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DepositAnarchism as metaphilosophy

Philosophy once started as the critical reflection on relatively ordinary human concerns. Increasing specialization has moved the discipline farther and farther away from these concerns, however, undermining its relevance outside the academy, but has also resulting in an ever increasing fragmentation. This fragmentation has further divided the field into a large number of esoteric communities that hardly understand each other. “Further divided”, because philosophy was already divided into schools and traditions that seem to speak mutually unintelligible languages. In addition to these problems for philosophy as a discipline or “cultural genre” (Rorty), this situation also creates a problem for individual philosophers who are driven primarily by the “big” and ordinary concerns that once founded the field, but that do not fit well in contemporary academic philosophy. In this essay, I suggest – but ultimately do not fully endorse – metaphilosophical anarchism as a possible solution to these problems. Metaphilosophical anarchism requires transparency and rejects opacity, but so do all other approaches to philosophy – at least officially – and if that is right, then anarchism has nothing new or different to offer.

DepositAnthropodicy: An Anarchism of Things

Bruno Latour’s seminal work We Have Never Been Modern urges us to consider what he calls “a parliament of things.” This notion of a “parliament of things” offers a new opportunity for the study of philosophy and anarchism. It is a start, but lacks a certain bravery and sense of adventure. In never being modern, we don’t find ourselves in the midst of a parliament of things, but an anarchy of things: a radical flatness of objects in which we must rethink property, politics and ecology. Additionally, Graham Harman’s “Object Oriented Philosophy” demonstrates and cultivates Latour’s work into a new type of ontological anarchism, not of humans, but of things. This project seeks to connect up the metaphysics of Latour and Harman with anarchism.

DepositAuf neuen Wegen des Aufstands? Zum Anarchismus in der zeitgenössischen Geographie – eine Sammelrezension

Es wird hier die ‘Anarchism, Geography and The Spirit of Revolt’ Triologie besprochen und deren Beitrag zur Anarchistischen Geographie diskutiert. Dabei werden vor allem die Tendenzen kritisiert, die dazu beitragen anarchistische Ansätze in der Geographie als hegemoniales Projekt zu positionieren. Ist ein solches Unterfangen wirklich ein neuer Spirit of Revolt? Ob und wie eine anarchistische Haltung an der Universität im Allgemeinen und der Geographie im Speziellen konsequent vertreten werden kann, bleibt mehr als fraglich. rezensierte Bände: 1. Simon Springer/Marcelo Lopes de Souza/Richard J. White (Hg.): The Radicalization of Pedagogy. Anarchism, Geography and The Spirit of Revolt. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. 2. Marcelo Lopes de Souza/Richard J. White/Simon Springer (Hg.): Theories of Resistance. Anarchism, Geography and The Spirit of Revolt. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. 3. Richard J. White/Simon Springer/Marcelo Lopes de Souza (Hg.): The Practice of Freedom. Anarchism, Geography and The Spirit of Revolt. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.

DepositAuf neuen Wegen des Aufstands? Zum Anarchismus in der zeitgenössischen Geographie – eine Sammelrezension

In dieser Sammelrezension wird die Sammelband-Trilogie ‘Anarchism, Geography and The Spirit of Revolt’ besprochen und deren Beitrag zur ‘Radical Geography’ diskutiert. Dabei werden insbesondere jene Tendenzen der Trilogie kritisiert, die darauf abzielen anarchistische Ansätze in der Geographie als hegemoniales Projekt zu positionieren. Ist ein solches Unterfangen wirklich ein neuer Spirit of Revolt? Es ist höchst fraglich, ob und wie eine anarchistische Haltung an der Universität im Allgemeinen und der Geographie im Speziellen konsequent vertreten werden kann. Rezensierte Bände: 1. Simon Springer/Marcelo Lopes de Souza/Richard J. White (Hg.): The Radicalization of Pedagogy. Anarchism, Geography and The Spirit of Revolt. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. / 2. Marcelo Lopes de Souza/Richard J. White/Simon Springer (Hg.): Theories of Resistance. Anarchism, Geography and The Spirit of Revolt. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. / 3. Richard J. White/Simon Springer/Marcelo Lopes de Souza (Hg.): The Practice of Freedom. Anarchism, Geography and The Spirit of Revolt. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.

