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Contemporary Anarchist Studies is a volume of collected essays by some of the most prominent academics studying anarchism. It attempts to bridge the gap between anarchist activism and theory on the streets and anarchist studies and activism in the academy. Focusing on anarchist theory, pedagogy, methodologies, praxis, and the future, this edition will strike a chord for anyone interested in radical social change. Further, this interdisciplinary work draws connections between anarchism and other liberatory perspectives such as feminism, queer theory, critical race theory, disability studies, post-modernism and post-structuralism, animal liberation, and environmental justice. Featuring original articles in these diverse areas, this volume brings together a wide variety of anarchist voices, stressing anarchism’s tradition of dissent -- even within the anarchist milieu. As such, the book contains a wealth of theory, experience, and practice, and promises to be the only book of its kind featuring these key ideas side-by-side for the convenience of the critical teacher, student, and activist on the street.
Randall Amster, professor of Peace Studies and Social Thought at Prescott College, holds a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and a Ph.D. in Justice Studies from Arizona State University. He has published widely in areas including anarchism, ecology, social movements, homelessness, and peace education. He is the author of Street People and the Contested Realms of Public Space (LFB Scholarly, 2004), co-editor (with Pat Lauderdale) of Lives in the Balance: Perspectives on Global Injustice and Inequality (Brill, 1997), and co-editor (with Martha Trenna Valado) of Ethics and Advocacy in Research with Homeless People (forthcoming, 2008). He is a regular manuscript reviewer for a number of scholarly journals and publishers, and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Contemporary Justice Review.
Abraham DeLeon, Ph.D. is a professor at Rochester University. His dissertation, “Are we simulating the status quo? A critical analysis of selected simulations used in social studies classrooms,” analyzes text-based Social Studies simulations and the ideology that they contain. His areas of interest include critical theory, Social Studies education, critical pedagogy, and cultural studies.
Luis A. Fernandez, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Northern Arizona University. He has worked for several research institutions, including the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Dr. Fernandez serves on the board of directors for the Society for the Study of Social Problems and is a founding member of the Institute for the Study of Dissent and Social Control (http://www.dissensio.org). He is the author of numerous articles and has a forthcoming book entitled Policing Dissent: Social Control and the Anti-globalization Movement, to be published by Rutgers University Press.
Anthony J. Nocella, II, a professor in Criminology and Sociology at Le Moyne College is a Social Science Ph.D. student at Syracuse University and a Visiting Scholar at SUNY, Cortland. Nocella's scholarship focuses on critical criminology, social movements, disability studies, environmentalism, peace and conflict transformation. He has provided conflict transformation workshops and classes around the world to NGOs, ROTC, U.S. military, law enforcement, public safety, also in prisons, juvenile halls, and middle and high schools in hopes of increasing the peace and providing skills to revert violent conflicts to nonviolent transformation. He is co-founder of more than ten active political organizations and four academic journals. He has written articles in more than two-dozen publications and is working on his tenth book with Richard Kahn, Greening the Academy (Syracuse University Press).
Deric Shannon is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Connecticut in the Department of Sociology, where he studies Food Not Bombs, prefigurative politics, and the politics of media representations. He is the author of the entry for "Anarchism, Communism, and Socialism" in the Encyclopedia of Modern Revolutions and a longtime libertarian socialist activist with roots in groups like Food Not Bombs and Anti-Racist Action. He runs the independent record label, Wooden Man Records and occasionally co-hosts the feminist radio show, The F-Files, where he has had the honor of talking with fellow radicals like Noam Chomsky, Catharine MacKinnon, and Martha Ackelsberg.
