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News ::
Renewing the Anarchist Tradition 3
27 May 2002
The third annual Renewing the Anarchist Tradition conference will take place August 15 - 18, 2002 in Plainfield, Vermont. This conference aims to provide a scholarly space in which to both reexamine and reinvigorate the social and political tradition of anarchism.
RENEWING THE ANARCHIST TRADITION
A scholarly conference in Plainfield, Vermont
August 15 - 18, 2002
www.homemadejam.org/renew

The third annual Renewing the Anarchist Tradition (RAT3) conference--in
Plainfield, Vermont USA, from the evening of Thursday, August 15 through
midday Sunday, August, 18, 2002--again aims to provide a scholarly space in
which to both reexamine and reinvigorate the social and political tradition
of anarchism.
RAT is meant as one contribution to the project of developing a more
rigorous as well as contemporary theoretical framework for anarchism and/or
from an anti-authoritarian Left perspective, as well as to assist in
nurturing new generations of anarchist public intellectuals. Thus, as opposed
to conferences that attempt to create anarchist organizations, statements of
purpose, or focus on "lifestyle anarchism" or how-tos, RAT brings together
scholars, activists, educators, writers, organizers, and students to explore
how anarchists make sense of their 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 be
updated and/or reconsidered.
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 anarchism's relation to geopolitical concerns such
as nationalism and fundamentalism 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.
As in past years, the conference is structured to allow for a series of
peer-to-peer presentations and plenty of time for discussion. Indeed, RAT is
intended to serve as a place where up to one-third of the participants can
test their ideas and practice public speaking among like-minded others in a
constructively critical environment. We trust that the conference will not
only be informative, inspiring, and thought-provoking but continue to be a
fun event as well. Alongside a packed weekend of presentations in a
supportive and participatory atmosphere, the beautiful rural Vermont setting
also affords the opportunity to meet other anarchists/radicals, relax around
a campfire, or enjoy a swim. As well, RAT will likely include anarchist
videos, a mini-bookfair, and an evening of performance art.
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. RAT3 is a modest addition to the
grand anarchist project of the present to ensure a freer tomorrow for all.

CALL FOR PRESENTATION PROPOSALS
We are now accepting proposals for presentations. Women, people of color,
those outside academia, and others often excluded from scholarly life--due to
gender, sexuality, class, and so forth--are especially encouraged to apply.
We're looking for presentations that do one or more of the following:

* analyze and/or critique current social relations and dilemmas--from
globalization, nationalism, and the so-called war on terrorism, to new
technologies, (post)modernity, and physical and virtual spaces;

* share work and ideas on anarchism’s relevance and potential as a
political/social theory as well as a practice, particularly within the
emerging new social movements;

* attempt to grapple with and constructively challenge/build on standard
anarchist notions in light of a radically changing world, especially
post-September 11; and

* cover a wide variety of perspectives and disciplines--from history and
cultural studies, to philosophy and anthropology, to science and social and
political theory, to economics and contemporary trends.

Presentation proposals should be up to one typed page. Please include a
presentation title and brief description, a few sentences about yourself, and
complete contact information (address, phone, and e-mail). Indicate if you
feel comfortable having your presentation 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 their presentations to
about 20 to 30 minutes, and end by framing a question or two for the
participants in order to facilitate about 45 minutes of discussion. We are
also happy to entertain proposals for panels; besides a title and brief
description, panel proposals should include the names, short bios, and
contact information for all panelists.
Proposals are due by June 25, 2002, either via e-mail or snail mail, and
should be sent to John Petrovato, P.O. Box 715, Conway, Massachusetts 01341,
jpetrovato (at) hotmail.com. One of the RAT coorganizers--John Petrovato and Cindy
Milstein--will notify you of your proposal's acceptance or rejection by July
1. Please note: all presenters must also register and pay for the conference
(see below).

CALL FOR VIDEO OR PERFORMANCE PROPOSALS
We are also accepting proposals from videographers and/or performance
artists. We will likely only have one evening of performance art (theater
piece, music, slide show, etc.) and one or two evenings of video screenings.
Please send us a brief description of your performance piece and/or video
along with your name, a few sentences about yourself, and complete contact
information (address, phone, and e-mail). Videographers: please feel free to
send along a copy of the video(s), regardless of whether you can attend the
conference itself; videos cannot be returned, but we'll donate them to the
Institute for Social Ecology's library.
Proposals are due by June 25, 2002, either via e-mail or snail mail, and
should be sent to John Petrovato, P.O. Box 715, Conway, Massachusetts 01341,
jpetrovato (at) hotmail.com. One of the RAT coorganizers--John Petrovato and Cindy
Milstein--will notify you of your proposal's acceptance or rejection by July
1. Please note: all artists/filmmakers must also register and pay for the
conference if they plan to attend (see below).

TO REGISTER
Conference registration is on a sliding scale from $60 to $75 per person, and
includes eight vegetarian/vegan meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Friday
and Saturday; breakfast and lunch on Sunday; please note that we will only be
offering light snacks on Thursday evening). Donations above and beyond the
registration fee are welcome to subsidize the conference cost for those with
limited or no incomes. Since the conference registration is our only source
of "income" to cover the actual expenses of putting RAT on, we can't
guarantee we will have extra funds to aid those who need assistance; however,
please let us know if you have financial need, and if we do indeed get
donations, we'll let you know.
Beds in shared double rooms ($60 TOTAL for three nights per person;
includes linens) and camping spaces (sliding scale of $15 to $30 TOTAL for
three nights for a one- or two-person tent; bring your own camping equipment)
are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at both the Institute for
Social Ecology and nearby Maple Hill Community Farm as well as Goddard
College. If you prefer, there are motels and B&Bs in the area, as well as a
state campground; let us know if you need help in locating these options.
REGISTRATION IS LIMITED to 130 people due to space, and it is likely that
we will have to close off registration. Thus, PLEASE REGISTER NOW and PAY IN
ADVANCE. As the conference date nears, we will send you directions and more
information.
To register, please send us your name, street address, and phone
number/e-mail address (if available), and indicate what type, if any, of
lodging you desire. Include a check for the conference fee, and if applicable
lodging, made out to John Petrovato and mail it to him at P.O. Box 715,
Conway, Massachusetts 01341.
Please indicate any special needs and we will try to accommodate you,
although our resources are limited. In terms of getting to Vermont, the
easiest ways are by car, train, or bus. We will only be able to do limited
pick-ups and drop-offs at the train and bus station in nearby Montpelier, and
likely none at the Burlington airport. Please let us know well in advance of
any transportation needs.

QUESTIONS?
If you have any questions, concerns, etc., feel free to contact either RAT
coorganizer, John Petrovato (jpetrovato (at) hotmail.com) or Cindy Milstein
(cbmilstein (at) aol.com). For complete details on the past two RAT conferences,
see our Web site at: http://www.homemadejam.org/renew/index.html.
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