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(en) US, Plainfield, Vermont, Renewing the Anarchist Tradition - A SCHOLARLY CONFERENCE September 24-26, 2004 - Calling for Proposals

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 20 May 2004 08:59:04 +0200 (CEST)

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The Renewing the Anarchist Tradition (RAT) conference,
cosponsored by the Institute for Anarchist Studies and Institute for
Social Ecology, aims to provide a scholarly space in which to both
reexamine and reinvigorate the social and political tradition of anarchism.
RAT is meant as one contribution to the project of developing a
more rigorous as well as contemporary theoretical framework for
anarchism, and to assist in nurturing new generations of
anti-authoritarian public intellectuals. Thus, as opposed to
conferences that attempt to create anarchist organizations,
statements of purpose, or focus on "lifestyle anarchism" or
how-to workshops, RAT brings together anarchist and libertarian
socialist scholars, activists, educators, writers, organizers,
students, and others to explore how we make sense of our own
tradition; how we understand anarchism in the context of our
lives, movements, and present-day social conditions; and how the
conceptual tools that the anarchist tradition provides can and
need to be rethought.

Anarchism has tended to be a dynamic theory and practice, and
its influence in anti-capitalist struggles around the world has
become keenly apparent of late. We are, as it were, inside history,
and if anarchism is to continue to be relevant to this moment of
global transformations, it must not only understand the present
but also scrutinize its own internal taboos and tensions; it must
not only be able to describe contemporary forms of hierarchy and
oppression but also articulate openings for a radical reshaping of
social relations and material conditions along ethical lines. The
work that all of us attempt to do now, the ideas and values we
struggle to put into words and practice, will have profound
implications for how this historical moment structures the future.
RAT is a modest addition to the grand anarchist project of the
present to ensure a freer tomorrow for all.

As in the past, we hope that RAT continues to raise difficult
questions--questions ranging from the character of social change
to the ongoing relevance of categories such as class, community,
and labor; from the changing shape of the state and capital to
emergent forms of both domination and resistance in a
globalizing world; from anarchism’s relation to geopolitical
concerns such as terrorism and war to its ability to grapple with
issues of identity such as race, gender, and sexuality; to a host of
other controversial, contested, or even uncharted subjects.

Alongside a participatory weekend of presentations, panels, and
debates in a supportive atmosphere, the beautiful rural Vermont
setting affords the opportunity to meet other anarchists and
radicals, relax around a campfire, or enjoy the fall foliage. RAT
will also include a mini-bookfair, free literature tables, and
possible film screenings.

DUE JULY 15, 2004

We are now accepting proposals for individual presentations and
panels/panelists. People of color, women, those outside
academia, and others often excluded from scholarly life--due to
gender, sexuality, class, and so forth--are especially encouraged
to send in proposals.

We’re looking for individual presentations that attempt to
analyze and/or critique current social relations and dilemmas;
share work and ideas on anarchism’s relevance and potential
as a political/social theory as well as a practice; grapple with and
constructively challenge/build on standard anarchist notions in
light of a radically changing world; and cover a wide variety of
perspectives and scholarly disciplines.

While you can also propose a full panel, including all panelists,
please consider simply proposing yourself for a panel topic or two
and we will put the panel together based on a diversity of
viewpoints. Specifically, we would like to see panelist proposals
for the following topics: globalization; the role of anarchists in
international solidarity work; the changing character of
statism/anti-statism, capitalism/anti-capitalism, or class/labor
today; movement building and anarchism’s relation to other
social movements; anarchism and Marxism; anarchism and
poststructuralism; anarchism and identity (in particular, race,
gender, and sexuality); anarchism and ecology; anarchist
responses to contemporary concerns such as terrorism and the
"war on terrorism," new legal regimes and policing, war, the rise
of fundamentalism and nationalism, or the U.S. presidential
elections; and anarchism and its relation to its own history. Please
feel free to propose other ideas, of course.