Table of Contents
Notes on Contributors
SECTION ONE: THEORY
Anarchism from Foucault to Rancière
Anarchism, Postmodernity, and Poststructuralism
Two Undecidable Questions for Thinking in Which Anything Goes
Alejandro de Acosta
The Problem with Infoshops and Insurrection: U.S. Anarchism, Movement Building, and the Racial Order
Addressing Violence against Women: Alternatives to State-based Law and Punishment
The Flow of Experiencing in Anarchic Economies
SECTION TWO: METHODOLOGIES
Against Method, Against Authority . . . For Anarchy
Toward a Relational Ethics of Struggle: Embodiment, Affinity, and Affect
Being There: Thoughts on Anarchism and Participatory Observation
Luis A. Fernandez
Anarchism, Academia, and the Avant Garde
Dis-Abling Capitalism and an Anarchism of ‘Radical Equality’ in Resistance to Ideologies of Normalcy
Liat Ben-Moshe, Dave Hill, Anthony J. Nocella, II, and Bill Templer
SECTION THREE: PEDAGOGY
Anarchic Epimetheanism: The Pedagogy of Ivan Illich
Thoughts on Anarchist Pedagogy and Epistemology
William T. Armaline
Accessible Artifact for Community Discussion About Anarchy and Education
Maxwell Schnurer and Laura Hahn
Anarchist Theory as Radical Critique: Challenging Hierarchies and Domination in the Social and "Hard" Sciences
Abraham P. DeLeon and Kurt Love
Infrapolitics and the Nomadic Educational Machine
Anarchism, Education, and the Road to Peace
SECTION FOUR: PRAXIS
As Beautiful as a Brick through a Bank Window: Anarchism, the Academy, and Resisting Domestication
Rethinking Revolution: Total Liberation, Alliance Politics, and a Prolegomena to Resistance Movements in the 21st Century
Anarchy: Foundations in Faith
Anarchism, or the Cultural Logic of Networking
Jeffrey S. Juris
Anarchy Girl Style Now: Riot Grrrl Actions and Practices
Caroline K. Kaltefleiter
Free As a Bird: Natural Anarchism in Action
SECTION FIVE: THE FUTURE
Dark Tidings: Anarchist Politics in the Age of Collapse
Personal Identities and Collective Visions: Reflections on Identity, Community, and Difference
Anarchism: Past, Present, and Utopia
Ruth Kinna and Alex Prichard
Anarchism and Utopia
Anarchy, Utopia, and the State of Things to Come
Who I'd like to meet:
This book is a must read for anyone that wants to understand current activist movements.
- Dr. Steve Best, University of Texas , El Paso, Philosophy
This is an outstanding collection of articles from some of the most prominent academics in the field and I am honored to be part of this powerful and useful project. I recommend this book to everyone and anyone iterested in social change. Finally a book that is diverse in topic and thought on anarchist studies.
- Dr. Lisa Kemmerer, Montana State University , Billings
For anyone wishing to study anarchism, this ought to be required reading. For anyone wishing to practice anarchism, and engage with the theory, this is, indeed, reccomended reading.
- Ramsey Kanaan, PM Press
It's refreshing to see community level issues being dealt with on the academic level. This book offers a rare and important glimpse into grassroots ideas and actions that struggle to change our world from the perspectives of both avtivists and academics.
- Leslie James Pickering, Former Earth Liberation Press Officer
A timely and stimulating book that forces us to reconsider both the status quo and fundamental questions pertinent to our cherished notions of democracy. This book will challenge you to think in new ways about age-old issues and is to be highly recommended to anyone who has even a passing interest in the future of humanity.
- Dr. Nicola Taylor, Central Queensland University, Australia
In a culture bent on the manufacture of an expedient internalized domestication of both the human and non-human and the eradication of anything that might still hint of wildness, this unique and original book is essential reading for anyone interested in radical change.
- Dr. Carol Gigliotti, Emily Carr Institute, Canada
When I taught Sociology I would ask an auditorium of 300-500 students how many studied or discussed anarchism as part of their education in high school or in college. Often no hands went up – sometimes one or two. Most students admitted they had not read anything by an anarchist or about anarchism. Now, as an academic dean, I am shocked and dismayed at how invisible anarchism is to university curricula. Contemporary Anarchist Studies is a book long over due. It debunks anarchism stereotypes perpetrated by popular media and political/corporate zealots. This book shows the theoretical logic and the empirical usefulness of an anarchist view of the world. If adopted for university classes, it will represent an important step toward expanding the theoretical parameters of what is now a very narrow view of history and socio-political thought.
