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April 27-29, 2018 - Chicago

Flickr/aesthetics of crisis

Photos from this event here

From April 27-29, the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office will co-host a gathering of the International Rosa Luxemburg Society, which since 1980 has served as a foremost platform of exchange and intellectual production around Rosa Luxemburg’s body of work and her political and academic legacy.

This year’s gathering, titled “Rosa Luxemburg and Her Ideas: Engaging the Left and Impacting the World,” will take place at the historic UE Hall in Chicago, Illinois. Beginning on Friday at 9am and continuing until 1pm on Sunday, this conference will be bursting with brilliant scholars and activists who are wrestling with Rosa’s ideas and their importance to the current political and economic conjuncture.

This conference is free and open to the public, and we welcome you to come to the UE Hall at 37 South Ashland Avenue to join in on the discussion. And in case you want to brush up on your Rosa Luxemburg in the meantime, check out our excellent Rosa Remix book published in 2016. We look forward to seeing you there!

Download the flyer for the event here.




8:30am-9:00am  Light Breakfast

9:00am-9:30am  Welcome and Housekeeping
Sobhanlal Datta Gupta, Albert Scharenberg & Ethan Earle

9:30am-10:15am  Memorials
In Memory of William A. Pelz: Axel Fair-Schulz
In Memory of Narihiko Ito: Ottokar Luban

10:15am-10:20am  Short Break

10:20am-12:15pm  Panel 1: Reports on International Research
Sobhanlal Datta Gupta, Univ. Calcutta, India (Retired): “Evaluation of Rosa Luxemburg: An Examination of Changing Perspectives of International Scholarship”

Ma Jiahong, University of Peking, China; Post-doc Researcher at IISH, Amsterdam, Netherlands: “Review and Prospect of Chinese Study in Rosa Luxemburg”

Axel Fair-Schulz, State University of New York, Potsdam, USA: “Rosa Luxemburg and the November Revolution: Recent Trends in Historiography”

Uwe Sonnenberg, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Berlin, Germany: “Report: Events Organized by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung on the Centenary of the German Revolution 1918/19”

Chair: Mario Keßler

12:15pm-1:00pm  Lunch

1:00pm-2:10pm  Panel 2a: Race, Class, and Movement Building
Peter Hudis, Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, IL, USA: “Racism and the Logic of Capital: A Marxist-Humanist Assessment of the Relevance of Luxemburg’s Thought for Today’s Struggles Against Racism”

Valentine Eben, Univ. of Minnesota, USA: “A View from Indymedia Africa: What would Luxembourg Say About Today’s Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Revolution?”

Chair: Michael Löwy

1:00pm-2:10pm  Panel 2b: The Private Rosa Luxemburg
Helen Scott, University of Vermont, Burlington, USA: “‘Like a Flash from Eternity’: Rosa Luxemburg on Literature”

Rory Castle Jones, Swansea Univ., Wales, UK: “‘All the Hidden, Bitter Tears’: Family, Identity and the Shaping of Revolutionary Red Rosa”

Chair: Helen Boak

2:10pm-2:15pm  Short Break

2:15pm-3:25pm  Panel 3: Rosa Luxemburg and Colonialism
Alyssa Adamson, Stony Brook University, NY, USA: “Rosa Luxemburg and Decolonial Political Theory”

Sandra Rein, University of Alberta, Canada: “Rosa Luxemburg on Colonialism: Why It Still Matters”

Chair: Lorraine Cohen

3:25pm-3:40pm  Coffee/Tea Break

3:40pm-6:00pm  Panel 4: Luxemburg and Other Female Socialist Thinkers
Andreas Stuhlmann, University of Alberta, Canada: “‘The Ghost of Rosa Luxemburg’: Hannah Arendt on Undogmatic Judgment, Spontaneity, and Revolution”

Eleni Varikas, Univ. Paris 8/ Saint-Denis, CNRS, France; 2018 Visiting Prof. at Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY, USA: “Rosa Luxemburg, Hannah Arendt and the Question of Plurality”

Franklin Dmitryev, Chicago, USA: “Revolutionary Intercommunication between the Ages: The “Dialogue” between Rosa Luxemburg and Raya Dunayevskaya”

Dana Mills, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK: “Going Ahead in 1893: When Eleanor Met Rosa”

Chair: Sandra Rein

6:00pm-6:05pm  Short Break

6:05pm-7:45pm  Keynote 1: The Contemporary Significance of Rosa Luxemburg’s Socialist Feminism
Drucilla Cornell, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ, USA

Chair: Ankica Čakardič


8:30am-9:00am  Light Breakfast

9:00am-10:40am  Panel 5: Discussions on Luxemburg’s The Accumulation of Capital (1)
Inderjeet Singh, Department of Economics, Punjabi University, Patiala, India: “The Accumulation of Capital in the Era of Imperialism”