Individual presentation and panel proposals should be no more
than one typed page each; remember, you can also propose
yourself as a panelist and let us set up the panel itself. Please
include a presentation or panel title and brief description, a few
sentences about yourself and/or other proposed panelists, and
complete contact information (address, phone, and e-mail).
Indicate if you feel comfortable having your presentation/panel
audiotaped, and if so, if you would be amendable to
post-conference "publication" of such audio on a Web site or CD.
Keep in mind that presenters are asked to limit individual
presentations to about 30 to 40 minutes, and end by framing a
question or two for the participants in order to facilitate another
30 to 40 minutes of discussion. Panelists should each prepare
about 10 to 15 minutes of material, leaving time for discussion as
well. Our intent with the panels is to stimulate lively, but friendly
debate, so again, a variety of perspectives on each panel is

Proposals are due by July 15, 2004, and should be e-mailed to
both co-organizers:

John Petrovato at jpetrovato@hotmail.com, and Cindy Milstein at

If you don’t have access to e-mail, mail two copies of your
typed proposal(s) to Cindy Milstein, 19 French Street, Barre,
Vermont 05641. We will inform you about the outcome of your
proposal(s) by August 1. Please note: all presenters must also
register and pay for the conference, and space is limited, so
don’t delay.


This year’s RAT will take place on the Goddard College
campus in Plainfield, Vermont, about nine miles east of
Vermont’s capital, Montpelier. We will also utilize the nearby
Institute for Social Ecology’s facilities for camping (weather
depending) and socializing.


RAT will get underway mid-afternoon on Friday, September 24,
followed by dinner and then an opening panel at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 25, will be filled with multiple, simultaneous
presentations and panels throughout the day. Presentations and
panels continue until 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 26, when we
close the doors on another RAT conference. Descriptions of
presentations and panels TBA (stay tuned to
www.homemadejam.org/renew, or if you would like to be added
to our occasional e-announcement list, please send us your
e-mail address for updates).


A number of bookstores and publishers, such as Raven Used
Books and AK Press, will be present at RAT as part of this
year’s mini-bookfair. Tables are available for bookstores,
publishers, and infoshops throughout the weekend for $35, but
you must reserve and pay for a table in advance. Tables will also
be available at no charge for free literature.


Plainfield is accessible by car. From the South or North, take I-89
to the Montpelier (Vermont) exit, then take Route 2 East to
Plainfield. Goddard College is on your left just before you enter
Plainfield Village. Park in the first lot on your right and follow the
signs to RAT.

Both Amtrak and Greyhound/Vermont Transit offer train and bus
service, respectively, to Montpelier. Limited pick-ups and
drop-offs will be available, or you can call a taxi during the
daytime hours. Please check with us about your travel
arrangements before assuming that a pick-up or drop-off is

There is an airport in Burlington, Vermont, about an hour’s
drive from Plainfield. We will, however, be unable to do any
airport pick-ups or drop-offs. If you fly to Burlington, please
arrange your own ground transportation (limited bus service to
Montpelier or rental cars).


You must register and pay in advance, as conference space is

those who can afford it, the higher registration fee will go toward
our scholarship fund to assist others; see below).

* OPTIONAL: * MEALS: $48 covers two breakfasts, two
lunches, and two dinners, with a variety of vegetarian and vegan
options prepared by the New England Culinary Institute. Food or
meals can also be purchased separately in Plainfield; there are
three restaurants, a small food cooperative, and a convenience
store. * HOUSING: $30 per night/per person for a single, $23 per
night/per person for a shared double, and $15 per night/per
person for a shared triple (dorms rooms are at Goddard College,
and include towels and linens; there are a limited number of
single and triple rooms). Camping, weather permitting, is also
available on the nearby Institute for Social Ecology’s campus
for $10 night, per one- or two-person tent (bring your own
camping equipment and supplies). There are motels and B&Bs in
the area as well.


A limited number of partial scholarships are available to subsidize
RAT conference fees for those with limited resources. Please
inquiry early and we will do our best to offer assistance. These
scholarships are made possible because of the generosity of other
RAT participants. If you can afford to pay the higher end of our
sliding-scale registration fee, or want to donate more beyond that,
we will pass along the extra funds to those needing financial aid
to attend RAT.


Space is again limited for RAT--though this year, RAT is limited
to about 200 people instead of our usual 100 or so. Thus, please
register and pay in advance to ensure your participation. Send a
check, made out to Cindy Milstein (unofficial RAT treasurer), to:
Cindy Milstein, 19 French Street, Barre, Vermont 05641. Include
your name, address, phone, e-mail, and an itemization of what
the check covers (registration, meals, housing, donation beyond
registration toward scholarships for others, and/or a mini-bookfair


Feel free to contact either of the co-organizers, John Petrovato
(jpetrovato@hotmail.com) or Cindy Milstein
(cbmilstein@yahoo.com). Or check out the RAT Web site at
www.homemadejam.org/renew. Or send us your e-mail address
and we’ll add you to our occasional RAT e-announcement
mailing list.
Copied from infoshop.org

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