Institute on Culture and Society: Virtual Seminars

deadline for submissions: 
February 1, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Marxist Literary Group
contact email: 

The Marxist Literary Group invites you to join us for the 2021 Institute on Culture and Society, which will take place entirely online. In an effort to make the most of our virtual environment, we aim to foreground MLG’s longstanding commitment to provide intellectual and professional mentoring and support for graduate students, pre-tenure faculty, and contingent or precariously employed faculty. To that end, this year’s ICS will primarily comprise seminar-style sessions featuring works in progress from early-career scholars. There will also be two plenary events, to provide venues in which MLG members can meet collectively, see comrades, and engage intellectually in matters relevant to our organization. The Institute will take place over two consecutive weekends in June, the 18th - 19th and the 25th - 26th, with times TBA, but chosen to accommodate as many time zones as possible. Unlike previous Institutes, there is no guiding theme for the 2021 ICS, beyond, of course, an explicit engagement with Marx and the Marxist tradition. 

Seminar Format:

  • Each 90-minute seminar will discuss  pre-circulated papers (15-20 pages each) by three early-career presenters. We ask that the papers be drawn from works in progress. That is, rather than writing a one-off conference paper, we hope that presentations will feature work from dissertation or book manuscript chapters, article drafts, or other developed works that might benefit from the feedback afforded by an MLG audience.
  • During the session, each paper will be allotted 30 minutes in which the author(s) will provide a brief presentation (no more than 5 minutes), followed by 25 minutes of discussion. Each session will have a moderator to facilitate discussion and ensure that each paper/presenter receives their full 30 minutes, as well as a respondent who will be prepared to critically engage with and comment on all three of the session’s papers.
  • Each 90-minute seminar will be limited to 20 participants to foster discussion. Given this capacity limitation, participants  will be expected to have read all three papers in advance. This means you should be prepared to carefully read and engage with 45-60 pages of reading for each session.  You are more than welcome to attend multiple sessions; however, we recommend that you only sign up for at most two sessions initially in order to maximize the number of MLG members who can participate. The seminar schedule and sign-up sheet will be circulated in early March, with the papers themselves circulated in early May. 

Submission Guidelines:

Paper submissions are limited to graduate students, pre-tenure faculty, and contingent or precariously employed faculty. Please submit a short proposal (no more than 250 words), a one-sentence biographical statement, and 3-5 keywords or themes with which your work-in-progess engages to by February 1st, 2021. Presenters will be expected to send a full draft of their paper by May 1st, 2021. 

Please email any questions or concerns regarding the 2021 ICS to