Leytonstone E11 4LJ
7.30pm Buffet (please bring something if you can)
8.00pm Talk & discussion till 10pm & back to buffet
Travel and Access
  • Stratford stations & 257 bus
  • Leytonstone tube (exit left) & 257/W14 bus
  • Overground: Leytonstone High Road, turn right, short walk (from about Feb 2017 – best to check)
  • Disabled access
  • Car park  /  Bikes can be brought in
  • Quiet children welcome.
  • You can phone to confirm the talk will be as shown
  • Meetings open to all - just turn up
  • Enquiries 0208 555 5248
Free entry: voluntary donations welcome
 The club is a real beacon of light.’  Peter Cormack, former Keeper at the William Morris Gallery

Saturday 14th January 2017

Leytonstone Playreading Group

Speakers: Alaisdair Preston, Nicolaus Mackie & Margaret Winniak

‘79 years of performing staged play readings for free to people of Leytonstone & beyond. A unique group presenting monthly unrehearsed staged play readings in costume & with props, performing to an audience. Our catalogue of plays includes old & new classics from  heyday of repertory theatre, through Maugham, Coward, Shaw, Rattigan to Pinter. Also to encourage new writers to workshop their plays in front of an audience. We are a regular participant in the Leytonstone Drama Festival & welcome new audience members young & old, plus those wishing to try out acting & skills such as stage management, script editing & costume design. Some of our members, e.g.  Sir Derek Jacobi, Frank Muir & Sheila Collings, have gone on to successful careers in theatre & the media.’ There will be a mini-playreading to the audience on the night.

Saturday 11th February 2017
More Anglican than Anarchist: Christian Socialism and the Labour Movement
Speaker: Canon Steven Saxby
Waltham Forest's very own Red Vicar will speak on the role Christians, including Anglicans, played in the formation of the Labour movement & the Labour Party. The Church Social Union, the Guild of St Matthew & the Church Socialist League all made important contributions to Labour. Steward Headlam & Conrad Noel, notorious radical clerics, were leaders of a movement which challenged the Church & challenged the Party & was hugely important to George Lansbury, sometime Labour leader. With reference to how the churches related to other Labour strands, including those inspired by William Morris, Canon Saxby will consider how the churches helped transform the UK at the turn of the last century & how they might again contribute to the social movement politics required to bring real change to Britain today.

Saturday 11th March 2017
Alice Wheeldon: convicted of conspiracy to murder Lloyd George - 100 years on, can we clear her name? Speaker: Chloë Mason
100 years ago, Alice Wheeldon, Winnie & Alf Mason were imprisoned amidst international publicity that had made them instant ‘tabloid villains’ since their arrest in January 1917. They had been set up by undercover agents posing as conscientious objectors. The family argued that the murder plan was fabricated. The family’s fate was used to intimidate others striving to avoid/stop war & to bring about a better world based on peace & social justice. This compelling story, a ‘spy story’, is one of tragedy, courage & hope. Chloë, great-grand-daughter of Alice Wheeldon, will discuss the campaign to clear their names.
Working Class Movement Library
51 The Crescent,
Salford, M5 4WX

James Connolly exhibition extended
The WCML exhibition exploring the life of one of the leaders of the Easter Rising, James Connolly, socialist, trade unionist, nationalist and revolutionary, has been extended until Friday 27 January We only want the earth reveals the life and prolific works of this enigmatic man and marks the centenary of his death. Exhibition open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm, and the first Saturday of the month 10am-4pm. Admission free.  A travelling version of this exhibition is now available for loan - please contact enquiries@wcml.org.uk if you want to find out more about borrowing it.
A new exhibition, Everyday Austerity, by Sarah Marie Hall, with drawings by zine artist Stef Bradley, will begin on 4 February.  In the meantime you have a further month to catch our current James Connolly exhibition, 'We Only Want the Earth', which runs until 27 January.
 Exhibitions are open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm, and the first Saturday of the month 10am-4pm. Admission free.
Early 2017 events at the [WCML] Library
Three dates for your diaries:
Friday 27 and Sat 28 January 7.30pm
Dare Devil Rides to Jarama
Dare Devil Rides to Jarama is a new play focused on Oldham's Clem Beckett, star of the speedway track, who joined the International Brigade to defend freedom and democracy during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s.
This extraordinary story will be presented for two nights only at the Library.  Tickets price £12 (£10 concessions) are available 
here (27th) and here (28th).  Further information from 07949 635910.

