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(en) US, Aug 19-21, Seminar on Anarchism & Philosophy with Todd May & Peter Staudenmaeir

Date Tue, 16 Aug 2005 11:48:10 +0300

(Cosponsored by the Institute for Anarchist Studies and Black Sheep Books)
*Jacques Ranciere and Radical Equality Presenter: Todd May
*Dialectical Thinking in Practice: A Participatory Reading of Hegel
Presenter: Peter Staudenmaier
*Jacques Ranciere and Radical Equality Presenter: Todd May
French theorist Jacques Ranciere has promoted an idea of politics as
acting from the presumption of radical equality—a presumption
most societies deny in their actions if not in their words. His ideas
intersect with both anarchist theory and with the thought of recent
theorists like Michel Foucault. We will discuss how Ranciere’s
ideas might help us think through political organization and political
action. Each of the three sessions will consider one chapter from
Ranciere’s 100-page “On the Shores of Politics” (it is
highly recommended that participants read chapters 2-4 in advance
of this seminar).

Todd May is a professor of philosophy at Clemson University. He
has written on recent French thought, including the intersection of
anarchism and poststructuralism, and is author of several books,
including “The Political Philosophy of Poststructuralist
Anarchism.” Todd has also been active in a variety of politics
movements, in particular the resistance to Israel's occupation of

*Dialectical Thinking in Practice: A Participatory Reading of Hegel
Presenter: Peter Staudenmaier

Dialectical thinking has played a crucial role in the analyses of
modern society put forward by a range of radical critics of capitalism
and the state. Anarchism's theoretical and practical profile can be
enriched by engaging with the formidable, but rewarding tradition of
dialectical thought. This study seminar will focus squarely on a
single text, the notoriously challenging preface to Hegel's
“Phenomenology of Spirit” (in “Hegel: Texts and
Commentary,” by Walter Kaufmann, University of Notre Dame
Press; participants are encouraged to read the preface ahead of time).
We will read the text together and attempt to draw out the dialectical
structure of the argument it presents, while relating its insights to
our own experience. No prior knowledge of Hegel is required, but a
willingness to engage with often-difficult philosophical writing is

Peter Staudenmaier has been in involved in anarchist politics since
the 1980s. He is currently a graduate student at Cornell University,
focusing on modern European intellectual history. His perspective
on dialectical philosophy is strongly influenced by the Frankfurt
school and social ecology.

Format and Schedule
The seminar is a three-day study program, which takes place over
the course of a long weekend, and attendance will be capped at
20-25 people so that participants have the opportunity to fully engage
in the program. Todd’s three-session course will run Friday
evening, Saturday day, and Sunday morning; Peter’s
three-session course will run Friday afternoon, Saturday day, and
Sunday early afternoon. Each presenter will give a lecture or formal
presentation, followed by plenty of time for discussion, in and
outside the sessions themselves. In short, the weekend seminar
functions as both an intensive course and an ongoing conversation.
The presenters have suggested short readings prior to and/or during
the weekend in order to further focus and ground the discussion (see
their course descriptions). We will not be providing these readings,
so please buy the two books and bring them with you to the seminar.

Cost and Location
This seminar series is self-financing; the FSC has no outside
funding, or a funding source of its own. Thus, the overall seminar
costs will simply be divided by the number of participants, with the
goal of making each weekend series as affordable as possible. The
cost for a weekend seminar will not exceed $75 per person for the
course; some meals will also be included. Floor space will be
available for sleeping (bring your own gear); we’ll do our best to
arrange more comfy accommodations in someone’s home, if
needed). The seminars will take place in the historic socialist and
anarchist Old Labor Hall in Barre, Vermont.

To Register (Deadline: August 1)
For more information or to discuss registration, contact both Rob
Augman (rob@riseup.net) and Cindy Milstein
(cbmilstein@yahoo.com). Seminar space is limited, so get in touch
with us soon if you’re interested in attending. Please note: once
you’ve registered, you’ll need to send us $50 in advance to
reserve your spot (if the seminar costs more than $50, participants
can pay the additional $10 to $25 when they arrive).

Future Seminars
If you have an idea for seminar topics and/or presenters in the future
(including yourself), please don’t hesitant to e-mail us with

The Free Society Collective’s (FSC) seminar series aims to
provide an independent space for ongoing inquiries into social,
political, cultural, economic, historical, and other fields of study
from an anti-authoritarian left perspective. The seminar series draws
on a variety of radical traditions, revolutionary histories,
contemporary social movements, and social and political analyses,
including anarchism, Western and autonomous marxisms, and
other libertarian left tendencies. By exploring the past as well as the
present, these weekend-long seminars are meant to deepen our
understanding of dynamic social phenomena such as capitalism,
statecraft, racism, gender, and the devastation of the natural world,
to name a few. The seminars are also a way of reclaiming our own
education and scholarship—by mentoring, learning from, and
challenging each other in a highly participatory setting. And over
time, it is the FSC’s hope that this seminar series will contribute
to the development of public intellectuals, theoretical insights, and
sophisticated forms of praxis as well as social organization in our
struggle for a nonhierarchical, egalitarian society.

About the Free Society Collective
FSC is a small, radical Left tendency based in central Vermont. We
seek the abolition of capitalism, the state, and all other social
relations built on coercion, hierarchy, and oppression. To that end,
we engage in a politics of resistance that simultaneously highlights a
reconstructive vision. In critical solidarity with anti-authoritarian
social movements around the globe, we work toward a free and
ecological society premised on mutual aid, confederated direct
democracy, and a liberatory culture. For more info, see

About the Institute for Anarchist Studies
The IAS, a nonprofit foundation established in 1996 to support the
development of anarchism, is a grant-giving organization for radical
writers and translators around the world. The IAS also supports the
Latin American Archives Project, sponsors the Renewing the
Anarchist Tradition (RAT) conference, and publishes a biannual
magazine, Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, to cultivate
community among those interested in the development of
anarchism. The IAS is part of a larger movement to radically
transform society as well. It is internally democratic and works in
solidarity with people around the globe who share its values. For
more information, see http://www.anarchist-studies.org/.

About Black Sheep Books
Black Sheep Books is an all-volunteer workers’ collective
specializing in radical and scholarly used books. Areas of particular
note include anarchism and socialism/marxism, queer and gender
studies, social theory and political philosophy, labor studies, history,
media and film studies, literature, current events and activism, plus
much more. Also, Black Sheep regularly hosts various educational,
political, and activist events from talks and discussions to films and
performances, and attempts to build an open and accessible
community space. Black Sheep Books is located at 4 Langdon Street
(inside and above the Langdon Street Collective Café),
Montpelier, Vermont. For more information, see


by Rob Augman - Free Society Collective on anarkismo.net
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