2nd ASN Conference: “Making Connections”
Loughborough University, U.K.
3-5 September 2012
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 ( http://anarchist-studies-network.org.uk/) 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.
If you're interested in organising a stream or a session but are new to the role, feel free to contact us for advice about what this is likely to involve (you can also see how the 1st Anarchist Studies Network Conference in September 2008 was organised by linking to the following web page, where thematic streams and their organisers are indicated in bold print: http://www.anarchist-studies-network.org.uk/documents/Final%20Schedule.pdf). Likewise, if you'd like to do something a bit playful or different, but are not sure how or just need a little advice, please get in touch. Finally, if you are keen to be involved in a session, but not wanting to take on the responsibility of organising one, let us know and we'll see if we can match you up.
Topics we'd love to see explored include:
Race & Radical Politics
The Arab Spring
Anarchism & Feminism
Embodiment & Practices of Freedom
Alternatives to Capitalism
Direct Democracy in Action
Revolutionary Theory and Practice
Science, Technology and Ecology
Anarchism and Utopianism
Class-Struggle Politics and Anarcho-Syndicalism
Anarchism & Religion
Anarchy and Education
Politics & Emotion
Art, Literature & Social Transformation
Zapatismo, Via Campesina
Borders, Walls & Fences
Spaces of Resistance
And others we've not yet thought of. We welcome surprises. Please send your proposals (no more than 500 words) by 31st January 2012 to Alexandre Christoyannopoulos < firstname.lastname@example.org> and Ruth Kinna < R.E.Kinna@lboro.ac.uk>.
With warm regards, Conference Initiators
Matthew Adams, Alexandre Christoyannopoulos, Laurence Davis, Oisín Gilmore, Jamie Heckert, Petar Jandric, Ruth Kinna, Alex Prichard, Chris Rossdale & Matt Wilson
11th Annual Communication and Culture Graduate Conference, York University/Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario
Abstracts due: December 23, 2011; notification by January 23, 2012
Conference date: March 23–25, 2012
Please email submissions and questions to: email@example.com
Occupare: (Latin.) To seize, capture
Occupy but better yet, self manage…. The former option is basically passive—the latter is active and yields tasks and opportunities to contribute.… To occupy buildings, especially institutions like universities or media, isn’t just a matter of call it, or tweet it, and they will come. It is a matter of go get them, inform them, inspire them, enlist them, empower them, and they will come. – Michael Albert, “Occupy to Self Manage” ( http://interactivist.autonomedia.org/node/33609)
I think that our political structures are corrupt and we need to really think about what a democratic society would be like. People are learning how to do it now…. This is more than a protest, it’s a camp to debate an alternative civilization. – David Graeber, “The Man Behind Occupy Wall Street,” interviewed by Seth Fiegerman ( http://interactivist.autonomedia.org/node/33897)
This is a critical moment, as “Occupy everywheres” present possibilities for new politics, and new forms of learning, engaging and living with each other. From the recurring occupations of the squares in Greece and Italy to the UK’s winter of discontent and the Arab Spring, to the summer of protest in Spain and the North American autumn—at general assemblies around the globe, people are running their own lives, influencing the media and discussing what is to be done without politicians. The recent occupations are an education in direct democracy and the solidarity necessary for action.
Occupy Wall Street, and the occupations around the world, are attempts to build the social compositions that are the precondition for action. They are the working-through of a problem that ‘politics-as-usual’ works to suppress—the massive exploitation that is capitalism, and the emergence of politics adequate to address it. At this stage, the occupations are the connection of people, ideas and machines—the cumulation of assemblages that might build something. What happens next depends on what is being built now. As it was written upon the recent expulsion of OWS from Zuccotti Park: “You can’t evict an idea whose time has come.” We invite graduate students from all related disciplines to submit proposals for academic, artistic and activist presentations and workshops that explore, celebrate, analyze and otherwise critically engage with the ideas emerging from occupations. Possible areas of engagement include: politics and aesthetics, movement research and performance studies, humanities and digital humanities, critical disability studies, labour studies, social theory, social movement theory, policy, political economy, communications studies, media, culture, pedagogy, technology, artistic practice and activism.
Please send a 250-word abstract, as well as a brief biographical note (100 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 23, 2011. Proposals should list paper/panel title, name, institutional affiliation and contact details.
Workshop facilitators: Please provide a tentative timeline highlighting the duration and one or two general learning objectives of your session, along with a clear indication of space and technical requirements.
Artists: If sending creative works by email, please limit attachment size to 5 MB or less, or direct us to a URL. Include viewing instructions, comments and titles in your email if applicable. If submitting creative works by post, please mail the proposal, a non-original copy of the work, and viewing instructions to the following address (well before the submission deadline):
Intersections 2012 Conference c/o Graduate Program in Communication and Culture 3013 TEL Building, York University 4700 Keele Street Toronto, ON M3J 1P3
Intersections / Cross Sections 2012: Occupations is presented by and for graduate student scholars, artists and activists through the organizing efforts of the Communication and Culture Graduate Students Association (GSA): http://thecomcult.wordpress.com For more information about the Joint Graduate Program in Communication and Culture at York and Ryerson Universities: http://comcult.yorku.ca and http://www.ryerson.ca/graduate/programs/comcult/