The Radical 1970s

A symposium to coincide with the publication of Michael Hardt’s The Subversive Seventies 

Presented by: the Centre for Social Change and Justice, University of East Londonthe Raphael Samuel History CentreThe Centre for Cultural Studies Research, University of East London 

 December 9th 2023

Room MAL B34, Birkbeck main building (entrance on Torrington Square), London, WC1E 7JL


Free, open to all, no need to book. 

This event will not be streamed, although audio recordings will be podcast as part of the Culture, Power and Politics podcast feed. 

The event will not be catered, but refreshments can easily be purchased locally during breaks. 

Hosted by Jeremy Gilbert (UEL) and the Raphael Samuel History Centre. For any queries please contact Katy Pettit at RSHC 

Michael Hardt is a leading radical philosopher, best known for his scholarship on Deleuze and his long history of collaboration with Antonio Negri, including their best-selling 2000 volume, Empire. His new book The Subversive Seventies examines the 1970s from an international perspective, considering the many revolutionary movements that erupted during what was arguably the last decade of sustained resistance to global capitalism: from feminist and queer movements to struggles against colonialism and autocratic militarism. This event will consider this subject from a largely UK based perspective, addressing topics from Women’s Liberation to Punk, with guest speakers from two of the European countries within which these struggles were most bitterly fought out: Portugal and Italy.

NB: Michael will give the annual lecture of the Barry Amiel and Norman Melbourne trust, the previous evening, and tickets for that can be booked here. It won’t be assumed that anyone attending the symposium on December 9th has heard the lecture on December 8th, but we imagine some people will wish to attend both events. 


December 9th 2023

9:00-9:15 Arrival

9:15-9:30 Introduction

9:30–10:40 Subversion and Sexuality in the 1970s 

Michael Hardt (Duke)  on the Subversive Seventies 

Lucy Robinson (Sussex) on Gay Liberation

10:40-11:00 Break 

11:00–12:10 Feminism and Women’s Liberation in the 1970s 

Lynne Segal (Birkbeck) on Women’s Liberation  

Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper) on Socialist Feminism   

12:10–13:10 Lunch Break 

13:10-14:20 International perspectives 

Pedro Ramos Pinto (Cambridge) on the Portuguese revolution and its implications

Sandro Mezzadra (Bologna) on the Italian experience 

14:20-14:40 Break

14:40–16:10 Race, Class and Resistance in the 1970s 

Sundari Anitha (Lincoln) & Ruth Pearson (Leeds) on the Grunwick dispute and its wider implications 

John Narayan (KCL)  on Black Power and anti-racist activism in the UK 

16:10-16:30 Break 

16:30-17:40 Music, Counterculture and Radical Consciousness in the 1970s

Matthew Worley (Reading) on Punk

Jeremy Gilbert (UEL) on the connections between cultural and political radicalism in the 1970s  

17:40 -18:10  The Radical Seventies and Us – final discussion