Sat 4 February 2pm
LGBT History Month

Journalist, writer, broadcaster and researcher Julie Bindel will speak.  Julie has been active in the global campaign to end violence towards women and children since 1979, and has written extensively on topics such as rape, domestic violence, prostitution and trafficking. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at Lincoln University.
Julie's 2014 book on the state of the lesbian and gay movement in the UK, Straight Expectations, has been praised for being thought-provoking and challenging.

Sat 4 March 2pm
International Women’s Day

Talk by Marika Sherwood on Claudia Jones’s remarkable life.  Claudia (1915-1964) was born in Trinidad; her parents took her to the US as a child and she was subsequently imprisoned for her political activities and later deported to the UK.  She was an outstanding communist, feminist, peace activist, orator, journalist and founder of the biggest street festival in Europe.
More details of both events to follow - keep an eye on 
http://www.wcml.org.uk/events. All welcome; admission free.
Our free Invisible Histories talks will start up again in March –
 Wednesdays at 2 p.m.:
15 March Trevor Fisher  Reclaiming the Blanketeers
29 March Geoff Andrews  James Klugmann, ‘The Shadow Man’

12 April Robert Turnbull  Book launch – biography of Noah Ablett
Robert Turnbull's Climbing Mount Sinai: Noah Ablett 1883-1935 is the first full-length biographical study of one of the most controversial personalities to emerge from the South Wales coalfield in the era preceding WW1, an era of unparalleled industrial militancy in which Ablett played a leading role. The book tells the story of Noah Ablett from his early days as a boy preacher in the Rhondda coalfield to his rise to prominence within the tight-knit coalfield communities of South Wales, and his emergence as an uncompromising agitator, not only against the coal owners but also his own union. His uncompromising brand of revolutionary class warfare brought him into sharp conflict  with the moderate consensus politics of William Abraham known as Mabon, a liberal who had led the South Wales miners since 1875. The conflict with Mabon and what he represented would lead to one of the most famous pamphlets in labour history, namely the Miners' Next Step of 1912, which called for workers' control of industry. Although very much a collaborative effort, the Miners' Next Step is perhaps the most famous statement of Ablett's rejection of  the parliamentary road to socialism as "No better than an ant heap on the way to becoming a dunghill".

26 April Ruth Cohen  Margaret Llewelyn Davies: socialist, feminist and co-operator
Further details at http://www.wcml.org.uk/events
A ten-week Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) course, People Make Their Own History, starts 16 January between 1 and 3pm at the People's History Museum, Manchester.  The course will cover Peterloo and the Chartists; the struggles over jobs, against Fascism, and for access to the countryside in the1930s; fighting Section 28 and for LGBT rights in the 1980s; to Stop the War, and the protests against the Bedroom Tax, and at the Conservative Party Conference in 2015.  More details here.
 Booking required by contacting WEA on 0151 243 5340 or booking online via WEA’s Web site.  Please quote course ref C3839457.. Cost: £65.10 or free (please enquire).
Hunger strikes and hunger striking: Irish contexts
 The Irish World Heritage Centre in Manchester will hold an event on Wednesday 25 January at 2pm which will revisit experiences of, and enduring legacies associated with, the 1981 Long Kesh/Maze hunger strikes. It will bring together two key talks and a screening of the 2014 film We were there: women of Long Kesh and the Maze prisons.
 Admission £8, including refreshments on arrival and before the free screening. Further information at http://www.iwhc.com/hunger-strikes-hunger-striking; email culture@iwhc.com.  
  Irish World Heritage Centre, 1 Irish Town Way, Manchester M8 0RY.
A 10 week  history class on Radical Women 1914-1979 
will begin on Tuesday  14th February 2017 
at the Working Class Movement Library, 11am to 1pm.   
It will end on 25 April. (No class on 21st March). 

