International conference brings top Marx scholars to York University

An international conference focused on Karl Marx’s Capital on its 150th anniversary will be held at York University this spring.

The conference, “Marx’s Capital after 150 Years Years: Critique and Alternative to Capitalism,” will take place from May 24 to 26 at the Keele campus. York University will host to the world’s top scholars, including Immanuel Wallerstein, senior research scholar at Yale University; Saskia Sassen, the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University; renowned French scholar Étienne Balibar; British Professor Bob Jessop; York University sociology Professors Himani Bannerji and Marcello Musto; and many more.

“This conference is an unprecedented opportunity for scholars and the public to explore Marx from a variety of perspectives,” says Musto, who is the conference organizer.

“Marx’s Capital was published in 1867 and this year there will be dozens of conferences that will celebrate one of the most –famous and most translated – book ever written. The conference that will take place at York University is by far the biggest in the world, with the participation of 30 prestigious speakers from more than 10 countries,” says Musto. “The professors invited will not only discuss, and in some cases update, Marx’s critique of capitalism; they will also critically present the profile of alternative society conceived by Marx and will explain why his ideas are still so relevant and useful for us today.”

The conference is structured in nine plenary sessions and around several major themes. Among the themes explored are new interpretations of Capital in light of ecology, non-European societies and gender, the contemporary relevance of Capital, re-reading Capital as an incomplete project after the new critical edition of Marx’s complete work (MEGA²), and the global dissemination and reception of Capital. The presenters will critically reconsider Marx’s magnum opus as a work that continues to provide an effective framework for understanding the nature of capitalism and the transformations of our times.

After the eruption of the international financial crisis in 2008, Marx’s Capital received renewed academic and popular attention. Leading newspapers throughout the world discussed again the contemporary relevance of its pages. Faced with a deep new crisis of capitalism, many are now looking to an author who in the past was often wrongly associated with the “actually existing socialism” and who was too hastily dismissed after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

For many scholars today, Marx’s analyses are resonating more strongly than they did in his own time. This international conference will bring together a cohort of the world’s leading sociologists, political theorists, economists and philosophers, from diverse fields with the aim of offering diverse scholarly perspectives and critical insights into the principal contradictions of contemporary capitalism and, in so doing, point to alternative economic and social models.

Everyone is welcome and admission is free.

For more information on the conference, including the conference program, visit

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2 April 2017

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