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(en) US, Renewing the Anarchist Tradition Conference: Call for Proposals

Date Wed, 25 Jul 2007 20:25:44 +0300

A Scholarly Conference November 2-4, 2007 in Montpelier, Vermont ---- The eighth edition of the Renewing the Anarchist Tradition (RAT) conference, sponsored by the Institute for Anarchist Studies, once again aims to provide a participatory and scholarly space in which to reexamine, reinvigorate, and make relevant the social and political tradition of anarchism. ---- Each year, RAT brings together anarchists, anti-authoritarians, and libertarians who want to critically engage both the tradition itself and the world in which we live. Participants and presenters at the conference thereby contribute to developing a more rigorous contemporary theoretical framework for anarchism as well as a stronger basis from which anti-authoritarian movements can organize and resist.

In a historical moment characterized overwhelmingly by
war, exploitation, forced displacement, dispossession,
and environmental devastation, it might seem strange
to spend a peaceful fall weekend in conversation with
friends and comrades in Vermont. But we believe that
the contemporary context makes it more important than
ever to foster a space in which to collectively and
honestly appraise the strengths as well as weaknesses
of different anarchist practices, platforms,
convictions, dogmas, truisms, and theories in helping
us to understand and ultimately transform the layered
systems of domination and oppression that structure
it. We also see RAT as a place to discuss and share
theoretical tools from beyond the anarchist
tradition(s) that can add to building more sustainable
social movements and practices, and eventually a world
characterized by freedom, justice, and dignity for

RAT aims to nurture and support a new generation of
anti-authoritarian public intellectuals from different
backgrounds and experiences. So when we describe it as
"a scholarly conference," we are referring to a
quality of the presentations and discussions--not to
some professional identity of the participants. You do
not have to be an academic to attend or present at
RAT. All you have to do is be ready to actively
participate in the conversations and debates, as peers
who are creating the conference space together. In the
past, RAT has served as a forum for organizers,
scholars, writers, artists, educators, publishers, and
students from a range of anarchist and libertarian
left tendencies to come together to engage in
challenging yet respectful dialogue. Participants have
observed that RAT offers a distinctive social
environment in which long-term conversations and
relationships between anti-authoritarians from various
places and political contexts can be built.

At previous conferences, presenters have proposed
topics that ranged 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 the
character of twenty-first-century technology to the
functions and potentials of anti-authoritarian art and
propaganda; and 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.

(Due by or before September 1, 2007)

We are once again accepting proposals for a limited
number of presentations. In addition, we will be
curating a series of panels that build on previous
conversations and provoke even more dynamic debate
than at past conferences.

If you are interested in presenting, please take a
look at the RAT archive (currently at
http://www.homemadejam.org/renew) to get a sense of
the topics that have been explored in the past. If you
feel alienated when you look at this list, or think
that important issues that should be considered
through an anarchist lens have been left out, do not
panic or decide not to attend. Please send us a
proposal. We particularly encourage non-academics,
working people, women, indigenous people, people of
color, queer and trans people, and others frequently
marginalized in scholarly life to submit proposals.

Each proposal should include: a succinct presentation
title; a maximum 150-word description of your
presentation and the question or topic you wish to
address; a maximum 50-word description of yourself;
and your full name and e-mail.

You can submit multiple proposals, and proposals for
panels are also welcome. Please note, however, that we
will be choosing from the proposals by September 15,
and not every proposal will be selected.

If your proposal is accepted, you are automatically
registered. All presenters must pay the registration
fee, since RAT has no funding other than all of us
contributing to make this space possible.

Send your proposal(s), by or before September 1, to:

(Starting on September 15, 2007)

RAT registration, limited to 150 people, will open on
September 15. All presenters are automatically
registered, but like everyone else, they must pay the
registration fees in full by or before October 15. RAT
has no outside or independent funding, so everyone who
attends contributes financially to making this
conference possible. Those who register for RAT can
also book a table(s) for bookstores, infoshops,
magazines, and other projects.

Once registration opens, we will offer a sliding-scale
registration for the following three options:

1. Registration and five meals (for locals and
others not requiring housing): $45 to $65
2. Registration, five meals, and 2 nights in
shared dorm room: $105 to $125
3. Registration, five meals, and 2 nights in
single dorm room: $155 to $180

Also, a limited number of partial scholarships will be
available to subsidize RAT conference fees for those
with financial need. These scholarships, as in the
past, will be made possible because of the generosity
of other RAT participants who can afford to pay the
higher end (or more!) of our sliding scale.


RAT will open this year with a single panel on the
evening of Friday, November 2, followed by a full day
of presentations, panels, and a party on Saturday,
November 3, and will wrap up with more presentations
and panels until about 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 4.
All presenters and participants should plan on
attending the full conference, since RAT is meant as
an extended conversation.

We are renting space at a small college in Montpelier,
Vermont, for meeting rooms, tabling, five meals
(breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Saturday; breakfast
and lunch on Sunday), and dorm rooms. On Saturday
night, we'll be using the Langdon Street Cafe for a
performance (rants! confessions! diatribes! music!)
and socializing space.
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