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You are here: The Platypus Affiliated Society/50 Years After '68: Does Socialism Have a Future? | European Conference 2018

50 Years After '68: Does Socialism Have a Future? | European Conference 2018

50 Years After '68: Does Socialism Have a Future?

15-18 February 2018

Sponsored by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation - Brussels Office

137a Richard Hoggart Building
Goldsmiths, University of London
Lewisham Way SE14 6NW

(Room is on the ground floor of the main building. Campus map.)

Speakers include Laurie Penny, Frank Furedi, Boris Kagarlitsky, Lindsey German, Hillel Ticktin, Alex Demirovic, Chris Cutrone & more. See below for full timetable.

Facebook event (please share!)



Pre-conference panel discussion: Anti-Racism in the Age of Trump and Brexit
19:00-21:00 Thursday February 15 RHB 137a (separate facebook event)
Mataio Austin Dean (Student Activist at UCL)
Emma Dabiri (Visual sociology researcher, Goldsmiths; Teaching fellow, Africa Department, SOAS)
Dominic Scofield (President, Goldsmiths Anti-Imperialist Society)
Gregor Baszak (Researcher of black literature and politics, University of Illinois, Chicago; Platypus)

Teach-in: The Death of the Millennial Left
16:00-17:30 Friday February 16 RHB 137 (PLEAAE NOTE CHANGE OF TIME) 
Chris Cutrone (School of the Art Institute Chicago; Platypus)

Opening Panel: 50 Years After '68
19:00-21:00 Friday February 16 RHB 137a
Frank Furedi (University of Kent; Sp!ked)
Judith Shapiro (London School of Economics)
Robert Borba (Revolutionary Communist Party USA)
Lindsey German (Counterfire)

Housing Crisis or Capitalist Crisis: Anti-Gentrification and the Left
11:00-13:00 Saturday Feb 17 RHB 137a
Simon Elmer (Architects for Social Housing)
Austin Williams (Future Cities Project; author, ‘China's Urban Revolution’)

Marxism and Feminism
14:00-16:00 Saturday Feb 17 RHB 137a
Laurie Penny (writer & activist)
Lindsey German (Counterfire)
Judith Shapiro (London School of Economics)
Roxanne Baker (International Bolshevik Tendency)

Closing Panel: What is the Future of Socialism?
18:00-20:00 Saturday Feb 17 RHB 137a
Boris Kagarlitsky (Author; Institute of Globalization and Social Movements)
Alex Demirovic (University of Frankfurt; Rosa Luxemburg Foundation)
Hillel Ticktin (
University of Glasgow; Founding Editor, Critique)
Matt Phull (Momentum)
Chris Cutrone (School of the Art Institute Chicago; Platypus)

Teach-in: The First Year of Trump
14:00-15:30 RHB 137a (NOTE CHANGE OF TIME)
Boris Kagarlitsky (Author; Institute of Globalization and Social Movements)


Plenary Descriptions

50 Years After '68

For half a century, 1968 has represented a high-water mark of social and political transformation, a year of social upheaval that spanned the entire globe. Ushered in by a New Left that sought to distinguish itself from the Old Left that emerged in the 20s and 30s, the monumental events of 1968 set the tone for everything from protest politics to academic leftism. 

Today, with the U.S. entangled in a seemingly endless war in Asia and people calling for the impeachment of an unpopular president, with activists fighting in the streets and calling for liberation along the lines of race, gender, and sexuality, the Left’s every attempt to discover new methods and new ideas seems to invoke a memory of the political horizons of 1968. We can perhaps more than ever feel the urgency of the question: what lessons are to be drawn from the New Left as another generation undertakes the project of building a Left for the 21st century?

What is the Future of Socialism?

The recent polarisation of politics, in the UK manifested around Corbyn and Brexit, has led some commentators to herald the end of neoliberalism. This undetermined moment has been welcomed variously as a potential opening for emancipatory politics, political engagement and a renewed imagination of 'socialism'. For others, it has been received with belligerence, as a turn toward a new, populist right. This panel discussion aims to clarify the range of Left perspectives on the question of the future of socialism today.

Anti-Racism in the Age of Trump and Brexit

Beneath a consensus of avowed anti-racism, the Left remains conflicted about whether and how to politicise race, often placing its hopes in the Democratic and Labour Parties to vouch for better democratic representation of the underprivileged. How could the politics of anti-racism advanced the struggle for socialism and the pursuit of freedom given the recent political changes?