DepositCommune Democracy and the Associative Public

The argument of this book attempts to show the relevance of Marx’s work to the attempt to create a new politics of citizenship. This argues that Marx is engaged above all in an attempt to formulate a new politics – specifically, a communist politics based upon the reintegration of political and social relationships, the overcoming of the state and civil society dualism and the dissolution of both spheres. This means defining democratisation as a repoliticisation, implying the extension of public spaces through a decentralisation resulting from the relocation of power from the abstracted political realm to the social realm. The concept of on active citizenship rooted in society is distinguished from the abstract citizenship conceded by the state, reading Marx in opposition to centralised, bureaucratised elitist state politics. Public life – libertarian communalism – social power and the state – conscious control – free association – commune democracy – the lost traditions of anarchism and marxism – postmarxism – democratisation – radical democracy – democracy as method – Norberto Bobbio, democracy and socialism – the social public.

MemberJames Gifford

….: monographs

Gifford, James. Personal Modernisms: Anarchist Networks and the Later Avant-Gardes. Edmonton, AB: U of Alberta P, 2014.

———. A Modernist Fantasy: Anarchism, Modernism, & the Radical Fantastic. Victoria, BC: ELS Editions, 2018.

.: collections

Gifford, James, James M. Clawson, & Fiona Tomkinson. Eds. Archives & Netwo…

I am Professor of English in the School of the Humanities and Director of the University Core at Fairleigh Dickinson University – Vancouver Campus. In Fall 2017, I was Visiting Professor at l’Université Toulouse – Jean Jaurès, and for the Fall of 2011, I was Visiting Professor of English in the graduate program at Simon Fraser University. For 2006–2008, I was an Assistant Professor (limited term) and SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of English at the University of Victoria. I pursue studies in Music and performance as well. Beginning, July 1st, 2017, I am Director of FDU Press, the editorial offices for which relocated to FDU’s Vancouver campus. My research interests include Transatlantic Modernism (British, American, Irish, and Canadian), colonialism and decolonization, prose and poetry, media studies, cultural studies, genetic criticism, anarchism, radical political thought, and opera. I have particular interests in Lawrence Durrell, Henry Miller, Elizabeth Smart, T.S. Eliot, Ursula K. Le Guin, Aidan Higgins, and related authors.

DepositSocrates and the Politics of Music: Preludes of the Republic

At least since the appearance of Aristotle’s Politics, Plato’s Republic has been read as arguing for a politics of unity in which difference is understood as a threat to the polis. By focusing on the musical imagery of the Republic, and specifically on its compositional organization around three “preludes,” this essay seeks an understanding of Socratic politics that moves beyond the hypothesis of unity. In the first “prelude,” Thrasymachus and his insistence that justice is the self-interest of the stronger threatens to subject the harmony of the community to the tyrannical whims of the individual. In the second, the perfected justice of Adeimantus’s city threatens to destroy the erotic rhythm of difference that is the very condition for the possibility of the polis. It is only in the song of dialectic, which itself is called a “prelude,” that the tension between the rhythm of plurality and the rational homophony of unity is dynamically tuned in such a way that both the anarchic politics of self-interest and the totalitarian politics of rationalized oppression are equally muted. This conception of politics is embodied in the relationship that emerges between Glaucon and Socrates. Ultimately, the true political community is established here, between rational, erotic individuals seeking justice in concrete, living dialogue.

MemberStephanie Spoto

Stephanie Spoto is a lecturer at California State University, Monterey Bay in the department of Humanities and Communication, teaching literature, feminist theory, and writing. In 2013 she was an International Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Study – Sofia.  Her research project is “William Lithgow (1582–1645) and Early Modern Scottish Journeys to Eastern Europe”. Education: Stephanie finished her B.A. in English at the University of California in Irvine in 2006, writing her undergraduate thesis on gender and censorship in Milton’s Paradise Lost. She began her PhD at Edinburgh, and was awarded the Centre for Renaissance Studies Research Grant (2009).  At Edinburgh University, she taught first-year English Literature, and has been a reviewer and Reader for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in Fiction (2010), Biography (2011) and has reviewed for the Forum Postgraduate Journal (2011).  Her dissertation passed with minor corrections, and she graduated in June 2012. She also works as a bookdealer, and enjoys baking cakes and riding her bicycle. Research Interests: Stephanie’s dissertation chronicled the history of European occult philosophy, focusing on Hermeticism and demonology, in order to create a theory of gender within English seventeenth century demonological studies. She is currently working on two research projects:

  • Scottish perceptions of Islam in the seventeenth century
  • A comparative analysis of seeing and recognition in the work of Sartre, Wittgenstein, and Fanon

Her other research interests include anarchism, feminist and queer theory, monstrosity, intersectionality, and teaching methods.