Anarchism NOW

Saturday, May 7 / Oakes 105 / 10 AM-5:30 PM

Since the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the open-ended War on Terror, the dominant ideologies, categories, antagonists, analyses of power and the modes in which it is exercised have changed. Accordingly, the theories and practices of resistance are changing as well. 

Among these, anarchism has re-emerged in the last several years as a prominent element within radical social movements in North America and Europe, particularly among those which aspire to act in solidarity with those movements in Asia, Africa and Latin America that are on the offensive against neoliberalism and U.S. imperialism. 

Many of these draw upon compatible traditions of local autonomy, direct democracy, and resistance to market economies and colonizing institutions. Meanwhile, in the global north, the organizing practices and techniques of resistance associated with anarchism have spread widely among activists working for social and economic justice, including those who do not espouse an anarchist ideology. 

The goal of this conference is to create a dialogue among people with varying relationships to the academy and to activism, asking: What is anarchism now? Why is it newly prominent in political organizing? What are the operative principles behind the label? What conceptual tools does it offer in dealing with race and imperialism, globalization and class solidarity, state discipline and punishment, gender and sexuality, historical and contemporary social movements?


Iain Boal, a social historian of science and technics, teaches geography at UC
Berkeley. He has spoken extensively on the concepts of enclosure, privatization and the commons, and is the author of The Long Theft (forthcoming, City Lights) and co-editor of Resisting the Virtual Life (City Lights, 1995). He is also active in the Institute for the Study of Social Change, contributing to research on social justice movements in the Bay Area.

Arif Dirlik is Professor of History and Anthropology and Knight Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Oregon. His books include Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution (California, 1991); Schools into Fields and Factories: Anarchists, the Guomindang, and the National Labor University in Shanghai, 1927-1932 (Duke, 1991); and After the Revolution: Waking to Global Capitalism (University Press of New England, 1994).

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz was a founder of the feminist movement and anti-war activist and organizer, forming associations with revolutionaries across the spectrum of radical and underground politics during the 1960s and 1970s. She is Professor of Ethnic and Women’s Studies at California State University, Hayward. She is the author of The Great Sioux Nation (Moon, 1977), Indians of the Americas (Zed, 1984), and the memoirs Red Dirt (Verso, 1997) and Outlaw Woman (City Lights, 2001).

John Holloway is one of the best-known analysts of the Zapatista rebellion, and the author of Change the World Without Taking Power (Pluto Press, 2002). He has lived in Mexico for over a decade and teaches political science at the Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanides in the Universidad Autonoma de Puebla.

Barry Pateman is Associate Editor of the Emma Goldman Papers, and has been the project’s research associate in the U.K. since 1989. A historian, he also teaches free classes on anarchism at the Anarchist Library at City College in San Francisco.

Eddie Yuen is the co-editor of The Battle of Seattle: The New Challenge to Capitalist Globalization (Soft Skull, 2001) and Confronting Capitalism (Publishers Group West, 2004). He is on the faculty of the activism and social change program at New College of California in San Francisco.

CoNfeREnCe SchEduLe

PANEL 1 / 10 AM–12 PM
Featuring: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Barry Pateman, Eddie Yuen
Roots of Radicalism in the US: Anarchism and Anarcho-syndicalism
The USA: A State Born with the Assumption of Empire

12–1 PM Lunch

PANEL 2 / 1–3:30 PM
Featuring: Iain Boal, Arif Dirlik, John Holloway
Anarchism in an Epoch of Military Neo-liberalism
Changing the World without Taking Power: Anti-state/Anti-capitalist Politics

3:30–5 PM Break-out Sessions

5–5:30 PM Concluding Discussion


Sponsored by the Anarchism Research Cluster

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