Andrew Kliman, Pace University, Pleasantville, NY, USA: “Luxemburg’s Theory of Capital Accumulation: Still Influential, but Still Wrong”

Bradley Mayer, San Leandro, California, USA: “Primitive Accumulation Inside and Out“

Chair: Ingo Schmidt

10:40am-10:45am  Short Break

10:45am-11:45am  Panel 6: Discussions on Luxemburg’s The Accumulation of Capital (2)
Lin Haochao, Wuhan University, China: “The Inevitable Rise of Opposing Individual Freedom in Modernization: Based on the Theory of the Accumulation of Capital”

Ankica Čakardič, Univ. Zagreb, Croatia: “Rosa Luxemburg and the ‘Woman Question’: From the Theory of Accumulation to Social Reproduction Theory“

Chair: Ma Jiahong

11:45am-12:00pm  Coffee/Tea Break

12:00pm-1:10pm  Keynote 2: Women in the German Revolution, 1918/19
Helen Boak, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK

Chair: Alyssa Adamson

1:10pm-2:00pm  Lunch

2:00pm-4:00pm  Panel 7a: Marxist Thinking
Julia Killet, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Munich, Germany: “Rosa Luxemburg’s Advice to the Socialist Movement (Considerations by Luxemburg Biographer Paul Froelich)”

Mario Keßler, Center for Contemporary History, Potsdam, Germany: “Ossip K. Flechtheim, 1909-1998: Editor of Rosa Luxemburg’s Works and Pioneer of Research on Communism in Germany”

Zhang Meng, Wuhan University, China: “Reflection on the Relationship between Rosa Luxemburg’s Thought and Marx’s Theory”

Paul Zarembka, State University of New York, Buffalo, USA: “Luxemburg, a Stable ‘Materialized’ Composition of Capital in the U.S. and Its Implications”

Chair: Albert Scharenberg

2:00pm-4:00pm  Panel 7b: Rosa Luxemburg’s Activities in the Socialist Movement
Arunas Vysniauskas, University Vilnius, Lithuania: “Rosa Luxemburg and the Polish ‘Mosaic’ in Lithuania”

Reiner Tosttorff, Univ. Mainz, Germany: “Between Bockenheim, Hanau and Frankfurt: Rosa Luxemburg’s Rhein-Main Connections”

Ottokar Luban, Berlin, Germany: “The Spartacus Group in the German November Revolution 1918/19”

Chair: Rory Castle

4:00pm-4:10pm  Coffee/Tea Break

4:10pm-6:00pm  Panel 8: Party and Leadership
Chris Cutrone, School of the Art Institute, University of Chicago, USA: “Rosa Luxemburg and the Party”

Lorraine Cohen, LaGuardia Community College, CUNY, USA: “Rosa Luxemburg’s Theory of Leadership: An Alternative Approach”

Edward Remus, Ronald Williams Library, Northern Illinois University, Chicago: “American Bernstein, American Luxemburg: Views of the SPD’s Revisionist Dispute and Great Schism from the Socialist Party of America, 1900-1918”

Henry Holland, Hamburg, Germany: “Beyond Nationalisms: Spontaneity and Working-Class Organization in Scotland, 2012-2017 Through the Lens of Luxemburg’s Dialectic“

Chair: Kaveh Boveiri

6:00pm-6:05pm  Short Break

6:05pm-8:00pm  International Plenary: Chances for Socialist Solutions of Current World Problems?
Erek Slater, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Chicago; Michael Löwy, Brazil; Sobhanlal Datta Gupta, India; Ankica Čakardič, Croatia; Jiahong Ma, China; & Ingo Schmidt, Canada

Chair: Peter Hudis


8:30am-9:00am  Light Breakfast

9:00am-10:45am  Panel 9: Luxemburg and Lukács and Gramsci: Interpretations and Evaluations
Kaveh Boveiri, Univ. Montreal, Canada: “Lukács’s Reading of Rosa Luxemburg’s Conception of Totality: A Reappraisal”

Sevgi Doğan, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Italy: “Analysis of Intellectual Movement as Political Action Through Gramsci and Luxemburg“

Daniel Egan, University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA: “Rosa Luxemburg and the Mass Strike: A Corrective to Gramsci’s Critique”

Chair: Ethan Earle

10:45am-11:00am  Coffee/Tea Break

11:00am-12:45pm  Panel 10: Socialist Internationalism Versus Imperialism
Michael Löwy, Univ. Paris, France, Visiting Prof. at Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY, USA – Rosa Luxemburg and Internationalism

Attila Antal, Eötvös Loránd University Budapest, Hungary – Anti-war Theory and Activism in Permanent State of Exception

Ingo Schmidt, Athabasca University, Canada: “Hilferding, Luxemburg & Lenin on Imperialism: Variations Amongst the Classic”

Chair: Bradley Mayer

12:45pm-1:00pm  Closing Words and Farewell
Peter Hudis, Ottokar Luban & Albert Scharenberg


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