Thinking with C.L.R. James about international socialism, popular democracy, and the good life

Hosted by the LSE Human Rights

LSE Lecture Theatre, Centre Building


Gary Wilder

Gary Wilder


Ayça Çubukçu

Ayça Çubukçu

This talk is drawn from a larger project entitled 'Recalling C.L.R. James, Reconsidering Black Marxism.' It first offers an overview of James’s distinctive critical and political orientation.

It then identifies aspects of James’s postwar thinking that might help us reconsider inherited assumptions about anti-imperial internationalism, revolutionary socialism, heterodox Marxism, popular democracy, decolonisation, Black radicalism, Black Marxism, and the possibility of a dis-alienated good life. Just as Lenin sought to rework Marx for his times and James sought to rework Lenin for his times, we might try to rework James for ours.

Meet the speaker and chair: 

Gary Wilder is Director of the Committee on Globalization and Social Change at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York where he is Professor in the Ph.D. Programme of Anthropology, with cross-appointments in History and French. He the author of Concrete Utopianism: The Politics of Temporality and Solidarity (Fordham University Press, 2022), Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World (Duke University Press, 2015) and The French Imperial Nation-State: Negritude and Colonial Humanism Between the World Wars (University of Chicago Press, 2005).  He is co-author of Theses on Theory and History and two edited volumes, The Fernando Coronil Reader: The Struggle for the Life is the Matter (Duke University Press 2019) and The Postcolonial Contemporary: Political Imaginaries for the Global Present (Fordham University Press, 2018). He is currently writing a book on the C.L.R. James entitled, 'Recalling C.L.R. James, Reconsidering Black Marxism.' 

Ayça Çubukçu (@ayca_cu) is Associate Professor in Human Rights and Co-Director of LSE Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Before LSE, Dr Çubukçu was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute, and taught for the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University and the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies at Harvard University. In 2020, she was appointed as a Senior Fellow of the Fung Global Fellows program at Princeton University.


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