Sunday, 20 September 2009

Post-Lapsarian Anarchism

Two events for the libertarians out there. The first is this:

Imperceptible Strategies, Unidentified Autonomous Organizations
:: A Drifting Seminar :: London, October 23rd, 2009 ::

Anarchist and autonomous politics are often associated, in a kneejerk way, with a celebration of chaos and disorder: a rejection of all forms of organization. The reduction of radical politics to a cheap joke (‘anarchist organization, what’s that?’) comes to substitute for an actual understanding of autonomous organizational practices. Far from rejecting organization all together, the history of autonomous politics contains a wealth of different modes of organizing, from the formation of temporary autonomous zones to affinity group models, maroon communities to networks and collectives.

These are forms of organizing that not always acknowledged as being organizations because they do not conform to what it is assumed organizations necessarily are: durable, static, and hierarchical. This understanding of organization obscures and makes difficult an actual engagement with the merits and weaknesses of different forms of organizing. But what would be found if rather than working from a fixed and unchanging concept of organization, one that excludes temporary forms of organization from consideration, it was attempted to tease out the organizational dynamics from all the temporary alliances and alliances that appear and disappear?

Might it be possible that we are already enmeshed in a world of unidentified autonomous organizations, a milieu of potential liberation that has remained imperceptible because of a narrow understanding of what organizations are? And might it not be that this imperceptibly, rather than being a condition to be addressed as a problem, could rather be part of building of what Robin D.G. Kelley calls an infrapolitical sphere: a space for politics coming out of people’s everyday experiences that do not express themselves as radical political organization at all.

The aim of this encounter is to explore the connections between anarchism, autonomism, and the revolutions of everyday life, drawing out conceptual tools useful to developing and deepening the politics of these infrapolitical spaces and organization. How can we strategize and build from the connections and movements of the undercommons, working from everyday encounters to compose new forms of social movement? How can we connect and work between spontaneous forms of resistance without forcing them into some larger form that ossifies them?

This event will not be based around formal presentations, but rather will rather take the form of a drifting seminar. Participants will be asked to read several pieces of text that will form the basis of discussion and exploration.

Registration for the event will be approximately 10 quid. There will be some limited travel funding available. If you wish to be considered for this funding indicate this when you register.
For registration and information contact: stevphen [NO SPAM] autonomedia [DOT] org / Sponsored by the Anarchist Studies Network & Minor Compositions

The second is this series of seminars, for details contact Saul Newman:
The Libertarian Impulse
From October 2009 until March 2010 RUPE will hold a series of seminars on the theme of libertarian politics and theory. With the collapse of state socialism, the unseemly decline of social democracy, and with the devolving of liberalism into a narrow politics of security, we believe it is high time to turn to political heresies like anarchism, left-libertarianism and autonomist Marxism, which have existed until now on the margins of more recognized political traditions. With the unprecedented deployment and expansion of state power and surveillance post-9/11, and with the symptomatic crisis of legitimacy experienced by representative party politics, we think it is important and timely to investigate alternative sites of the political – the autonomous and anti-systemic social movements and activist networks which have proliferated across the global horizon in recent years. The series will focus on different ways of thinking about individual and collective liberty, difference and equality, as well as political identities, practices, modes of organization, action and democracy outside the state order.

This seminar series will explore related themes of: anarchist theory, utopian thought, cosmopolitanism, the politics of direct action, new social movements, social liberty, autonomous politics, piracy and biopolitics, and continental radical political philosophy. It will bring together a series of experts and thinkers from different disciplines – Politics, Sociology, Anthropology, Philosophy and Social Policy – who are all moved in some way by the libertarian impulse.

The seminars will be held on Tuesday evenings 6-8pm in the Senior Common Room (Level 2 RHB), Goldsmiths. Drinks will be provided, and everyone is invited. The program is as follows:
Autumn Term
6 October – Professor Kevin McDonald (Sociology, Goldsmiths): 'Between autonomy and vulnerability: grammars of action and experience in movements today'

13 October – Dr. David Graeber (Anthropology, Goldsmiths): Title TBC

10 November – Dr. Carl Levy (Politics, Goldsmiths): ‘Anarchism and Cosmopolitanism’

17 November – Dr. Simon Griffiths (Politics, Goldsmiths): Title TBC

1 December – Professor Gianni Vattimo (Philosophy, Turin): Title TBC, Venue TBC

Spring Term
19 January – Dr. Alberto Toscano (Sociology, Goldsmiths): ‘Freedom, Claustrophobia and Colonisation: Lessons from the Anarchist Geography of Elisee Reclus’

2 February – Dr. Ruth Kinna (Politics, Loughborough): ‘William Morris: Time & Utopia’

9 February – Dr. Nicola Montagna (Criminology, Middlesex): Title TBC

2 March – Amedeo Policante (Politics, Goldsmiths): Title TBC

16 March – Dr. Saul Newman (Politics, Goldsmiths): Booklaunch: ‘The Politics of Postanarchism’

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