Monday, January 31, 2011

“Projecting Peace: The Perpetual Search for the End to All Hostilities”

The first of our "Projecting Peace" talks is on Wednesday 2nd February 2011 at 3pm. To be held in Room SR 2.06A, The Old Mining Building, Leeds University.

Speakers include: Kate Hudson (Gen Sec CND) and Ashley Wood (Consultant and Project Manager for 'Making Peace' Nobel Peace Prize anniversary exhibition International Peace Bureau, Geneva)

All are welcome.


'Last year we applied for and were awarded a small grant from the British Association for a project to bring academics and others together around the theme of “Projecting Peace”. The proposal grew from a concern that advocates of peace are often accused of being out of touch with the harsh realities of political life and human nature and are often caricatured as well meaning visionaries who simplistically and ineffectually dream of a return to a non-violent golden age. In the face of such criticisms, we propose to establish a network for “Projecting Peace” - to provide an interdisciplinary forum for exploring the complexities, ambiguities, ambivalences and varieties of peace-making and peace-thinking with the aim of addressing how these varied academic disciplines and schools of thought can address, in some practical way, perhaps the greatest challenges in history – anthropogenic climate change and nuclear proliferation.

The ‘scramble’ for sustainable natural resources within a technologically-changed and -challenged climate is an increasingly important source of global conflict. The self interests of governments for national survival run counter to the evident necessity for collaboration and cooperation on an unprecedented scale. Therefore, our main focus in this interdisciplinary research project will be on the practicalities of applying and maintaining ethical, ecological, and humanitarian considerations beyond national boundaries in the fragile economies of emergent cultures of peace and security. By so doing we will be contributing to the current interest in “cosmopolitics”, i.e. a politics which reaches beyond - or even supersedes – the nation state and to whatever form - pacific or otherwise - this might take in the future.

It is widely recognized that the future of our planet is threatened by two man-made dangers – nuclear proliferation and the effects of climate change. These self-inflicted problems have generated the necessity for an elaborated strategy of global cooperation. The question therefore becomes - how can academics and activists join together to contribute to the debates and strategies that are developing around these issues? Our future survival may indeed require us to better understand the underlying human aspects of our past and current predicaments in an attempt to achieve Kant’s idea of “perpetual peace”.'

Diane Morgan (University of Leeds) and Dave Webb (Leeds Metropolitan University)

See: for further details

Friday, January 21, 2011

Raymond Williams

Key Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism

Key Words is committed to developing the tradition of cultural materialism derived from the founding analysis of culture and society in the work of Raymond Williams.

The journal provides a forum for radical thought on history and politics, and explores the role of literary, media and cultural forms in the contemporary global era. Each issue addresses a selected theme of relevance to the arts, media, politics and everyday life.

Further details can be found on the Raymond Williams Society website.

Issue 8, Labouring-Class Writing, has just been published and is available to buy now from Spokesman Books (£15).


Editors’ Preface

Guest Editors’ Introduction: Retrieval and Beyond: Labouring-Class Writing

Tim Burke and John Goodridge

Brute Strength: Labouring-Class Studies and Animal Studies
Donna Landry

Close Reading Yearsley
David Fairer

Not So Lowly Bards: Working-Class Women Poets and Middle-Class Expectations
Florence Boos

Genre Matters: Attending to Form and Convention in Eighteenth-Century Labouring-Class Poetry
William J. Christmas

Anne Milne

The Rise of Robert Bloomfield
Scott McEathron

The Foresters: Alexander Wilson’s Transatlantic Labouring-Class Nature Poetry
Bridget Keegan

‘Tracing the Ramifications of the Democratic Principle’:
Literary Criticism and Theory in the Chartist Circular
Mike Sanders

Labour History by Other Means
Jonathan Rose

Graphic Bric-a-brac: Comic Visual Culture and the
Study of Early Victorian Lower-Class Urban Culture (with illustrations)
Brian Maidment

* * *

Language and Locale: John Locke, Somerset and Plain Style
Olivia Smith

Institutional Culture as Whiteness: ‘a complex argument’
John Higgins


Raymond Williams Foundation


Back issues are also available from Spokesman Books.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New title book launch at Housmans - January 12th 2011

Hobson’s Imperialism presented by Jeremy Corbyn MP, Alex Callinicos and Nathaniel Mehr

Wednesday 12th January, 7pm at Housmans,
5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross,London, N1 9DX

£3 entrance, redeemable against purchase

This January, Spokesman Books will be re-publishing J.A. Hobson's 1902 classic Imperialism: A Study. Hobson's book was among the first to explore the links between political economy and imperial expansion. It inspired a number of Marxist critiques of imperialism, and was quoted extensively in Lenin's famous pamphlet, Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism.

The new edition will feature an introduction by Nathaniel Mehr and a foreword by Jeremy Corbyn MP. At the event Jeremy Corbyn and Nathaniel Mehr will be joined by Professor Alex Callinicos, who has written extensively on economics and imperialism, to discuss the significance of Hobson's book in today's world.