Tema: Making Connections
Local: Loughborough University, UK
We live in interesting times. The Arab Spring, Occupy X and anti-austerity protests are only the latest and most visible examples in a long tradition of grassroots social movements in which ordinary people create democratic alternatives to hierarchy and inequality. Here and everywhere, people are getting together and making connections between their own everyday experiences and wider patterns of relationships and power, official and unofficial. They (or we) are making connections with each other, personal and political. New patterns evolve as people experiment with different ways of organising, of relating, of connecting, of thinking. Scholars, artists and activists observe, theorise and participate in various ways, helping to make connections, both in social movements and in the movements of everyday life. Feminists, in particular, have foregrounded intersectional approaches to power, privilege and oppression. Race, class and gender; sexuality, ecology and (dis)ability; age, species and faith — each of these and more interconnect in numerous ways, both subtle and overt.
The Anarchist Studies Network is hosting a conference to acknowledge, celebrate and deepen these diverse efforts to understand and transform our world, our lives. We want this conference itself to be a space for making connections, both intellectual and personal. It will include a blend of more or less traditional panels, participatory discussions and experiential workshops, extended breaks and social events. This first call is an invitation to propose thematic streams, workshops or panel topics by those who are willing to take a role in organising them. Further calls will invite papers, participation, performance. We’re particularly keen to make connections across borders of identities, movements, disciplines and practices. We invite contributions from students, academics and unaffiliated researchers, activists and artists, health practitioners and care workers, trade unionists, community organisers and those without labels. Above all, we would like to nurture a convivial atmosphere in which to make connections with others, explore areas of both overlap and difference, create or simply meet, to learn and to share.
Our intention is for this to be a scholarly conference with a difference. Scholar means both student and teacher. By bringing together a diverse group of participants, who share in common a desire to learn and a commitment to acknowledging and creating alternatives to rigid hierarchies and exploitative relationships, we hope that each of us will have something to offer others and much to learn. The process of organising the conference is decentralised, with the conference initiators welcoming proposals from a diverse range of session organisers covering a wide variety of engaged and engaging topics. We also invite session organisers to consider playful, participatory and/or experimental panel and workshop formats. This might range from a traditional three paper panel followed by a discussion using alternative facilitation techniques (e.g., open space technology, fishbowl, or sitting in a circle with a facilitator) to more interactive workshop-style discussion or experiential sessions. Our intention is not to be transgressive for the sake of it, but to encourage a variety of methods in order to facilitate making connections.
Convener: Stevphen Shukaitis