On November 6, 2017, the Platypus Affiliated Society held a panel discussion at the University of Illinois at Chicago on the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution. The speakers were Jonathan W. Daly (Professor of History at UIC and author of The Watchful State: Security Police and Opposition in Russia, 1906-1917), Franklin Dimitryev (News & Letters), Greg Lucero (Socialist Party USA), and Sam Brown (Black Rose/Rosa Negra). The speakers were asked to respond to the following questions: What were the aims of the 1917 Russian Revolution? What was the self-understanding of its Marxist leadership? How has the memory of 1917 changed in the course of the 20th century? Why does the legacy of 1917 appear arrayed in oppositions? Are we still tasked by the memory of 1917 today and, if so, how? The discussion was moderated by Gregor Baszak of Platypus.
On April 7, 2017 the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a discussion at its Ninth Annual International Convention in Chicago on the subject of “Marxism in the Age of Trump.” The event’s speakers were Chris Cutrone, President of the Platypus Affiliated Society and teacher of Critical Theory at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Catherine Liu, Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Irvine and author of The American Idyll: Academic Anti-Elitism as Cultural Critique; and Greg Lucero, a founding member of the Revolutionary Students' Union and a member of the Chicago chapter of the Socialist Party USA.