The Society for Socialist Studies 2023 Annual Conference
May 27-30, 2023
York University, Toronto, Canada
“Re-Imagining the Left”
Please complete this form to submit a paper proposal before February 28, 2023. Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following a successful call for sessions, the Society for Socialist Studies is pleased to circulate this open call for papers for the 2023 Annual Conference, “Re-Imagining the Left.”
The programme committee is thrilled with the roundtables and panels already planned for the conference, including sessions on academic marxism, leftist social movements and party politics, resisting far-right populism and critical theory, book launches and author roundtables, a roundtable in memory of Frank Cunningham and celebration of his intellectual legacy, as well as a plenary session of members of the Society of Socialist Studies and the Critical Political Science related group (American Political Science Association) about challenges and possibilities for the left.
Considering the broad nature of this year’s conference theme, we welcome papers exploring socialism, leftism, emancipatory politics, feminism, anti-capitalism, anti-racist, and anti-colonial struggle. Other themes that have been proposed in past years where the Society ultimately did not hold a conference, but welcome papers that address these issues, include the following:
- Carceral capitalism and ‘the law’
- Resisting right-wing populism and neo-fascism
- Re-igniting a vital relationship with workers, workers movements, and the unemployed and unpaid workers
- Border imperialism, migration, and racial capitalism
- Combating anti-blackness and anti-Indigeneity
- Decolonizing/unsettling Marx and the socialist ‘classics’
- Queer and trans anti-capitalism
- Disrupting the ecological crises
- Responding to neoliberal urbanization
- Advancing feminist socialisms
The committee is further seeking papers that would fit within a number of stellar open panels. The details of which are below. Beyond the open panels, we are also seeking papers interested in presenting on panels titled Settler Colonialism and Social Form, and Rethinking Neoliberalism and the Third Way: Origins, Developments, and Afterlives.
The deadline for submitting a paper proposal is February 28, 2023. Successful individuals will be contacted prior to the March 31st early bird deadline for Congress registration. Please direct any questions to email@example.com (Programme Chair: Megan Aiken, University of Alberta / Saint Mary’s University).
“Fossil Capitalism, Climate Breakdown, and Green-Left Strategies”
(Convenor: William Carroll / firstname.lastname@example.org)
As carbon emissions push the earth system toward (and possibly already through) climate tipping points, the contradictions of fossil capitalism present an existential crisis, to which collective agencies must respond. Responses range from old-style denialism (in retreat but not without influence) and new denialism (i.e., accepting climate science but rejecting its real policy implications), through technology-focused initiatives (such as ‘clean growth’ and ‘net zero’ via carbon-capture and geoengineering) and reformist projects (such as green new deals), to transformative alternatives such as energy democracy and eco-socialism.
This session welcomes papers focused on the political-economic, political-ecological and/or cultural/ideological dimensions of the current conjuncture and the contending political projects animating it, whether viewed from the standpoint of fossil capital’s regime of obstruction or from the positions of climate justice movements. We also welcome papers that offer a critical analysis of green-left visions, scenarios and movement building strategies necessary to fight back against the climate crisis.
Fighting for Home: Housing, Capitalism and Resistance
(Convenor: Yutaka Dirks / email@example.com)
Everywhere we see the result of the hyper-commodification of housing and the increasing role of rentier-capitalists within the Canadian settler-colonial, capitalist system: thousands of people living in encampments in our cities, tenants being displaced by rent hikes, developers and landlords reaping massive profits while secure housing is increasingly out of reach for even relatively well-paid members of the working class. Far from being passive, tenants, people without homes, and their allies have met the housing crisis with resistance. In some cases, these movements have mounted some of the most serious and well-organized working-class-based challenges to capital in Canada in years. What lessons can socialists learn from these movements? How should socialists understand rentier-capitalists; what does the rising dominance of these capitalists say about resistance to capitalism and possibilities for a new left? What should struggles around housing and rentier capitalism look like in a settler-colonial context like Canada’s, where capitalist-settler sovereignty over the land is illegitimate and incomplete? This panel invites papers that address these and related questions, centering the role of home and housing in our visions of a reimagined left.
Reimagining Self-Determination: The Geopolitical Economy of Racial Capitalism and Imperialism
(Convenor: Olena Lyuvchenko / firstname.lastname@example.org)
The current neoliberal regime of accumulation – rooted in expropriation, exploitation, and oppression – seems to be in multiple forms of crisis. The events of last year suggest that new analytical tools are needed in making sense of the reconfigurations of global capitalism, and in the politics of changing them. Russia’s war of aggression, the return of ‘civilized Europe’, the restoration of the claims to moral supremacy of liberal democracy, and, its alter ego, authoritarian populism, are symptoms of the unsustainable conditions of reproduction faced by working class people that are unevenly distributed across the globe. When Ruth Wilson Gilmore (2017) powerfully states that “capitalism [is] never not racial”, this includes Eastern Europe as an imagined boundary on capitalism’s periphery – a tool for disciplining the global working class. The response of popular resistance to austerity, resource extraction, militarization and policing, borders, and heteropatriarchal violence demands a thorough re-imagining of self-determination that challenges methodological nationalism. To capture our own time in thought, this panel grapples with the following questions: relationship between imperialism, racialization, and social reproduction; whiteness and citizenship; migrant labour; capitalist transitions; post-colonialism and ‘post-socialism’; comparative study of settler colonialism; dependency and periphery; expropriation and militarization; archive/memory of internationalism(s).
Co-operatives and Socialism
(Convenor: Cheryl Hewitt / email@example.com)
Co-operatives are sometimes considered part of the socialist movement. The Rochdale Pioneers, English cooperators, proposed in 1844 to co-operatively “arrange the powers of production, distribution, education and government…,” and offered to help others build co-ops. Marx wrote enthusiastically about worker-owned factories; he counted co-ops as among the forces developing “in the womb” of capitalist society that would help overcome it. In 1933, Canada’s CCF called for “consumers’ cooperatives” and co-ops in “wholesale distribution and… manufacturing,” urging governments to help people form co-ops. Yet today, the relationship between co-ops and socialism is less clear. The Canadian Centre for the Study of Cooperatives notes that co-ops are “at once antagonistic and accommodative to capitalism.” Some co-ops seem simply to be corporations with quaint annual meetings and patronage dividends. But other co-ops support movements for social change; many are formed by those whom capital cannot or will not serve. What then are the possibilities? Can we re-image the future of co-operatives in a socialist economy? How might socialists work with or within the co-op movement? Our session seeks to address to these questions and others.