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Was South Australia Born Capitalist? - public lecture by Humphrey McQueen

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Napier Building (Lecture Theatre 102)

The University of Adelaide

North Terrace

Adelaide, SA 5000

Australia

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The Department of History and University Collections at the University of Adelaide present a fascinating lecture by Humphrey McQueen as part of Foundational Fictions in South Australian History, a provocative series of free public lectures that challenge established myths and narratives about South Australia’s past.


Was South Australia Born Capitalist?

Was South Australia born capitalist? The presence of ‘free labour’, backing by considerable sums of money-capital, and fairly effective state apparatuses have allowed many historians to proceed as if capitalism had been unloaded from the Buffalo. This lecture will challenge this conventional wisdom by contending that no answer can be proffered without first refining our definition of ‘capital’ and thence of ‘capitalism’. A second line of inquiry asks which mode of production was dominant in the other Australasian colonies, the United States of America, and even Britain. From there, some possible birthdates for capitalism in South Australia will be considered. This endeavour will be undertaken through the microscope of the chapter on Wakefield in the first volume of Karl Marx’s Capital.


The Foundational Fictions in South Australian History lecture series continues every Wednesday night at the University of Adelaide from 4 October until 1 November 2017. Speakers include Stuart Macintyre, Lucy Treloar, Jane Lydon, and Robert Foster.

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Napier Building (Lecture Theatre 102)

The University of Adelaide

North Terrace

Adelaide, SA 5000

Australia

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