The Political Studies Marxism Specialist Group (PSA-MSG) organised three sessions on Professor Norman Geras’ contribution to Marxism. The sessions were part of The University of Manchester’s Workshops in Political Theory, 2014 (8-12 September).
The sessions were convened by Dr David Bates (Canterbury Christ Church University), Professor Mark Cowling (Teesside University), and Dr Paul Wetherly (Leeds Metropolitan University).
Norman Geras (1943-2013) was a leading scholar of Marx and of Marxism.
He was well known for the way in which he approached his subjects with analytical rigour and clarity of prose quite unusual in the arena of political philosophy. Norman’s intellectual output was wide-ranging. Indeed, in the later part of his career, he moved away from expressly Marxist concerns, to explore key moral questions – specifically the implications of the Holocaust for political philosophy. In retirement, he also wrote the now famous and always controversial ‘normblog’. See: http://normblog.typepad.com/
The sessions focussed on Norman’s contribution to Marx and Marxism scholarship, and engagements with his work from a Marxist perspective. Key themes included Norman’s critique of Marx on justice, his analysis of Marx’s theory of commodity fetishism, his assessment of Marx’s theory of human nature, his analysis of Rosa Luxemburg, and Louis Althusser, his critique of post-Marxism, and his contribution to the development of theories of socialist democracy.
Papers were given by Dr David Bates (Canterbury Christ Church University), Professor Mark Cowling (Teesside University), Professor Jules Townshend (Manchester Metropolitan University), Professor Satoshi Matsui, Senshu University, Japan, and Paul Raekstad, University of Cambridge.
Pictured (left to right) are: Professor Satoshi Matsui (Senshu University, Japan); Professor Jules Townshend (Manchester Metropolitan University); Professor Joe Femia (The University of Liverpool); Paul Raekstad (The University of Cambridge); Dr David Bates (Canterbury Christ Church University)