In the search for a contributor to write a book chapter on the dissemination and reception of Marx's Capital in Angola and/or Mozambique

Babak Amini's picture
Call for Publications
April 10, 2017
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Intellectual History, Labor History / Studies, Political History / Studies, Social History / Studies

Professor Marcello Musto and I are editing a book on the dissemination and the reception of Marx's Capital in the world, to be published for its 150th anniversary in 2017. We are looking for qualified scholars to write the chapter on the dissemination of Capital in Portuguese-speaking African countries (especially Angola and Mozambique). If you would like to contribute to this exciting project, or if you know a few scholars whom you believe would be able to conduct such a historical research, please do no hesitate to contact me.

Please see below for the project description.


The Dissemination of Marx's Capital

in the World (1867-2017)

Edited by Marcello Musto and Babak Amini

The purpose of this project is to reconstruct the history of the dissemination and reception of Marx’s Capital throughout the world. This collective research will be published on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Capital (1867 - 2017) and will represent the only complete account of the translations of Marx’s magnum opus ever made.

The political relevance of this collective work goes well beyond its rigorous scholarly framework and ambition. Despite the predictions that consigned it to eternal oblivion after the fall of Berlin wall, Marx’s thought has returned to the limelight in recent years. Faced with a deep new crisis of capitalism, many authors are again looking to a thinker whose ideas in the past were often wrongly associated with the worse aspects of "actually existing socialism", and who was too hastily dismissed after 1989. 

Since the eruption of the economic crisis in 2008, hundreds of leading newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations have featured repeatedly discussed Marx as being the most relevant thinker of our time and discussed the contemporary relevance of his ideas. There has been a “Marx renaissance" almost everywhere. All around the world, university courses and conferences on his thought are back in fashion. Capital became once more a bestseller in Germany, while a manga version of it has been brought out in Japan. In China a huge new edition of the collected works of Marx and Engels is being published (with translations from the German and not, as in the past, from Russian), while in Latin America a new demand for Marx has made itself felt in politics. Also in Europe, although with many contradictions, the critique to capitalism and to his contemporary dogmas is back on the political scene. 

Tracing the history of the dissemination of Marx's Capital is a serious attempt to study carefully the different kind of Marxisms that were created - and partially still exist - in different countries, and therefore to help to rethink the space in which the anti-capitalist Left can reorganize its political initiative today in the world.

This research will follow a homogeneous and systematic approach to trace the dissemination of all three volumes Capital (with particular attention to Volume I). Among other things, each contributor will be called upon to list and reconstruct the story of all different translations of Capital in her/his language, to write about the reception of Capital from both a political and theoretical perspective, and to evaluate the importance of Capital in terms of the overall undertanding of Marxism and, more broadly, Socialism in her/his language and/or country.

The volume will consist of about 50 chapters for an approximate length of 160.000 words. For more details, please see the tentative Table of Contents. The submission deadline for texts shall be June 1, 2017. The length of your article should be maximum of 4,000 words. It will be an unique editorial project, not only because it has been never realized before, but also because it will be very different from the many conferences and publications that will be dedicated to Capital in 2017 (most of them focused on Marx's analysis of contemporary capitalism - a topic widely discussed after the eruption of the economic crisis in 2008).

This work will be first published in English in the prestigious series under the title  The Routledge Handbook of Marx’s Capital, to complement the forthcoming Handbook of Marxian Economics. This edited collection will be translated into other languages (certainly in Chinese and French).

Appendix: A few points on the content and structure

The research on the editions of Capital collected in the proposed volume will be undertaken in all the countries where the work has been translated in full. Countries sharing a common language (for example: Germany, Austria and Switzerland for German; Cuba, Argentina, Spain and Mexico for Spanish; the USA, Britain, and Canada for English; Brazil and Portugal for Portuguese), where the dissemination of Capital took place more or less in parallel, have been dealt with in as many common chapters. Similarly, chapters referring to countries where Capital was translated into more than one language (India, China, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia) include the dissemination history for all the languages concerned. Moreover, since some of these countries no longer exist as such, the chapter headings bear the names that they had at the time when the Capital was published there.

The sequence of chapters will follow the chronological order of publication of Capital. Each chapter contains a detailed bibliography, which is subdivided in such a way as to highlight: 1) the complete editions of the Capital; 2) the partial editions; 3) where necessary, other bibliographical references.

Since the research uncovered several hundred books or articles dealing with Capital, considerations of space will make possible to include only the principal ones. All the titles of non-English books and articles will appear first in the original language (transliterated in the cases of Japanese, Chinese, Persian, Greek and Korean) and then in an English translation. In the case of books and articles already translated into English, they will always be cited under the title of that translation, even if it differs from a literal one.

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