Anarchist Studies Network 3rd International Conference
Loughborough University, 3-5 September 2014
As the crisis of late capitalism deepens, governments are shedding their last pretences to serve the common good: it is now the system itself that needs rescuing. The fallout from the global financial crisis has been met with even harsher strategies of class warfare and inequality management. Devastating storms bring home the realities of climate change, yet fracking is presented as the answer to dwindling fossil fuels for capitalist growth. Even dramatic revelations about the extent of surveillance and the infiltration of protest movements have done more to normalize these phenomena than to halt or reverse them. Increasingly, nominal democracies are showing their hand: freedom of speech is the freedom to be ignored.
For anarchists, newfound public disillusionment in the wake of the global Occupy protest is as much of a challenge as a cause for celebration. Often the first to offer solidarity to the self-organized struggles of marginalized groups, anarchists’ organizational strategies – if not their declared aims – have inspired mass protests the world round. Yet loss of trust in the democratic state can result in despair or reactionary retrenchment as much as in radicalization. To celebrate the mere resurgence of anarchism when all alternatives have been discredited is by now a stale proposition. What is needed instead is a redoubled effort towards theoretical and tactical innovation, and engagement with mass struggles in content as well as form.
Building on the success of ASN 2.0, this third international conference will showcase the best new thinking in the study of anarchism as modern political theory and practice, across scholarly disciplines, both within and outside the official academic sphere. The conference aims to breach new frontiers of anarchist scholarship through cross-fertilization and the building of affinity.
We have an exciting line-up of over 70 papers (see PDF link below), including panels and panel streams on anarchism and the history of ideas, critical management studies, religion, geography, animal liberation, and lots more! Evening events will include a screening of To Hell with Culture (Huw Wahl, 2014) - a portrait of the life and work of Herbert Read - and an open mic night at The Swan and Rushes pub. To book free entrance for To Hell With Culture, please register by clicking here.
Conference fees are on a sliding scale – early bird rates (available until June 30) are £70 waged / £39 low waged / £0 unwaged. This includes vegan lunch on both days.
Accommodation + breakfast is available on campus for £44 (en suite) or £30 (shared bathroom) per night.
We will be able to offer limited bursaries. The registration form contains a rubric to apply for a sum. Please note that refunds will only be arranged after the conference and we will need all receipts.Timetable for ASN(PDF)