- Dr. John Alessio, St. Cloud State University, Sociology
Contemporary Anarchist Studies is an urgently needed text at this current historical juncture when powerful arguments for anarchism are needed that are capable of loosening the death grip of capitalist ideology. This book contains important essays by some of the world's leading anarchist scholars; it's a necessary instrument in today's anti-capitalist toolkit.
- Dr. Peter McLaren, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
In a world where the leaders are, at best, delusional, we need to rethink what leadership is. When politicians are more interested in preserving profit, than people, and where a $1600.00 television is considered a 'steal of a deal', we need to realize that our government and political parties do not deserve to lead. They have left the real Americans well behind.
- Dr. Maury Harris, Chair, Environmental Studies, University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX
Too often we treat activists and academics as opposed groups. These authors not only show us how to bridge the divide but also insist that we must see activism and academia as collaborative forces in the fight against oppression. This is a timely and necessary book.
- Matthew J. Walton, composer of Sundance, an opera about Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier
Contemporary Anarchist Studies comes at precisely the right moment in history. While governments and corporations continue to consolidate political and economic power, individuals are actively subverting totalitarianism in a variety of ways. From Anarchist theory and pedagogy in the academy, to the practices of anarchists in the streets, this book collects the insights of many of the most well known names in the field, and provides both a cogent analysis of our present as well as a hopeful direction for our future.
Dr. Corey Lewis, Humboldt State University, English
A first of its kind, this groundbreaking book explores the intimate details of anarchism from wide and academically sound perspectives. Edited and written by some of the foremost scholars in the field, this book breaks through the barriers of prejudice, assumptions, and misunderstandings. Anarchism is a complex and thorough philosophy that is impacting more and more communities worldwide. Understanding its principles and scope is essential for all activists, academics, and anyone interested in human organization. This book is required reading for anyone wanting to gain a better understanding of anarchism and its impacts on the world.
- Adam Wilson, CEO, www.Downbound.com
Over the last decade or so, anarchism has been rapidly eclipsing Marxism as the most productive and perceptive framework through which activists might understand and, more importantly, change the world. Academic acceptance has taken much longer: not because there aren't plenty of anarchist intellectuals out there, but as the effect of an entrenched and increasingly outmoded culture of scholarly inquiry. Contemporary Anarchist Studies promises to change all that. This impressive and comprehensive collection includes some of today's most exciting anarchist thinkers working in a broad range of disciplines. Tackling questions of theory, praxis, pedagogy, methodology, and much more, this timely volume breathes new life into engaged social theory. Highly recommended!
- Charles Weigl, AK Press
At a time when corporate, government, and military power has grown more concentrated than ever, not only in the United States but globally, this volume will provide the reader with urgently-needed critical perspectives. It will be of enormous value to critical scholars, journalists, politicians, and activists in both the cultural and political arenas.
- Carl Boggs, Professor of Social Sciences, National University, Los Angeles
This is a must-read volume for any journalist writing about contemporary social justice movements. Its mix of activism and academia will go far in dispelling the superficial, scare-mongering depictions of anarchists in mainstream media.
-Will Potter, GreenIsTheNewRed.com
For far too long it has been taken as a given that the State is essential to any proper organization of social, political, and economic relations in the contemporary world. Not since the early days of the Modern School Movement, circa 1910-20, has there been a comprehensive and coherent effort to interrogate and transcend this self-evidently false assumption, or to explore the viability of alternatives to the prevailing statist order. Hence, the recent and ongoing (re)emergence of anarchism as a focus of serious intellectual engagement is cause for celebration. This book, presenting the best overview of Anarchist Studies yet available, is a must read for anyone dis-eased by the current conceptual status quo.
author of ACTS OF REBELLION and ON THE JUSTICE OF ROOSTING CHICKENS
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