Tuesday, 15 November 2016

In Solidarity: Rethinking Political Friendship

"Their world is collapsing. Ours is being built," said Marie Le Pen in a chilling statement after Trump's win. With upcoming elections in France, Austria and the Netherlands, and far-right governments in power in Erdogan's Turkey, Modi's India and Netanyahu's Israel, the far right is on the rise. It's time to riot.

Join us for a public dialogue on what needs to be done. Dr. Çubukçu will open this session with her thoughts on the politics of transnational solidarity. Drawing on examples of Erdogan's brutal crackdown on dissidents – recently Kurdish MPs – and Trump's chilling victory, she will engage with us on a conversation on thinking through how we can build a counter to the powerful networks of the International Right, and the potentialities and challenges of organising with and for others. This will be followed by an open dialogue on resisting the right after Trump.

Tuesday 15 November 5pm
Mill Lane Lecture Theaters Room 1

Dr Ayça Çubukçu is Assistant Professor in Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she leads a research group on Internationalism, Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of Solidarity. She is also a co-editor of Jadaliyya’s Turkey page.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Recommended: 13th Historical Materialism Conference in London

For the program and all practical informations see:

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

After Corbyn's (re)elections: strategies for the Left and the Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn is Labour's first radical socialist leader, but he came to power at a time of grave inherited weaknesses for the Left. It is clear that his leadership represents the beginning of a process, rather than the end. It will take time for the promise of his win to bear its most important fruit. The Left needs to be cognisant of the serious impediments in the way of success, and take seriously the need to war-game failure in the short-to-medium term so that it can make the most long-term advantage of this unique, fragile moment. This talk will address the sources of Corbyn's unlikely win, in the context of social-democracy's crisis, the difficulties he will inevitably face, and the most effective ways for the Left to intervene.

Richard Seymour is a writer, broadcaster and socialist, raised in Northern Ireland and currently based in London. He is the author of The Liberal Defence of Murder (2008), Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens (2012), Against Austerity (2014) and Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics (2016). A contributing editor of Salvage, he also writes for The Guardian, the London Review of Books, and many other publications. He currently presents a programme, ‘Media Review’, for TeleSur, and has previously appeared on BBC, Al Jazeera and C-Span. He is finishing a PhD at the London School of Economics, where he also teaches.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Conference: "Rights to Nature: tracing alternative political ecologies to the neoliberal environmental agenda" - 23-24 June, Keynes Hall, King's College, Cambridge


23-24 June, Keynes Hall, King's College, Cambridge

This is a hybrid academic-activist event that aims to encourage a closer collaboration between scholars and activists working on the neoliberalisation of nature. The conference is sponsored by 'Geoforum' journal.

We are looking for activists and scholars engaged in environmental movements in Europe. We are interested in a wide variety of topics, including - but not limited to - the privatization of natural resources and public assets, land grabbing, the dismantling of traditional forms of using natural resources, the neoliberalisation of nature (including biodiversity conservation), and expropriation of green spaces in both urban and rural areas. Instances of these movements include anti-fracking and anti-mining movements, housing struggles, anti-biodiversity offsetting initiatives, movements against the privatization of public nature assets, including forests and water, and struggles against gentrification, regeneration, urban redevelopment and/or large infrastructure projects with significant environmental impacts. We would like to invite you to participate in the conference and also if possible to help us reaching activists and scholars that engage in this kind of work.

You can find more information here:

and here:

As places are limited, researchers and activists interested in taking part in the conference should email directly one of the organizers, Elia Apostolopoulou (ea367@cam.ac.uk)

Friday, 27 May 2016

The UK and Cambridge Housing Crisis: An Open Dialogue


5pm (5.15 start) - 6.45pm, Tuesday 31st May

Sociology Department (Free School Lane), 

Seminar Room
The availability of affordable housing is in crisis across the UK and Cambridge is one of the worst hit cities. Housing prices in Cambridge have risen by nearly 80 % since the post crisis dip, at the same time as public provision of social housing has declined.  The housing crisis affects us all, but low income residents are especially at risk of being pushed out of the city. What are the causes of this crisis both at the national and local levels, and how is the University involved? What are the consequences for different constituents? Is this just an inevitable result of urban development, or are there alternative models we can look to that promise more equitable and secure housing provision?

We bring together a panel of activists, policy makers, and academics to discuss these issues in the context of the debate on the National Housing and Planning Act and wider UK housing policy. 

The panel includes: 
Diana Minns, City Council's Housing Scrutiny Committee
Dr Gemma Burgess, Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research
Councillor Kevin Price, Labour Executive Councillor for Housing
Martyn Everett, housing campaigner and member of UNITE Community.

