July 15, 2015
Radical Thinkers: The Dialectics of Liberation in 2015
July 15, 2015
7.00pm -
Chalk Farm Road, Camden
London, NW1 8EH United Kingdom
A contemporary revisiting of the the now legendary 1967 Congress, with guest speakers including Selma James and Lynne Segal.

The Dialectics of Liberation Congress was held at the Roundhouse in July 1967. The now legendary meeting of minds was a unique expression of the politics of modern dissent. Existential psychiatrists, Marxist intellectuals, anarchists and political leaders met to discuss the key social issues of the next decade.

Against the backdrop of rising student frustrations, racism, class inequality, and environmental degradation, this conference aimed to create genuine revolutionary momentum by fusing ideology and action on the levels of the individual and of mass society.

Taking ‘the demystification of violence’ in all its expressions, and bridging theory and practice, speakers included Herbert Marcuse and Lucien Goldmann to represent the theoretical pole, and Stokely Carmichael on Black Power as an activist, and Carol Schneeman, Allen Ginsberg and R.D. Laing in between.

Verso Books presents an event revisiting some of the issues discussed in light of the sweeping political, economic and technological changes that the world has seen since, on the 48th anniversary of the congress and the publication of a new edition of The Dialectics of Liberation, compiling interventions from contributors as part of Verso’s Radical Thinkers series.

Join Selma James, Lynne Segal, Nina Power, Ewa Jasiewicz, Benjamin Noys and Mark Fisher to discuss the legacy of the meeting and contemporary social issues surrounding the forms of struggle, feminism and anti-racism, sexuality, mental health, education, the environment and climate change and activism.

We are delighted to welcome by Skype organiser, author, pastor and theologian Reverend Osagyefo Sekou, centrally involved in organising protests in Ferguson, Missouri, to demand justice for Michael Brown and as part of the #blacklivesmatter campaign.

Tickets are £5 + £1.95 fee per transaction and can be obtained via the Roundhouse website.

Selma James is a women's rights and antiracist campaigner and author and was present at the 1967 Congress. From 1958 to 1962, she worked with C.L.R. James in the movement for Caribbean federation and independence. In 1972, she founded the International Wages for Housework Campaign, and in 2000 she helped launch the Global Women's Strike. In 1975, she became the first spokeswoman of the English Collective of Prostitutes. She is a founding member of the International Jewish Anti–Zionist Network (2008). Her many publications include Sex, Race and Class and she co-authored with Mariarosa Dalla Costa the classic The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community.

Lynne Segal is Anniversary Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College. Her books include Is the Future Female? Troubled Thoughts on Contemporary Feminism; Slow Motion: Changing Masculinities, Changing Men; Straight Sex: Rethinking the Politics of Pleasure; and her most recent book Out of Time: The Pleasures and the Perils of Ageing. She co-wrote Beyond the Fragments: Feminism and the Making of Socialism with Sheila Rowbotham and Hilary Wainwright.

Nina Power teaches Philosophy at the University of Roehampton and Critical Writing in Art & Design at the Royal College of Arts. She has written widely on politics, philosophy, feminism and culture. She is the author of the book One-Dimensional Woman, and writes for several publications including New StatesmanNew HumanistCabinet, The Wire and Radical Philosophy.

Benjamin Noys is Professor of Critical Theory at the University of Chichester. Amongst other works, he is the author of The Persistence of the Negative: A Critique of Contemporary Theory (EUP, 2010) and his most recent book Malign Velocities: Accelerationism & Capitalism (Zero, 2014), is a critique of the politics of accelerationism.

Mark Fisher is a writer and theorist. He is the author of the acclaimed Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? and his most recent book is Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures (Zero, 2014). He is a Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University Of London in the Department of Visual Cultures, and blogs on politics and culture at K-punk. He writes regularly for frieze, New Statesman, Sight & Sound and The Wire.

Ewa Jasiewicz is a climate and social justice activist involved a range of groups and campaigns including Fuel Poverty Action, No Dash for Gas, workers' struggles, and Palestine, Iraq and Syria solidarity work.

Activist, theologian and author, the Reverend Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou was a 2014 Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King Education & Research Institute before travelling to Ferguson, MO, in mid-August on behalf of the Fellowship of Reconciliation to organize alongside local and national groups following the police killing of Michael Brown.

He is the author of two collections of essays: ‘urbansouls’, a meditation on working with at-risk youth in Saint Louis, hip hop & religion; ’Gods, Gays, and Guns: Essays on Religion and the Future of Democracy’; and the forthcoming ‘Riot Music: Hip Hop, Race, and the Meaning of the London Riots’.

He has studied continental philosophy at the New School, systematic theology at Union Theological Seminary, religion at Harvard and lectured widely. During his time in Ferguson, the Reverend helped train many hundreds in civil disobedience and non-violent resistance, and more recently, has travelled to Baltimore to organize trainings and mass meetings alongside local groups.