This course will be taught  by Michael Herbert, MA,  who is the author of  “Up Then Brave Women”: Manchester’s Radical  Women 1819-1918.
This  course will  be an introduction to  some of the key movements and events which changed women’s lives in the C20th. It is open  to all, no previous knowledge is necessary. 

  The course will include the following:
  • Women’s anti-war movements in the First World War
  • Women  councillors in the 1920s
  • Campaigns for birth control in the 1920s
  • The General Strike of 1926
  • Women Hunger Marches in the 1930s
  • Women volunteers in Spain in the Spanish Civil War
  • The Women’s Parliament in Manchester during the Second World War
  • The work of Joan Littlewood and Shelagh Delaney in the 1950s and 1960s
  • Peggy Duff and  the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
  • The emergence and influence of the Women’s Liberation Movement in the  1960s and 1970s
The course will make use of some of the resources of the WCML, as well resources available on the internet and on DVds etc. 

The course costs £60 for 10 classes.  
For more information and/or  to book a place on the course: please email 
Michael Herbert redflagwalks@gmail.com
As usual, this page will be updated from time to time as new notifications come in.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Into December: run-down of alternative/radical run-up...

Raphael Samuel Memorial Lecture 7 December
Alison Light: 'Between Private and Public: Writing a Memoir about Raphael and Myself'
Date and Time: 7th December 2016, 7 p.m.- 8.30 p.m. (with wine reception to follow)
Venue: Arts 2. Lecture Theatre. Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS.

https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gifWakefield Socialist History Group
A reminder that our next meeting is on Saturday 3 December 
1-4 p.m. at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1 
when we will be discussing THE POLITICS OF ANTONIO GRAMSCI.
Colin Waugh and Howard Moss will be speaking.  
There will also be music from the acoustic duo "Barnsdale Hood" and a free light buffet.  
There is a bar with excellent real ale.
Admission is free and all are welcome.

UPDATE: How it went...
Twenty three people attended a meeting on THE POLITICS OF ANTONIO GRAMSCI organised by Wakefield Socialist History Group last Saturday (3 December) at the Red Shed in Wakefield.
Colin Waugh (Independent Working Class Education Network) argued that Gramsci's ideas have been distorted in [...?] because of his imprisonment, by the Italian Communist Party in the aftermath of World War Two and by "academics to this day."  Gramsci, Colin argued, was a Marxist revolutionary who developed a radical from-below view of socialism.
Howard Moss (Socialist Party of Great Britan) also spoke.  He said Gramsci was undoubtedly a courageous figure.  However Gramsci still had an attachment to a Leninist position.  Gramsci still talked of socialism as a form of state and of socialism in terms of the leaders and the led.  The SPGB is for socialism where "people act for themselves, democratically and without leaders."
There was also music from "Barnsdale Hood" and a lively question/discussion session.
[from] Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group.

The Wakefield Socialist History Group's next event...
A SORT OF BURNS NIGHT: Robert Burns and other radical poets...
is on Saturday 28 January 1-4pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1.

 Mary Quaile Club at Manchester Anarchist Bookfair

"We will running  a Mary Quaile Club bookstall  this Saturday 10th December at the Manchester Anarchist Bookfair, which is being held this year in Islington Mill in Salford.

We will have copies for sale of our two  publications: Northern Resisters and Dare To Be Free.
Bernadette Hyland will be giving a talk at the bookfair about the life and politics of Mary Quaile
This  will take place at noon.
This is a link to more information about the bookfair: http://bookfair.org.uk.
These will be our final activities for 2016. 
Our thanks to everyone who has either attended our events or supported us with donations.
We look forward to seeing you at our events in 2017."

The Manchester & Salford Anarchist Bookfair, sponsored by The Cunningham Amendment, will take place on Saturday 10th December at Islington Mill, James Street, off Chapel Street, Salford, M3 5HW.
[Bit late but] If you would like to find out more about booking a stall or organising a talk/ workshop please contact: manchester@bookfair.org.uk

in conversation with KEN WORPOLE
Wednesday 7 December 2016 at 7 p.m.

We are delighted to announce that Daniel Rachel will be appearing at the shop* on Wednesday 7 December to read and talk about his new book
Picador). Daniel's remarkable oral history - which brilliantly captures the mood on the streets of British cities before and after the epoch-changing rise of Rock Against Racism - will be introduced by writer
Ken Worpole, who remembers when Hackney’s streets were on the front line.