The panel discussion will last approximately 45 minutes, followed by 45 minutes of open discussion and Q and A with the audience. We invite all participants to a drink at the Anchor pub following the seminar.For more on our upcoming events:

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

“Enough with excuses!”: The Brussels and Paris attacks and the dilemmas of public anthropology with Nadia Fadil

Join us for a conversation with Professor Nadia Fadil at 5:30pm in the Audit Room at King's. All welcome. 

The attacks in Paris and Brussels in 2015 and 2016 have sparked a new set of debates on Islam, radicalisation and the increasing participation of European born Muslims in new forms of violence. It is against that background that many scholars working on Islam in Europe are regularly asked to intervene in the public debate to share their analysis and views on these questions. In my paper I will offer a meta-reflection on the kind of public discourses anthropologists and other social scientists bring to the fore in these kinds of contexts, and how these sit in tension with those articulated by our own informants. This paper seeks to critically address the kinds of challenges that are implied in these kinds of discussions, my own hesitations and dilemmas in taking my own informants' accounts “seriously” and how these difficulties are also revelatory of the secular and liberal sensibilities that predominantly inform public speech and of which our own public discourse, as scholars, is a testimony.

Nadia Fadil works as an Assistant Professor at the Interculturalism, Migration and Minorities Research Center in the department of Anthropology at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven). A first thread in her research looks at processes of subject formation, and how pious and secular Muslims (of Maghrebi origin) construct themselves into ethical selves. A second thread in her work pays attention to modes of regulation and governance of religion and multiculturalism in Europe. Her publications have appeared in international peer-reviewed journals (such as Hau, Identities, Feminist Review, Social Anthropology, Ethnicities) and she is the author of several chapters in edited volumes published with international presses. She is also the editor of a book in Dutch on multiculturalism in Flanders (Een Leeuw in een Kooi. De Grenzen van het Multicultureel Vlaanderen, 2008) and is the Principal Investigator of a Research Project that looks at new forms of mobility of European Muslims to the UAE and Canada (2015-2019).

As part of:

Conversations in history and society

Easter Term 2016

All talks at 5:30pm in King's College

Thursday, May 5
The afterlife of revolution in southern Oman
Alice Wilson (Durham)
in Wine Room

Wednesday, May 11
Jihad -- What is it Good For? (Analytically Speaking)
Darryl Li (Yale)
in Audit Room

Tuesday, May 17
“Enough with excuses!”: The Brussels and Paris attacks and the dilemmas of public anthropology
Nadia Fadil (KU Leuven)
in Audit Room

Wednesday, May 18
Iraq's disappearing religions, and why they matter
Gerard Russell, author of Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms
In Audit Room


Generously supported by the King’s College Research Committee
Convenor: Mezna Qato [mq212@cam.ac.uk]

Monday, 9 May 2016

Popular Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East


with Dr John Chalcraft (Government, LSE)

5pm (5.15 start) - 6.45pm, Tue 10 May
Room 1, Mill Lane Lecture Theatres


In this seminar John Chalcraft introduces his new book Popular Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East, a new history of revolutions, uprisings, movements, and diverse forms of protest from Morocco to Iran from the eighteenth century to the present. The focus is on unruly collective action: the emergence of new, fragile collective subjects and transgressive forms of contention. Writing against socioeconomic and discursive determinism alike, the book is particularly concerned to analyse the active agencies shaping mobilizing projects: forms of moral, political and intellectual leadership, trans-local appropriation, intellectual labour, normative commitments, and modes of organization, strategies and tactics. It challenges existing forms of Orientalism and teleological modernism by foregrounding the ways in which movements are situated within, and have shaped, the rise, establishment, reform and attrition of political hegemony.

JOHN CHALCRAFT is an Associate Professor in the History and Politics of Empire/ Imperialism at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Previous posts include a Lectureship at the University of Edinburgh and a Research Fellowship at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. His research focuses on labour, migration and contentious mobilisation in the Middle East. He is the author of The Striking Cabbies of Cairo and Other Stories: crafts and guilds in Egypt, 1863-1914 (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2004) and The Invisible Cage: Syrian migrant workers in Lebanon (Stanford University Press, 2009). His new book Popular Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2016.


The aim of these seminars is to integrate radical theory with political practice and activism. Each consists of a presentation followed by a Q&A session (and trip to the Anchor pub round the corner). We record each session, so if you can't make it, like our pages so you get updated once the video is uploaded. Organised with the help of Cambridge Defend Education (CDE) and Cambridgeshire Left.


Upcoming talks for Easter 2016 (see our FB page and termcard for more)

Tue 17 May | Nadia Fadil (KU, Leuven), "Enough with excuses!”: The Brussels and Paris attacks and the dilemmas of public anthropology
Audit Room, King's College

Tue 24 May | Lydia Wilson (Oxford), Understanding ISIS and forming policy

Tue 31 May | The UK and Cambridge housing crisis - an open dialogue
Sociology seminar room