Every year since 1991, York University has hosted the International Political Economy and Ecology (IPEE) Summer School organized by the Graduate Programs in Environmental Studies, Geography (Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change) and Politics (Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies). Professor Leo Panitch of the Department of Politics, who passed away in late 2020, was among the founders of the IPEE Summer School, an event that presents a unique interdisciplinary opportunity for graduate students at York – but also for students and activists across Canada and beyond – to investigate a salient issue within the field of political economy and ecology.
International Political Economy and Ecology Summer School
Racial Capitalism: From Slavery to Trumpism
Professor David McNally, Cullen Distinguished Professor of History and Business Department of History, University of Houston
Professor Heather MacRae, Department of Politics, York University
This course examines the concept of racial capitalism from both historical and theoretical angles. It investigates the multiple origins of theories of racial capitalism, beginning with writings from South Africa in the 1970s. It brings these into conversation with parallel reflections from the Caribbean and the United States. At the same time, it explores the multilayered theoretical inflections of racial capitalism in relation to feminism, Marxism, Indigenous Studies, and the Black Radical Tradition. From a historical perspective, racial capitalism will be analyzed in connection with New World slavery, settler colonialism, the “primitive accumulation” of capital, gender and social reproduction, and the rise of right-wing populism and far-right movements in late neoliberalism. We will also consider the use of racial capitalism as an organizing and strategic framework for movements for indigenous liberation, police abolition, anti-colonial struggle, and anti-racist socialism. Foundational texts from John Locke and Karl Marx will be read alongside the work of theorists such as Neville Alexander, CLR James, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Sylvia Wynter, Robin D.G. Kelley, Joanne Barker, Cedric Robinson, Jennifer Morgan, and others.
Professor David McNally is an academic-activist and the NEH Cullen Distinguished Professor of History and Business at the University of Houston. He was previously a professor of Political Science at York University, and was chair of the Department of Political Science for several years. He holds his Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. from York University.
Professor McNally specializes in the history and political economy of capitalism. He is the author of seven books and over 60 scholarly articles on issues of race, migration, gender and social reproduction in the development of global capitalism. Professor McNally has won the 2012 Paul Sweezy Award for his book Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance (2010), and the 2012 Deutscher Memorial Award for Monsters of the Market: Zombies, Vampires and Global Capitalism (2011). Professor McNally has also authored Political Economy and the rise of Capitalism (1988), Against the Market: Political Economy, Market Socialism and the Marxist Critique (1993), Bodies of Meaning: Studies of Language, Labor, and Liberation (2000), and Another World is Possible: Globalization and Anti-Capitalism (2001). Professor McNally's latest book, Blood and Money: War, Slavery, Finance, and Empire (2020) is now being translated into German.
He has a long history of involvement with and support for social justice movements and organizations.
The Graduate Program in Political Science at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Assistant to learn more.