Call for papers: INPUTS International Symposium “Karl Marx, Marxism, and the Global South”, University of Bremen, City University of Applied Sciences, Bremen, 4-5 May 2018


Dr. Detlev Quintern (INPUTS, FSMV University, Istanbul)

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Knopf (INPUTS, University of Bremen)

Prof. Dr. Hans-Heinrich Bass (City University of Applied Sciences, Bremen)

On 5 May 2018 the 200th birthday of Karl Marx will be commemorated with a variety of events and exhibitions throughout the world. In early 1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published their seminal text Communist Manifesto, which was translated into more than one hundred languages and which today is part of UNESCO’s World Document heritage. The history of societies was understood as a history of class struggle. As a consequence of the break with utopian, reformist and anarchist tendencies, Karl Marx was striving to unveil the inner nature of capital — a theoretical-methodological approach, which was mainly based on a critique and a new interpretation of  economics as developed by the classical thinkers (A. Smith, D. Ricardo, J. St. Mill). The Capital (Das Kapital), first published in Hamburg in 1867, ranks among his most efficacious writings. Because of his theoretical ideas on the economic struggles of the lower classes and on the issue of private ownership, Karl Marx is considered as one of the most influential thinkers on economic justice worldwide.

The symposium aims at critically acknowledging, reviewing and discussing Marx’s ideas, influences and legacies from a variety of perspectives of the Global South, focusing on postcolonial interpretations and adaptations as well as on circulations of utopian ideas. During the 20th century and the liberation movements in the Global South, often memorized traditional-societal and Marxist ideas (on modernization) were interwoven into utopian visions of the future (e.g. in the writings of José Mariátegui/Peru, Kwame Nkrumah/Ghana or Ali Schariati/Iran). Marxist thoughts had and still have an effect on visions of a fairer world in the Global South and beyond. The question how more just societies and sustainable modes of production could be designed, is not only a historical and utopian but also a question of contemporary relevance, deserving closer attention in the humanities.

The following questions will be addressed, among others:

‒       How did Marx understand the historical-societal developments in Asia, Africa and the Americas?

‒       How did he interpret anti-colonial movements?

‒       What importance within capitalist production was assigned to the Global South in various interpretations of Marxist ideas?

‒       On what kind of understanding of nature was his interpretation of the development of productive forces based on?

‒       How were and are Karl Marx’s ideas received and utilized in the Global South?

‒       What are possible utopian potentials of Karl Marx’s work in today’s globalized world with nations, labour forces, capital, resources and goods ordered in political and economic matrixes of power?

Confirmed Speakers:

Adyata Nigam (Centre for the Studies of Developing Societies, New Delhi)

Sergio Costa (Freie Universität Berlin) / Guilherme Leite Goncalves (Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro)

Robbie Shilliam (Queen Mary University, London)

Yakov Rabkin (University of Montreal)

Salah Mosbah (University of Tunis)

Heide Gerstenberger (University of Bremen)

Hans-Heinrich Bass (City University of Applied Sciences, Bremen)

Detlev Quintern (FSMV University, Istanbul)


Beside invited senior scholars, the symposium aims at integrating the work of early career scholars into scholarly debates. At this point we seek contributions from young scholars to present their projects with relations to the symposium topic. Depending on our budget, we intend to support each young scholar with a subsidy of approximately 100 €.

Please send a title and short abstract describing your work and theoretical approach of 400 words maximum by 15 March 2018 to  and