The Global South: The 12th Annual Conference of the Marxist Reading Group, 25-27 March 2010

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Marxist Reading Group, University of Florida
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Keynote Speaker: Hazel V. Carby

University of Florida, March 25-27, 2010

In the context of global capital, developing countries have been referred to as the “Global South.” The term can be understood as a hemispheric replacement for the three-worlds model that emerged from area studies during the Cold War. However, this pointedly geographic designation does more than simply reaffirm capitalism’s exploitation of developing countries. Beyond dividing the world in half economically, it divides the world racially between the Euro-American and the rest. This model also encodes a regionalism upon developing or economically disadvantaged areas, given capital’s political, cultural, and economic marginalization of them as primarily working-class or provincial places—tendencies that manifest from as early as the triangle trade and colonization to today’s movement of manufacturing jobs and affective labor to Southeast Asia and Latin America. These trends indicate a long existing economic, racial, and regional fault line along which the power may dramatically shift in the near future.

The twelfth annual conference of the Marxist Reading Group seeks to investigate from a Marxist perspective how regional, marginalized, or racialized identities, practices, cultures, histories, and economies form within and influence global affairs. Has the hemispheric bifurcation of north and south always existed? How do the political and social circumstances of the Cold War lead to our conceptions of today’s economies along hemispheric lines? How is race a factor in the split? How does “south”—a term fraught with regional problems for the U.S.—become a global term? How has the current economic recession refigured the balance of the hemispheres? And finally, how might these inquiries renew or revise models of centers and peripheries?

Hazel V. Carby is Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Professor of African American Studies, Professor of American Studies, and Director of the Initiative on Race Gender and Globalization at Yale University. She is the author of Reconstructing Womanhood (OUP, 1987), Race Men (Harvard, 1998), and Cultures in Babylon (Verso, 1999). Her current project in progress is called Child of Empire.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

• Histories of the Global South, both geographically and as a cultural context
• Finance capital and the global recession
• Indigenous decolonialization
• Gender and the informal sector of the global economy
• Migration of laborers
• Historical (re)constructions of the Global South
• Commodification of regional identities
• Exceptionalisms, American, regional, or otherwise
• Postcolonial feminism—domestic, cross-regional, and international
• Critical Cartographic representations of developed or undeveloped countries or both
• Literature, film, culture, or politics of the Global South
• Red states and blue states, in the U.S. and globally
• Unions and labor practices in the Global South

Please submit a 250-word abstract (and some subject keywords) for a 20-minute presentation along with a short biography and contact information to by January 22, 2010. Please indicate any a/v requirements (DVD player and data projection available). Authors of accepted papers will be notified by February 5, 2010. For questions concerning the conference, please contact us at For information on previous conferences, please check out our site:

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