Call for Papers

Historical Materialism Cluj-Napoca 

August 29-31, 2024

Polycrisis across Divides

(updated March 2024)

That we live in a state of permanent polycrisis is a well-established truth: ecological crisis, economic depressions, political failure, social breakdown, wars, and pandemics have all been piling up, intersecting and escalating one another in implacable ways. What is less clear is the way in which this complex global polycrisis is articulated and manifesting in the various sub-components of the world system, across the divides of this multipolar and multi-imperialist world capitalist formation. Particularly, but not exclusively, this first Historical Materialism conference in Eastern Europe will be interested in the specific place of the region in today’s polycritical world: what is the role of the old “Second World” in today’s global context dominated by a still hegemonic and expanding (while also retreating) First World and a fragmented, dominated, yet increasingly assertive Global South? But also, what is the place and meaning of the former socialist bloc in the global history of Marxism, critical theory and social movements? Which of its legacies are worth rediscovering, resurrecting, or instead should be discontinued?

Besides the streams covering problematics pertaining to Eastern Europe, the conference welcomes presentations and panels on all the traditional themes and topics of the Historical Materialism series, as well as discussions on the most pressing and critical aspects of today’s world, with a particular emphasis on materialist readings of recent developments in media, technology & popular culture.

Whilst we encourage papers and panels that address these themes, the Historical Materialism Cluj Conference seeks to provide a space for critical Marxist theory and research across the globe and the range of disciplines and interests. Other papers and panels that enrich Marxist understandings – historical and contemporary – of theory and philosophy, culture, politics, political economy and societies under modern capitalism are also welcome.

The organizational committee of Historical Materialism Cluj 2024 can be reached at

Please note that individual papers and panels should include:

  • Names of participants with e-mails and affiliations, and clear indication of a corresponding author where there is more than one participant
  • Title of paper or panel – In the case of a paper, an abstract of no longer than 300 words. In the case of panels, an overarching description of 300 words and as relevant, abstracts for individual papers.

Partial submissions may be rejected if they are incomplete. Please submit panels here and papers here.  

We invite submissions from all producers of knowledge, working within or outside institutions (researchers, students, educators, activists, organizers, cultural workers, artists, writers, translators, editors, journalists, etc.), in a variety of formats. Apart from papers and panels, which can be submitted via the online form, we warmly welcome proposals for roundtables, book launches, debates, workshops, etc. Please send a brief description (300 words) of your planned event, including bios of all participants to:

We still believe that this particular format of the in-person conference offers a unique and irreplaceable form that brings together comrades, enables discussion, helps the dissemination of new and original research, creates research networks and communities, and builds solidarity. This is why we will not normally accept online presentations. We would also note that we do engage in online broadcasts and podcasts all year round for such sessions.

As in the past, the conference ethos is strictly egalitarian. This means everyone is invited to contribute in a comradely spirit, the conference is open to all currents of critical Marxist theory and we expect all presenters to attend the entire conference, not just their own session (with no ‘cameo appearances’). The conference is an important part of the broader Historical Materialism project – including the journal, the book series, and the global network of HM conferences – and we want to encourage all conference participants to get involved with these different elements, for example by submitting their conference paper to the journal.


Conference streams:

  1. Eastern Europe: Socialist Traditions and Contemporary Politics, Society & Economy
  2. Ecosocialism and Ecological Crisis
  3. Feminism: Theory, Practice, Politics, and Debates
  4. Care Work and the Value of Labor
  5. State and Territory
  6. Marxist Thought and Critical Theory Today
  7. Literature, Film & Media: New Perspectives from the Left
  8. From the Techno-Scientific Revolution to Big Tech


Deadline for abstracts [EXTENDED]: April 15, 2024

Conference fees: 

     Solidarity donations: 150 EUR;

     High-waged: 100 EUR;

     Mid-waged: 50 EUR;

     Low-waged: 20 EUR;

     Unwaged, students, freelancers, and unaffiliated: free.

We offer free accommodation for unwaged, unaffiliated, freelancers, and student participants, within our availabilities, as well as affordable or free catering options for all conference participants. Updates will follow.

Check out our Keynote Speakers here.

This conference is organised under the aegis of Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory (, which supports a journal ( a book series ( and Marxist conferences across the globe. The conference is part of the PHILSE project ran by Janovics Center for Screen and Performing Arts Studies at BBU Cluj-Napoca and partnered by