Social Reproduction in Theory and Practice: Socialist Feminism and the Politics of Care

‘Social Reproduction’ has re-emerged as a central idea in left-feminist analyses of contemporary power relations and institutions. What light can it shed on our situation in the post-pandemic era and how does it relate to the politics of work, life and care?

Speakers:

Helen Hester, Professor of Media and Communication, University of West London. Author of Xenofeminism

Jo Littler, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, City University London, editor of Left Feminisms and co-author of The Care Manifesto.

Generational Politics and the Asset Economy

 

While mainstream commentators and far-right apologists insist that that the great political divide today is between different sets of cultural ‘values’, the fact is that nothing correlates with voting Tory as closely as being an outright homeowner with a secure pension. Is this coincidence, or is the social and generation divide between those with property and without it now the key structuring feature of British society, culture and politics?

Ridley Road Market Bar , 49 Ridley Road, London, E8 2NP 18:30-20:30. Free, no advance booking, all welcome.

Speakers

Molly Broome, economist at the Resolution Foundation working on issues linked to intergenerational fairness and wealth inequality.

Joe Chrisp,  Research Associate at the Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath, researching the political economy of the welfare state, comparative politics, labour markets, assets and ageing, and basic income.

Keir Milburn, author of Generation Left

Why is the Labour Leadership attacking the ‘soft left’?

Emergency Podcast! Once again Jeremy is joined by Professor Alan Finlayson at very short notice to discuss some very stupid action taken by the Labour Party leadership. This week the party has threatened Neal Lawson, Director of Compass with expulsion from the party. Why has this attracted headlines and outrage, and what does it mean? Have Neal and Compass gone too far in defending comrades on the left ? What is the ‘soft left’ of the Labour Party, where did it come from, and why is it now being attacked so viciously by the leadership? What is the history of political proscription and expulsion from the party, and what is distinctive about Labour politics now in 2023?


Empire, Nation and the British State

In this coronation year, we are visibly reminded that the trappings of the British state are overlaid with the legacies of its empire. But to what extent are current attitudes, legal frameworks and political arrangements really shaped by this imperialist and colonialist past? Did the very idea of a British ‘nation’ – a relatively novel concept in the post-war period – in fact represent a radical break with the idea of empire? What are the implications of these questions for understanding Britain in the 21st century? 

Speakers

David Edgerton, Professor of Modern British History, Kings College London, author of The Rise and Fall of the British Nation: A Twentieth Century History

Kojo Koram, Senior Lecture in Law, Birkbeck College, University of London, author of Uncommon Wealth: Britain and the Aftermath of Empire. 

Is there a future for British conservatism?

The Conservative and Unionist Party of the United Kingdom has experienced a prolonged period of crisis and transformation, from pro-austerity technocrats under David Cameron to nationalist populists under Johnson. Current PM Rishi Sunak struggles to hold the different factions together amid the demographic and political fracturing of the UK. Can the Tory party reinvent itself once again, or is it in terminal decline? Can the Party still rely on media support or does the rise of digital media and a more volatile political-communicative landscape undermine their ability to set the media agenda?

Speakers

Phil Burton-Cartledge, lecturer in Sociology at University of Derby and author of Falling Down: The Conservative Party and the Decline of Tory Britain

Ruth Garland, Lecturer and Convenor, BA Promotional Media at Goldsmiths, University of London, and author of Government Communications and the Crisis of Trust: From Political Spin to Post-truth

Veganism collective political movement or individualistic ethical consumerism? 

Veganism (or, at least, consumption of “plant based” foods) has exploded in the last few years. But what is the relationship between veganism, the climate crisis and the politics of green social justice? Is veganism an inherently individualistic and moralistic form of political activity or a collective practice to resist the commodification of nonhuman animals and capital’s expropriation of nature? How and why has veganism become part of the online “culture wars”?

Speakers:

Eva Haifa Giraud, Senior Lecturer in Digital Media and Society at the University of Sheffield, author or Veganism: Politics, Practice and Theory 

Jacob Mukherjee, convener of MA Political Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London, currently researching digital vegan activism and left praxis 

Ecosocialism and Degrowth

What are the philosophical and political coordinates of a contemporary eco-socialism? What are the political, economic, cultural and philosophical implications of current debates over ‘degrowth’ and its alternatives? Should we be looking for new forms of sustainable growth, new definitions of economic progress, or completely new ways of conceptualising the desirable future? 

Speakers 

Richard Seymour, author of The Disenchanted Earth: Reflections on Ecosocialism and Barbarism 

Jeremy Gilbert Stepped in at the last minute….

Can Precarious Workers Be Organised?

The pandemic exposed the insecurity and vulnerability of workers – from delivery riders to poorly paid culture industry freelancers – who struggled to access the protections afforded to workers on standard employment contacts. Can unions organise these precarious workers to fight for better conditions, or are their working lives simply too fragmented and isolated for collective action to work effectively?  

Ridley Road Market Bar , 49 Ridley Road, London, E8 2NP 18:30-20:30. Free, no advance booking, all welcome.

Speakers

Callum Cant, postdoctoral researcher and author of Riding for Deliveroo

Annika Weiss, freelance camera worker and PhD researcher on work in the culture industries

The Left and the ecological crisis 

The high point of Left electoral success represented by Corbynism, the Sanders campaign, Mélenchon and others seems to have passed. Meanwhile, the climate and broader ecological crises intensify and much of the mobilisation around these issues – from XR to the school climate strikes to Just Stop Oil – originates outside of the conventional Left. How should the Left engage with the climate movement, and vice versa, at a time when the cost-of-living crisis and the largest wave of strikes for 30 years are also urgent priorities?

Speakers

Asad Rehman, Director War on Want

Feyzi Ismail, Lecturer in Global Policy and Activism – Goldsmiths, University of London

Robin Wells, director of Fossil Free London, a grassroots climate organisation

The Meaning of the Monarchy

Recorded Live at the Ridley Road Market Bar, Dalston, London, on May 3rd 2023

With
Anthony Barnett, Founder of Charter 88 and open Democracy, author of many books including Taking Control: Humanity and America after Trump and the Pandemic and The Lure of Greatness: England’s Brexit and Trump’s America

Laura Clancy, Lecturer in Media, Lancaster University. Author of Running the Family Firm: how the royal family manages its image and our money and the forthcoming What is the Monarchy For?