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(en) US, Plainfield, Vermont, Renewing the Anarchist Tradition (RAT) A SCHOLARLY Conference, Sept. 24-26, 2004: Call for Proposals / Logistical Details

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 12 May 2004 11:01:50 +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

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 anarchismís 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.

Weíre looking for individual presentations that
attempt to analyze and/or critique current social
relations and dilemmas; share work and ideas on
anarchismís 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 anarchismís 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 encouraged.

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 cbmilstein@yahoo.com.

If you donít 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 donít


This yearís RAT will take place on the Goddard College
campus in Plainfield, Vermont, about nine miles east
of Vermontís capital, Montpelier. We will also utilize
the nearby Institute for Social Ecologyís 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 yearís 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 possible.

There is an airport in Burlington, Vermont, about an
hourís 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 limited.

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

* 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 Ecologyís 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 weíll add you to our
occasional RAT e-announcement mailing list.

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