CfP: The intellectual history of Marxism in and about the Global South during the early twentieth century

Call for papers, deadline 24 March 2023

Workshop  - University College London
Friday 22 September 2023

Thinkers in what is now ‘the Global South’ – and what was then the ‘colonial and semi-colonial world’ – began a sustained and transformative engagement with the Marxist
intellectual tradition during the first half of the twentieth century. Especially after the Russian Revolution of 1917, Marxism was appropriated, reinvented, and popularised in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The tradition was at once globalised geographically and transformed theoretically. The agents of this process were, then, among the most important intellectual actors of modern history (albeit still little-known in the English-speaking world). Many, such as the Peruvian, José Carlos Mariátegui (1894-1930), and the Indian revolutionary M.N. Roy (1887-1954), engaged Marxism in a mutually transformative encounter. Subsequent efforts to ‘translate’ Marxist thought and practice into new national and continental settings in the wider world have been key to the global intellectual history of the past hundred years. Moreover, these Global South thinkers were not only synthesisers of ‘European’ Marxism  and a given national culture. While many were enthused precisely by the internationalism which they found in the Marxist tradition, it was not without its limitations. It was in grappling with the tradition’s potential- and its contradictions- that they comprehended, transformed, and ‘stretched’ it.

This workshop aims to provide a forum in which postgraduate and early career scholars working on the intellectual history of Marxism in the Global South during  approximately) the first half of the twentieth century can share and discuss their work. We also hope that it will be the beginning of a more lasting academic network in this area of historical research. The workshop will primarily be in-person in London but virtual attendance from elsewhere will be facilitated if needs must.


Suggested topics

● Intellectual histories or biographies
● Organisational histories
● ‘Vernacularization’ of Marxism
● The encounters between Marxism and religion
● Marxism and the ‘National Question’
● Migration, diaspora, exile
● Revolutionary temporality and stages of ‘development
● Tradition and ‘modernity’


Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words. Please send them by email to The deadline for applications is Friday 24 March.