Tickets £3 (includes glass of wine). For booking please RSVP: 
books@broadwaybookshophackney.com or call 020 7241 1626. For further information please see below.

*Broadway Bookshop, 6 Broadway Market…Hackney
Launch Event - 7th December 2016 – 7pm Nottingham Mechanics


Join People’s Histreh and author Colin Brett to celebrate the launch our brand new book!
There will also be a talk by People's Histreh, giving you an update regarding our ongoing research project '103 Foresters', as we continue to look into the stories of the soldiers from the local regiment who were sentenced to death or sentenced for mutiny between 1914 and 1918.

Nottingham Mechanics
3 North Sherwood Street

Free event – venue wheelchair accessible

"We are the Lions" - looking back at the Grunwick strike [reminder]

Working Class Movement Library
51 The Crescent
Salford, M5 4WX 

40 years ago six workers walked out of the Grunwick Film Processing Laboratory in London igniting a historic two-year dispute. They were soon joined by most of the workforce.  As the first workers left the factory, one – Jayaben Desai – offered a parting shot to the management:

“What you are running here is not a factory, it is a zoo. But in a zoo there are many types of animals. Some are monkeys who dance on your fingertips, others are lions who can bite your head off. We are the lions, Mr Manager”.

Thousands of trade unionists from around the country, including miners and steelworkers came to show solidarity with the mostly female, mostly Asian work-force. To mark the 40th anniversary Manchester Trades Council is co-organising an event to discuss this landmark dispute and lessons for today’s struggles, in conjunction with the Mary Quaile Club and NUJ Manchester & Salford Branch.

It will be taking place on Saturday 3 December 1pm to 3pm, at the Library. Drop in earlier if you want to browse WCML's
James Connolly exhibition - or email us at info@wcml.org.uk if you'd like to book a place in our reading room that day to study Grunwick-related material.  We're open from 10am to 4pm on the first Saturday of most months.

The event will include a screening of the documentary, 'The Great Grunwick Strike' and will be addressed by speakers.  All are welcome but seating is limited, so please book in advance by emailing
Also from WCML:-

Dare Devil Rides to Jarama - a date for your January diaries
Marking the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War, Dare Devil Rides to Jarama is a new play by Townsend Productions based on the experiences of International Brigade volunteers during the Spanish Civil War. In particular it focuses on Clem Beckett, a Lancashire blacksmith and famous star of the speedway track, who joined the International Brigade to defend freedom and democracy against Franco's rising fascist armies.
This extraordinary story will be presented for two nights only at the Library - Friday 27 and Saturday 28 January 2017 at 7.30pm.   Tickets price £12 (£10 concessions) are available here   (27th) and here  (28th).  Further information from 07949 635910.

Songs and poems for peace
The group Stockport for Peace are holding an event at Stockport Art Gallery on Saturday 3 December from 4 to 5pm, offering songs and poems for peace and stories of those who gave alternative service.  It will be followed by a candlelit vigil. All welcome.
This event runs alongside an exhibition on the upstairs landing at Stockport Local Heritage Library, which runs during library opening hours until 10 January, and includes a travelling version of the WCML World War 1 exhibition To End All Wars.
Stockport Art Gallery, Wellington Road South, Stockport SK3 8AB.
Stockport Local Heritage Library, Wellington Rd South, Stockport SK1 3RS.

An Evening with Quiet Loner
On Thursday 8 December from 6pm to 8pm at the People's History Museum, songwriter in residence Matt Hill (Quiet Loner) will be performing Battle for the Ballot, songs inspired by the museum's collection as well as by time spent here in the WCML reading room!  Expect to hear songs about radicals and reformers, suffragists and suffragettes, strikes and struggles. The evening will include new material, such as a song about the Match Girls’ Strike.
Booking required at http://quietloner.eventbrite.co.uk, suggested donation £5.  
More information here.
People’s History Museum, Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3ER. Tel: 0161 838 9190.
James Connolly exhibition extendedThe WCML exhibition exploring the life of one of the leaders of the Easter Rising, James Connolly, socialist, trade unionist, nationalist and revolutionary, has been extended until Friday 27 January
We only want the earth reveals the life and prolific works of this enigmatic man and marks the centenary of his death.
Exhibition open Wednesdays to Fridays 1-5pm, and the first Saturday of the month 10am-4pm. Admission free.
A travelling version of this exhibition is now available for loan - please contact enquiries@wcml.org.uk if you want to find out more about borrowing it.
LSHG Seminar - Merilyn Moos on children of refugees from Nazism

