Sussex Centre for Migration Research


CfP - Echoes of Fascism in Contemporary Culture, Politics and Society

Friday 26 May 10:00 until 17:00
Silverstone, University of Sussex



Echoes of Fascism in Contemporary Culture, Politics and Society

Keynote speakers include:

Angela Nagle (author of ‘Ireland Under Austerity’ and ‘Kill All Normies’)

Gholam Khiabany (academic and political journalist, author of ‘Blogistan’)


‘Every age has its own fascism’ – Primo Levi

Within the past year, we have witnessed a number of alarming social and political developments in the UK but also globally. The success of the Brexit campaign in the UK, the election of Donald Trump in the USA and his recent imposition of a travel ban, have all been dependent on racially charged ideologies, and accompanied by a notable rise in racist, misogynist, and homophobic attacks in the UK and in other Western countries, as the Far Right mobilises and becomes more legitimated.


In broad terms, this conference poses questions around our ethical responsibilities (as academics, community organisations, and human beings) vis-à-vis these developments:


  • as the neoliberal consensus frays, how do we respond to resurgent nationalism?

  • how can, or should, we respond to the backlash against pluralism, the rise of the alt-right, and the waves of ‘populist’ movements that are sweeping across the West?


More specifically, the conference will provide an opportunity to consider the historical backdrop of contemporary conservative movements. Parallels have frequently been drawn in the media between, for example, 1930s German fascism and the contemporary political and social landscape. We thus seek to question:


  • to what extent are we currently seeing ‘echoes’ of past fascist movements?

If every age has its own fascism, as Levi has argued:

  • can we learn from the history of fascist movements in a way that will help us to understand our contemporary situation?


  • how can we put these lessons into practice as we mobilise against racism, misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia?

The conference will particularly be interested in (though not restricted to) papers on the following topics: past fascist movements and their bearing on the present; the rise of the alt-right and new right-wing populism, and the role of class within this; the right-wing critique of neoliberal globalisation and the space for alternatives; the current state of, and threats to, human rights, reproductive rights, rights of freedom of movement, LGBTQ rights, and social democracies; feminist activism (past and present); and racialised public discourse and the nationalist common-sense. We also invite papers that consider these issues through the prism of film, visual culture, literature, memory studies, creative practice, etc.


This conference will take place at the University of Sussex (Brighton, UK), and bring together people working in academia, community/activist organisations, think tanks and the media.


Please submit abstracts of max. 300 words to:


Deadline for submissions: March 15th 2017


Matilda Mroz (conference director), Malcolm James, Sally R Munt, Robert Topinka, Victoria Walden of Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies.


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By: Sarah Maddox
Last updated: Tuesday, 14 February 2017