Race, class and identity

A one-day conference hosted by International Socialism

Saturday 18 May, 10am – 5pm

Questions of identity and their relation to racism and oppression are centre stage in these divided and dangerous times.

This conference looked at the impact of renewed ‘identity politics’ on those who want to fight for genuine liberation and get rid of capitalism

Videos of the day:


Professor Tahir Abbas: Assistant Professor of Security Studies at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs of Leiden University at The Hague and Visiting Senior Fellow at The London School of Economics and Political Science. His current research interests are the intersectionality of ethnicity, Islamophobia, radicalisation and terrorism.

Dr Talat Ahmed: Lecturer in South Asian History at the University of Edinburgh, author of Mohandas Gandhi: Experiments in Civil Disobedience (Pluto Press 2019) and Co-Director of the Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Alex Callinicos: editor of International Socialism and professor of European Studies at King’s College London. Author of Race and Class and Imperialism and Global Political Economy.

Esme Choonara: member of the International Socialism editorial board and co-author of Say It Loud: Marxism and the Fight against Racism.

Professor Mike Cole: professor at the University of East London. Author of Theresa May, the Hostile Environment and Public Pedagogies of Hate and Threat and Trump, the Alt-Right and Public Pedagogies of Hate and for Fascism; What is To Be Done?

Rob Ferguson: Author of Antisemitism, the Far Right, Zionism and the Left.

Leah Levane: Co chair Jewish Voice for Labour.

Hassan Mahamdallie: playwright, author and deputy editor of Critical Muslim. Hassan worked as a campaigning journalist, covering major events including the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, state injustices and black deaths in custody and was a senior strategist at Arts Council England for nine years.

Ken Olende: Researching a PhD on “Rethinking ‘blackness’ as a racial identity” at Brighton University. He has previously worked as a tutor for the Workers’ Educational Association, a journalist on Socialist Worker and editor of UAF’s Unity magazine.

Selma Oumari: anti-racist activist and member of the NPA in France.

Brian Richardson: barrister and editor of Say It Loud: Marxism and the Fight against Racism and Tell It Like It Is: How Our Schools Fail Black Children.

Nita Sanghera: Vice President, UCU (in a personal capacity).

Professor Gurnam Singh: a leading thinker on “race”, racism and anti-racism in higher education. His current research focusses on reducing differentials in student attainment and decolonising the curriculum.

Further reading

Say it Loud! Marxism and the Fight Against Racism (various authors). 

Mistaken Identity by Asad Haider, reviewed by Esme Choonara

Interview with Gary Younge: the contradictions of identity

Muslim identities and Islamophobia

Islamophobia: the othering of Europe’s Muslims by Hassan Mahamdallie

Islamophobia, free speech and Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses

Antisemitism, Zionism and Jewish identity

Antisemitism and the far right today by Rob Ferguson

Jews and the Left: the Rise and Fall of a Political Alliance and The British Left and Zionism: History of a Divorce, reviewed by Miriam Scharf

Right-wing populism and identity politics

Donald Trump: a balance sheet by Megan Trudell

Austria: fascism in government by David Albrich

Taking on the far right by Sally Campbell

Fascism in Europe today by Mark L Thomas

Fighting the far right on the campuses by Lewis Nielsen and Naima Omar

Decolonising education

Decolonising the Arts Curriculum: Perspectives on Higher Education (various).

The Gentrification of African Studies by Haythem Guesmi

Black identity

Politically black is back by Antony Hamilton

Marxism and Eurocentrism

Marx at the Margins by Kevin B Anderson, reviewed here by Ben Selwyn

Marx and race: a Eurocentric analysis? by Ken Olende