Monday December 5th

Merilyn Moos: 'Breaking the Silence. Voices of the British Children of Refugees from Nazism'
 Merilyn Moos will be focusing on the continuing impact on the ‘second generation’, people born in Britain to refugees from Nazism, of their parents’ terrible losses and dislocation, but also on whether  having parents who actively opposed the Nazis from the left makes a difference to their children. She will conclude by making some suggestions about similarities and differences with today's refugees.

Room 304 Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, WC1, at 5.30pm

Free without ticket - no need to book in advance.  

For more on the subject and a link to Merilyn Moos's book please see here


Book launch - Rocking Against Racism 1976-1982

Free Event: Rocking Against Racism 1976-1982

Monday 5th December @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm – Conway Hall
Book Launch
Celebrating a movement of both Cultural and Political importance in the UK’s history, Reminiscences of RAR – Rocking Against Racism 1976-1981 hears from a number of collaborators, rockers and fighters. The launch event will host talks, readings and, of course, music, not only looking back at the events of 40 years ago, but also looking at the struggles and fights we face in Britain today.
Rock Against Racism (RAR) came into existence in the autumn of 1976 in response to a rise in racist attacks, and the continuing growth of the Nazi National Front. In August a racist tirade by blues guitarist Eric Clapton from the stage in Birmingham led to a letter, jointly signed by the compilers of this book, to the music press critical of Clapton’s racism and asking for readers to support an anti-racist campaign through music. The response was overwhelming and a movement was born.
For the next six years RAR was at the centre of a cultural movement against racism and the NF. From 1978 it was partnered with both the Anti-Nazi League and School Kids Against the Nazis. Together they had broken the National Front by 1979 and continued the fight against racism with RAR’s Militant Entertainment Tour, and in 1981 the fourth and final Carnival in Leeds.
With 65 contributors this book brings together the reminiscences of activists and supporters during the period. From many backgrounds and ages, musician and audience, punk and Rasta, street fighter and pogo dancer, united with a single aim: to Rock Against Racism.

