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17:30 - 19:00 3 June 2015
C.L.R. James's intellectual conquest of imperial Britain
Lecture Theatre 103 |
UCL – Institute of the Americas
51 Gordon Square | London | WC1H 0PQ | United Kingdom
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential
Christian Høgsbjerg, Author
Together with other critical Pan-Africanist figures such as his fellow compatriot George Padmore, the Trinidadian Marxist C.L.R. James led from the front as an ideological agitator in the fight against British imperialist mythology and propaganda during the 1930s.
This paper will explore how James turned from an identification with imperial Britishness to a more radical transnational identification with black people internationally – militant Pan-Africanism – after arriving in depression-hit Britain in 1932, and orientated from liberal humanism towards revolutionary socialism. It will then examine James’s anti-colonialist agitation in 1930s Britain over questions such as Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia and in solidarity with the Caribbean labour rebellions of the 1930s as well as his masterful work recovering the world historic significance of the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins (1938).
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