Institute of the Americas, University College London
28-29 January 2013
"To be a radical is no more than... to go to the roots".
José Martí, "A la raíz" in Patria (26 August, 1893)
In recent years, a significant body of research has been undertaken into the various historical, political and social contexts
in which political radicalism has developed throughout the Americas. However, little effort has been made to highlight the
benefits of comparative or transnational approaches to these developments.
This event (at UCL’s new Institute of the Americas) will seek to address this problem by bringing a range of disciplinary
and geographical perspectives to bear on the issue of radicalism in the Americas. It will consist of a two-day symposium
designed to promote the existence of an international community of researchers whose work ranges in disciplinary focus
from political science and international relations to history, literature, and cultural studies. A selection of papers stemming
from the symposium will be submitted for a planned edited volume. In addition to the academic papers, there will be
films, poetry and songs.
The proposed definition of “radicalism” is a broad one, encompassing both political radicalism as an object of study,
and radical analytical approaches to societies and cultures of the Americas. We aim to begin with the democratic and
republican radicalisms of the nineteenth century; to then move through the socialist, anarchist, communist, populist and
social-democratic radicalisms of the early to mid twentieth century; finally, to confront identity politics, the New Left,
social movements and contemporary state radicalisms.
The symposium aims to include papers ranging both geographically and temporally, and will encourage conversation
between scholars working on specific national topics and those whose focus is comparative or transnational. Subjects
· State and non-state radicalisms
· Anti-imperialism and solidarity movements
· Radical populism in contemporary and historical perspective
· Race and radicalism
· Radical art, literature, music and architecture
· The Cold War
· Feminist and LGBTQ activism
· Anti-radicalism and the contested nature of radicalisms
· National and transnational labour movements
If you wish to give a paper, please send a proposal of no more than 300 words along with a short CV to the contact details
below. Papers should be of 20 minutes duration. There will be a number of travel bursaries available for postgraduate
presenters, and information about accommodation options will be available shortly.
The deadline for abstracts is 30th September 2012 but we strongly encourage an early response.
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