Each semester we pick a new book to read which relates to different aspects of global politics, economy and society. The book is chosen democratically by the group and we then meet every two weeks to discuss a section. Initially, the reading group was intended to have an International Relations focus, but this quickly spread to include all aspects of the GPES research remit.
From September 2021, the group chose to read Bhattacharyya's (2018) Rethinking Racial Capitalism. For more information, please email Alex Sutton (email@example.com).
From January 2021, the group chose to read Nadine El-Enany’s (B)Ordering Britain. For information on 2021-22 and meeting times, please email Alex Sutton (firstname.lastname@example.org)..
Semester 1: 2020-21
From September 2020, we read Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing’s The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. This proved quite divisive with the group split down the middle as to the importance of the text.
Semester 2: 2019-20
During the second semester, we decided to read and discuss our colleagues’ published work within GPES. Readings included chapters of Chris Hesketh’s book from 2017, Spaces of Capital/Spaces of Resistance, Maia Pal’s 2018 article, ‘My capitalism is bigger than yours!’ from Historical Materialism, and Alex Sutton and Pinar Donmez 2020 article, ‘British Immigration Policy, Depoliticization and Brexit’ from Comparative European Politics.
Semester 1: 2019-20
At the start of the academic year, we decided to look at Pierre Bourdieu’s classic piece of social theory, The Logic of Practice. Due to prior commitments, sociologists couldn’t attend this semester’s reading group, so critical discussion was primarily oriented around political philosophy.
Semester 2: 2018-19
From February 2019, we read Lauren Berlant’s Cruel Optimism. This book split the group, with some colleagues finding it a challenging but fascinating exploration of desire in the face of precarious capitalist existence. Others found the book’s central thesis pessimistic and difficult to engage.
Semester 1: 2018-19
From September 2018, the group had a great time reading and discussing Silvia Federici’s Marxist Feminist text, Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation. Though the chapters were not all equally convincing, the whole reading group found this rich text deeply rewarding. A firm favourite.
Semester 2: 2017-18
During the second semester of 2017-18, the group read Angela Y Davis’s classic text, Women, Race and Class. This led to fascinating discussions. The group had no problem in understanding the appeal of this timeless book.
Semester 1: 2017-18
The first book we picked to look at in our reading group was Peo Hansen and Stefan Jonsson’s Eurafrica. This brought together the group’s interests in development, postcolonialism and the (dis)integration of the EU in the context of Brexit. It tells a fascinating and little-known origin story that demands more attention.