Sunday 24 August 2014

Enlightened Anarchism: An International Conference at Lapland University

Enlightened Anarchism: An International Conference at Lapland University
Sept 11-14, 2014, Lapin Yliopisto, LS 10
Organized by:
Ms. Ali Jones, CIMO Fellow, Cambridge University
Dr. Mika Luoma-aho, Lapland University

Anarchism has recently become a topic of scholarly focus, as social and political movements such as Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring emerge throughout the world. While traditional public opinion tends to view anarchism as juvenile force of negation, violence or gleeful destruction, it is nonetheless possible to examine a far more nuanced discourse, as espoused by the social actors involved. In fact, many such groups are particularly focused upon combatting fascism, perceived state corruption, the effects of neoliberalism or globalization, or to dedicating themselves to fighting for environmental protection, immigrant and refugee rights, or in other arena of social justice. Many of these aims could be interpreted as not only in the public interest, but also to constitute some of the cornerstones of democracy itself. In fact, in 2007 Saul Newman wrote that "the ideological terrain appears to have shifted to such an extent that to be radical these days is precisely to insist on things like the rule of law and protection of civil liberties and human rights." Indeed, despite the traditional perceptions of anarchy predominant in Finnish academia, it is in fact possible to view these social movements as composed of highly engaged, and even faithful, public citizens, which begs the question of why they are ostracized and considered to be so politically threatening. It further causes one to re-examine democracy and Anarchism categorically and philosophically.

The upcoming Enlightened Anarchism conference seeks to initiate this important conversation within the Finnish Academy. It is organized in organized in cooperation with Cambridge University, with financial support from the Lapland Faculty of Social Sciences. This major international event will host 25 speakers from around the world, including two outstanding keynotes: Dr. George Katsiaficas, Wentworth Institute of Technology and Dr. Alexandre Christoyannopoulos, Loughborough University, in addition to Special Guest Speaker Dimitrios Roussopoulous. Biographies of each speaker can be found online, along with the schedule of talks, at 

All events are free and open to the public, and we encourage students to attend and participate. Auditors should contact Ms. Ali Jones at for registration details. Students seeking credit for participation should contact Dr. Mika Luoma-aho at

Enlightened Anarchism
September 11-14, 2014
Lapland University, in cooperation with Cambridge University
Location: Lapin Yliopisto, Room LS10, Rovaniemi Finland
Keynote Speakers:
George Katsiaficas
Alexandre Christoyannopoulos
Special Guest Speaker:
Dimitrios Roussopoulos

Friday September 12th

8:30-9:15                     Registration, Coffee, warm snacks and pastries

9:15-9:30                     Welcoming Remarks, Ali Jones

9:30- 11:00                  Non-Western Anarchisms
Chair: Dimitri Roussopoulos

Tiina Seppälä, University of Lapland - Anarchism, Resistance & Social Movements: Critical Perspectives from South Asia
Enrique Galvan-Alvarez, International University of La Rioja - Revolutionary Mercy? The Western Buddhist Anarchist Tradition
James Jackson, Unaffiliated – Rebel Music

11:00-11:15                Break

11:15 - 13:15               Capitalism and the State
Chair: Julian Reid

Blair Taylor, New School for Social Research- New Spirit of Capitalism, New Spirit of the Left: Neoanarchism from the Alterglobalization Movement to Occupy Wall Street
Nina Rismal, Cambridge University - Critical Theory and the Question of Violence: The 1968 Students Protests
Brandon Wallace, New School for Social Research - Anarchism and the Legitimation of Authority
Joshua Anderson, Saint Louis University – Against the Nation-State: On the normative poverty of statism

13:15-14:00                 Lunch (University Cafeteria)

14:00- 15:30                 Anarchism and International Relations
Chair: Mika Luoma-aho

Michael Kilburn, Endicott College – Anarchism and Human Rights
Jan Hanska, Finnish Defense Research Institute – SERIOUSLY LUDICROUS:
The “ridico-anarchic” nature of the politics of the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army
Guido Verstraeten, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences- Eco-Regionalism, an Alternative for Democratic Anarchistic Refuges.

15:30-16:00                 Break (Coffee and warm snacks provided)

16:00– 18:00               George Katsiaficas Keynote, The Grammar of Insurgency

18:15                            Board Bus at University to Forest Cookout.
(Food will be provided.  Please bring drinks, warm clothes, and rain coats as appropriate)
Saturday September 13th

9:00-9:30                     Coffee, warm snacks and pastries

9:30- 11:00                  Anarchisms in German Thought and Praxis
Chair: George Katsiaficas
Anatole Lucet, École normale supérieure de Lyon - Spirit and community: Gustav Landauer’s criticisms of materialism and violence.
Katharina Karcher, University of Warwick and Cambridge University – The Red Zora: Anarchist Feminist Counter-violence in the Federal Republic of Germany 
Ali Jones, Cambridge University – Henri Lefebvre and German Autonomie

11:00-11:15                 Break
11:15-13:15                 Freedom, Ethics and the Spirit of Rebellion
Chair: Suvi Alt
Aylon Assael Cohen, Oxford University - The Insurrection of Feelings and the Feelings for Insurrection
Mari Kuukkanen, University of Helsinki - Prefigurative politics or counter-conduct?
Victor Castro, Universidad de Granada – Paradox of Ends and Means
Iwona Janicka, Cambridge University – Is There an Anarchist in this Closet? Understanding Contemporary Anarchism with Judith Butler and Peter Sloterdijk

13:15- 14:00                Lunch (University Cafeteria)

14:00- 15:30                Space and the Spatial Turn
Chair: Ali Jones

Mika Luoma-aho, Lapland University - Metaethics of Scale
Rui Coelho, University of Lisbon - Anarcho-Monks: Is Neomonasticism part of the “New Anarchist” wave?
Christian Pfenninger, University of Westminster – Porous Sovereignties

15:30-15:45                 Break

15:45- 17:15                Anarchism and Christian Theology
Chair: Alexandre Christoyannopoulos

Anthony Fiscella, Lund University - Two Christianities: “Communal” and “Imperial” Variations - Responsibilities and Relevancies for Researchers
Lara Apps, University of Alberta, No Gods, No Masters? Anarchic Optimism in Eighteenth-Century French Atheism
Justin Meggitt, Cambridge University - Anarchism and Apocalypse: The historical Jesus and the problem of violence deferred

17:15-18:00                 Break (coffee and warm snacks provided)

18:00- 20:00                Alexandre Christoyannopoulos Keynote, Leo Tolstoy’s Anticlericalism

20:00                           University Sauna.
(Drinks and snacks will be provided. Meals can be ordered).

Sunday September 14th
Location: University Sauna Meeting Room

10:00-11:00                  Roundtable Discussion (Coffee, snacks, pastries provided)
Dennis Fox, Emeritus, University of Illinois at Springfield - Anarchist Morality and Personal Change
11:00-13:00                 Dimitrios Roussopoulos Special Guest Speaker,
Constructive Anarchism – Social Ecology and Democracy

13:00                           Conference Conclusion.