[artinfo] The_Postanarchist_Reader - Call_for_Papers

stevphen shukaitis stevphen at autonomedia.org
Tue Aug 7 10:34:20 CEST 2007

The Postanarchist Reader / Call for Papers

Post-structuralist anarchism, or what more often has been referred to
as postanarchism, never quite received the attention that it deserved
from the anarchist community at large. Nor has it to any great extent
been met with sympathy. Part of the reluctance, I suspect, results
from the empty spaces occupying the bookshelves of universities,
alternative bookstores, and radical lending libraries across the world
today ñ all of which are awaiting the publication of this volume,
The postanarchism reader: writings at the intersection of anarchism
and poststructuralism. But, most ironically, this problem has arisen
simultaneously with a proliferation of related articles across
disparate disciplines; a tradition built around such heterogeneity
runs the risk of erecting its own tombstone. It would seem that there
is a double necessity here, one of maintaining a transdisciplinary
approach while also ensuring that the tradition remains bounded. A
body of thought such as this should allow itself the dignity to live
on as the vital condition of a contemporary anarchist politics, as
a volume of work which, though explicitly multivocal, nonetheless
inherently shares a sense of community and responsibility. In this
sense, the articles that will be presented in The postanarchism
reader, constitutes a community of sorts, even before their binding.

To my knowledge, other than the humble contributions offered in
the Reader, only three book-length works (Todd May's The Political
Philosophy of Poststructuralist Anarchism was introduced in 1994,
followed by Saul Newman's From Bakunin to Lacan: Antiauthoritarianism
and the Dislocation of Power and Lewis Call's Postmodern Anarchism in
2001 and 2004 respectively) explore this subject in any sort of depth.
We might recall May's groundbreaking book which was among the first
to explore the relationship between poststructuralism and anarchism;
May's book arrived as a response to the question Is poststructuralism
anarchist? Indeed it is the case that poststructuralism, as a
political philosophy, is, if not anarchist, at least anarchistic, and
yet if we were to seek out full texts documenting this collaboration,
still after so many years, we would be left, for the most part, near
empty handed. Newman, obviously referring to May's original text,
but seven years later, commented that he was only aware of one other
author who explored these connections at any length (Newman, 2001: 7).
Now, fourteen long years after May's initial writing on the subject
and six empty years after Call's, there still consists of only three
lengthy texts which explicitly address these connections. Are we not
then to presume that postanarchism should be explored no further?

This book will come in part then as a reaction to the empty
bookshelves that have come to be the private trouble of any
postanarchist-curious reader. It also comes as a response to the
outrageous lack of accessibility to postanarchist articles, many of
which an academic might find scattered from one journal to the next,
hardly reaching the most serious and sympathetic readers. Moreover
this book is an attempt to come to terms with one of the biggest
challenges posed by a postanarchist politics, that of building
sustainable community in the face of endless fragmentation. I am
reminded, in particular, of a popular conversation between John D.
Caputo and Jacques Derrida, to which the question was posed: ì[w]hat
does deconstruction say, if anything, in favor of the unum, of
community? Is there a place for unity after deconstruction? What might
it look like?î (Caputo, 1997: 11), to which Derrida replied, ì[o]f
course, we need unity, some gathering, some configuration. You see,
pure unity or pure multiplicity or disassociation . . is a synonym
for deathî (Ibid., 13). This book, therefore, is an attempt to take
what are now scattered, yet important, articles and combine them into
an accessible anthology, it will be just one shameless attempt at
sustainable community. Up until now postanarchism, as a responsible
tradition, has been far too interested in its transdisciplinarity
without equal regard for its shared ethical commitments. This book is
only one attempt, among many, to (re) achieve such a balance.

The deadline for current paper proposals is December of 2007.
Contributions from many writers have already been secured, however
we are still searching for a few more. We are looking for work/play
which either explicitly addresses a post(structuralist) anarchist
political approach, as in the case of Jason Adam's ìPostanarchism
in a nutshellî, or work/play which creatively deals with both
poststructuralist and anarchist theories within the same essay.

Duane Rousselle
Duane.Rousselle (at)unb.ca

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