Monday 16 April 2012

Occupy Academia!

From 3rd to 5th of September the second Anarchist Studies Network (ASN) conference will take place at Loughborough University. 

With an even greater number of 'streams' of discussion going on it shows that, despite the reputation and misuse of the term, 'anarchist', the field continues to push at boundaries of thought and action, not least in relation to religion. 

The first ASN conference was held at the same venue in September 2008. I think there were about 400 people at the final plenary debate: a tense exchange on the relative merits of academia and activism that one person compared to "the fourth century debate on whether Jesus was fully human or fully divine". 

It was as a result of the 2008 conference that ASIRA (Anarchists and Students Interested in Religious Anarchism) was born and the resulting publication, never likely to break records, surprised us all by requiring a re-print in paperback. 

Alex, who convened in 2008 and will again this year writes of the upcoming conferences religious stream, "‘No Master But God’? Exploring the Compatibility of Anarchism and Religion": 

"Anarchism and religion have long had an uneasy relationship. On the one hand, many anarchists insist that religion is fundamentally incompatible with anarchism, recalling that anarchism calls for ‘no gods, no masters’, ... On the other, some religious/spiritual radicals insist that their religious/spiritual tradition cannot but lead to a rejection of the state..." 

But there are plenty of other areas of discussion to get stuck into on this three day conference, from ontological and bodily anarchy to protest and revolution. The current list of seminar streams is available here

If you're interested in politics and how they relate to real life I can't think of an event this year that I would more thoroughly recommend than this one. 

Subsidies available where appropriate: see website