Book via eventbrite here 

Call for Papers: Wars of Position: Marxism and Civil Society

International Conference, Manchester, UK, 8-10 June 2017

Key-note speakers

Jodi Dean, Professor of Political Science, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, New York.  Author of books including Crowds and Party (2016), The Communist Horizon (2011),Democracy and other Neoliberal Fantasies (2009)
Stathis Kouvelakis, Reader in Political Theory, King’s College, London and former member of Syriza’s Central Committee.  Author of Philosophy and Revolution: From Kant to Marx (2003)
Kevin Morgan, Professor of Politics and Contemporary History, University of Manchester.  Author of books including Bolshevism, Syndicalism and the General Strike: The Lost Internationalist World of A.A. Purcell (2013), Labour Legends and Russian Gold (2006), The Webbs and Soviet Communism (2006).
 ‘In Russia’, wrote Antonio Gramsci, ‘the State was everything’ and ‘civil society primordial’; in the highly-developed West, civil society formed ‘permanent fortifications’ which the revolutionary party would have to occupy and transform in order to take and hold power.
No Marxist parties in the West made a revolution.  Historical analysis of their failure has been abundant, but insufficiently attentive to parties’ approaches to civil society in Gramsci’s sense (i.e. social practices and institutions outside the government, judiciary and repressive state apparatus).  This international and interdisciplinary conference is at once historically grounded and attuned to contemporary debates on the Left.  It brings together: analysis of the theory and practice of twentieth-century Marxist parties in relation to civil society; analysis of contemporary Left formations’ approaches to civil society; analysis of the ‘idea’ of communism today and the relevance or obsolescence of ‘the party’ as an organizational form in the twenty-first century.
Proposals are invited for twenty-minute papers and panels of three papers.  Abstracts (250 words) should be emailed to warsofposition2017@manchester.ac.uk by 1/12/16.  Conference interpreters may be available for delegates who wish to present in languages other than English (please e-mail the organisers).  The conference will take place in Manchester’s People’s History Museum, an institution committed to archiving and chronicling the history of radical politics; some panels will discuss the challenges faced by such institutions today.  Papers for the conference might address, but are not restricted to:
·         History, civil society and the ‘idea of Communism’ debate (Badiou, Žižek, Dean et al)
·         Civil society and political strategy in recent / contemporary Left formations (e.g. Podemos, Syriza, Five Star Movement, Die Linke, Parti de gauche)
·         Theoretical debates in the Marxist tradition on ‘civil society’ (Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Luxemburg, Gramsci, Lukács, Althusser, Marcuse, Poulantzas et al)
·         The struggle for ‘proletarian culture’ in the 1920s and after
·         Communism, the nation and the Popular Fronts in the 1930s and 1940s
·         New Lefts and communism
·         ‘Anti-revisionism’ and cultural revolution
·         Eurocommunism and civil society
·         ‘Post-Marxism’
·         Marxism, gender and the family
·         Marxist parties and intellectuals/ education / science / religion / writing history/ the media / the family
·         Marxism and the arts / the avant-garde / popular culture
·         Marxist parties and their cultural institutions, publishing houses, publications and counter-hegemonic events. 
The conference is part of the AHRC-funded project, Wars of Position: Communism and Civil Society led by Dr Ben Harker at the University of Manchester:
It is run in collaboration with the People’s History Museum and the journal Twentieth Century Communism.  
The organisers intend to publish an edited collection based around the conference proceedings.


And not forgetting - 

"The 2017 edition of Past Tense's annual delve into London's rumbunctious radical history is selling fast...

The fourth annual calendar features our selection of the rebellious, subversive and insurgent anniversaries: a date from London history for every day of 2017, strikes and riots; rowdy parties and occupations; births (no marriages) and deaths. And much more...
We do it because we love it. If you find it useful, inspiring, makes you think, leads you to something you didn't know, or just makes you laugh and dance with the joy of defiance - that's what we were aiming for...

Written and designed by angry amateur hysterians, and printed in several colours by artisans in South London."

It's now on sale in the following Bookshops (and other places) in London:

Freedom Bookshop - https://freedompress.org.uk/
Housmans - http://www.housmans.com/
56a Infoshop - http://www.56a.org.uk/
Electric Elephant - http://electricelephantcafe.co.uk/
Bookmarks - https://bookmarksbookshop.co.uk/
Muswell Hill Books - http://www.muswellhillbookshop.com/

Stoke Newington Bookshop - https://www.stokenewingtonbookshop.co.uk/
Bookseller Crow on the Hill - http://booksellercrow.co.uk/
Newham Books - http://newhambooks.co.uk/
Brick Lane Bookshop - http://www.bricklanebookshop.org/
Review Bookshop - http://www.reviewbookshop.co.uk/
Bookart Bookshop - http://www.bookartbookshop.com/
Broadway Bookshop - http://www.broadwaybookshophackney.com/
Calder Bookshop & Theatre - http://calderbookshop.com/
Clapham Books - http://www.claphambooks.com/
Herne Hill Books - http://www.hernehill.org.uk/services/herne-hill-books
Kirkdale Bookshop - https://kirkdalebookshop.com/
Atlantis Books - http://www.theatlantisbookshop.com/
Institute of Contemporary Arts - https://www.ica.org.uk/
Ti-pi-tin - http://www.tipitin.com/
Rye Books - http://www.ryebooks.co.uk/

Support your local independent or radical bookshop...!

The calendar is also available from
AK Distribution
Active Distribution

But of course the Calendar can also be yours for just £6.00... Plus £2.00 Postage & Packing from the publications page on our website: http://www.alphabetthreat.co.uk/pasttense/past-tense-publications.html
(payment by paypal)

or by post, from
Past Tense
c/o 56a Infoshop
56 Crampton Street,
SE17 3AE

enclosing a cheque for £8.00, payable to Past Tense Publications.