‘Rosa Luxemburg; Her Life, Thought and Legacy’
BRLSI, Bath, 4 May 2012
Above: Rory Castle, Professor Jacqueline Rose & Marie-Louise Luxemburg and poster of the event.
On Friday 4 May, Swansea PhD student Rory Castle joined Professor Jacqueline Rose (Queen Mary, University of London) and Marie- Louise Luxemburg in conversation about the latter’s great aunt, Rosa Luxemburg. The event was hosted by the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute and attracted a large audience, who were keen to interact with the speakers.
The evening opened with a talk by Ms. Luxemburg about her great-aunt’s life. She provided a vivid portrait of life in late-nineteenth century Poland, before outlining Rosa Luxemburg’s achievements in the Polish, German and international socialist movements. Ms. Luxemburg also touched on the impact of Rosa’s political activities on the Luxemburg family, many of whom had travelled to Bath for the event from as far away as Vilnius, Lithuania.
Following the introduction, Rory Castle and Prof. Jacqueline Rose began their discussion around three main areas; Luxemburg’s ideas about the relationship between socialism and democracy, her writings on Revolution and her legacy in the twenty-first century. Next, the floor was opened up to questions. These came in abundance, on subjects including Rosa’s legacy in East Germany, her relationship with Lenin and the escape from justice of her murderers. There were so many questions that the evening was extended in order to accommodate as many as possible. The evening was a fantastic opportunity to engage with a wider public on the life and ideas of one of the twentieth century’s most important thinkers.
Jacqueline Rose is Professor of English at Queen Mary, University of London. She recently reviewed The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg in the London Review of Books and is currently researching for a book on several prominent women of the twentieth century, including Rosa Luxemburg.
Rory Castle is researching his PhD on Rosa Luxemburg and German socialism at Swansea University. His blog about Rosa Luxemburg is at www.rosaluxemburgblog.wordpress.com.
Marie- Louise Luxemburg is a director of the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute. She is also the great niece of Rosa Luxemburg.