Mini-Conference: Debating Raya Dunayevskaya’s Intersectional Marxism

Kevin B. Anderson,
Heather A. Brown,
Sevgi Doğan,
Kieran Durkin,
Barbara Epstein,
Lewis Gordon,
Peter Hudis,
Ndindi Kitonga,
Paul Mason,
Lilia D. Monzó,
Rhaysa Ruas,
Alessandra Spano

Summary: Recordings of the three panels discussing various aspects of Raya Dunayevskaya’s intersectional Marxism. Presentations by Lewis Gordon, Barbara Epstein, Paul Mason, Kevin B. Anderson, and many more – Editors.

Sponsored by the International Marxist-Humanist Organization, the Paulo Freire Democratic Project, Chapman University, and Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara

This mini-conference will celebrate and debate the new book, Raya Dunayevskaya’s Intersectional Marxism: Race, Class, Gender, and the Dialectics of Liberation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). The first-ever volume devoted to an assessment the writings of Raya Dunayevskaya (1910-1987), this book includes essays by philosophers, social theorists, feminists, and anti-racist activists. Many of these authors will be presenting on their research on Dunayevskaya for the book at this conference, as will other noted thinkers familiar with her work. At this mini-conference, we seek to connect the writings of an often-marginalized thinker to the issues facing the global movement for liberation in an era of great promise but also one of great threats to our very existence. In so doing, we will explore Dunayevskaya’s underlying humanism, the connections she drew between race, gender, and class, and her critical appropriation into her Marxist-Humanism of the writings of Hegel, Marx, Fanon, and Luxemburg, as well as the insights of the grassroots movements of her time on the part of rank-and-file workers, women, youth, and Black and other oppressed minorities.  Her key concepts like “Hegel’s Absolute as new beginning,” “Marx’s New Continent of Thought,” and “Black masses as vanguard” illustrate the range and the revolutionary depth of this important thinker-activist.

Session One: Raya Dunayevskaya and Contemporary Revolutionary Theory

Moderator: Kristopher Baumgartner

  • Kevin B. Anderson* – UC Santa Barbara, author of Marx at the Margins
  • Paul Mason* – writer for New Statesman, author of Postcapitalism
  • Barbara Epstein – UC Santa Cruz, author of Protest and Cultural Revolution
  • Lewis Gordon – University of Connecticut, author of Freedom, Justice, and Decolonization

 

Session Two: Hegel, Dialectics, and Humanism in Dunayevskaya’s Writings

Moderator: Rehmah Sufi

  • Kieran Durkin* – York University (UK), author of The Radical Humanism of Erich Fromm
  • Alessandra Spano* – University of Catania, writer on Marx, Hegel, and feminism
  • Peter Hudis* – Oakton Community College, author of Frantz Fanon: Philosopher of the Barricades

Commentator (5 minutes): Sevgi Dogan, author of Marx and Hegel on the Individual and the Social

 

Session Three: A Living Legacy: Dunayevskaya on Race, Gender, and Revolution

Moderator: Jens Johansson

  • Lilia D. Monzo* – Chapman University, author of A Revolutionary Subject: Pedagogy of Women of Color and Indigeneity
  • Heather A. Brown* – Westfield State University, author of Marx on Gender and the Family
  • Ndindi Kitonga* – Kenyan-American educator, writer, and longtime organizer

Commentator (5 minutes) Rhaysa Ruas – Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), social activist and legal worker

 

* author of a chapter in Raya Dunayevskaya’s Intersectional Marxism

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