Archive | June, 2015

‘Progress, Change and Development: Past, Present and Future’ conference report

In this post, Dr Andrew W. M. Smith (UCL) shares some of his reflections on our recent ‘Progress, Change and Development: Past, Present and Future’ conference, which took place at the University of Portsmouth, 4-6 June 2015. Like the Wizard of Oz, Samir Amin appeared on the wall as an enormous head, with wild white hair, and puffing on a cigar. In his gravelly voice, he barked at someone off screen ‘peux-tu fait un café?’ Moments later, the ‘creative marxist’, all the way from Senegal, launched into an excoriating and impassioned critique of ‘monopoly capitalism’, lauding the memory of the Bandung Conference which, he claimed, was ‘Non Aligned’ not in terms of the Cold War, but in regard to globalisation. This barn-storming opener was the curtain lifter on a fantastic conference organised by Joanna Warson and Margaret Majumdar at the University of Portsmouth. The title ‘Progress, Change and Development: Past, Present, and Future’ was an evocative challenge to consider radicalism, resistance and political belief in a variety of different frames. Also interesting was the way in which activists and academics exchanged ideas. Joanna, in particular, did sterling work in organising an engaging event. Amin called for the enactment of ‘National Sovereign […]

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