Renewing the Anarchist Tradition Conference 2007

Starting Date: 11-02-2007
Ending Date: 11-04-2007

Montpelier, Vermont 5601
United States
Renewing the Anarchist Tradition Conference
A Scholarly Conference
November 2-4, 2007
in Montpelier, Vermont

The eighth edition of the Renewing the Anarchist Tradition (RAT) conference, sponsored by the Institute for Anarchist Studies, once again aims to provide a participatory and scholarly space in which to reexamine, reinvigorate, and make relevant the social and political tradition of anarchism.

Each year, RAT brings together anarchists, anti-authoritarians, and libertarians who want to critically engage both the tradition itself and the world in which we live. Participants and presenters at the conference thereby contribute to developing a more rigorous contemporary theoretical framework for anarchism as well as a stronger basis from which anti-authoritarian movements can organize and resist.

In a historical moment characterized overwhelmingly by war, exploitation, forced displacement, dispossession, and environmental devastation, it might seem strange to spend a peaceful fall weekend in conversation with friends and comrades in Vermont. But we believe that the contemporary context makes it more important than ever to foster a space in which to collectively and honestly appraise the strengths as well as weaknesses of different anarchist practices, platforms, convictions, dogmas, truisms, and theories in helping us to understand and ultimately transform the layered systems of domination and oppression that structure it. We also see RAT as a place to discuss and share theoretical tools from beyond the anarchist tradition(s) that can add to building more sustainable social movements and practices, and eventually a world characterized by freedom, justice, and dignity for all.

RAT aims to nurture and support a new generation of anti-authoritarian public intellectuals from different backgrounds and experiences. So when we describe it as "a scholarly conference," we are referring to a quality of the presentations and discussions--not to some professional identity of the participants. You do not have to be an academic to attend or present at RAT. All you have to do is be ready to actively participate in the conversations and debates, as peers who are creating the conference space together. In the past, RAT has served as a forum for organizers, scholars, writers, artists, educators, publishers, and students from a range of anarchist and libertarian left tendencies to come together to engage in challenging yet respectful dialogue. Participants have observed that RAT offers a distinctive social environment in which long-term conversations and relationships between anti-authoritarians from various places and political contexts can be built.

At previous conferences, presenters have proposed topics that ranged 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 the character of twenty-first-century technology to the functions and potentials of anti-authoritarian art and propaganda; and from anarchism's relation to geopolitical concerns such as terrorism and war to its ability to grapple with issues of identity such as race, gender, and sexuality.

The RAT conference is co-organized by IAS board members Andréa Marie, Cindy Milstein, and John Petrovato.

(Due by or before September 1, 2007)

We are once again accepting proposals for a limited number of presentations. In addition, we will be curating a series of panels that build on previous conversations and provoke even more dynamic debate than at past conferences.

If you are interested in presenting, please take a look at the RAT archive (currently at to get a sense of the topics that have been explored in the past. If you feel alienated when you look at this list, or think that important issues that should be considered through an anarchist lens have been left out, do not panic or decide not to attend. Please send us a proposal. We particularly encourage non-academics, working people, women, indigenous people, people of color, queer and trans people, and others frequently marginalized in scholarly life to submit proposals.

Each proposal should include: a succinct presentation title; a maximum 150-word description of your presentation and the question or topic you wish to address; a maximum 50-word description of yourself; and your full name and e-mail.

You can submit multiple proposals, and proposals for panels are also welcome. Please note, however, that we will be choosing from the proposals by September 15, and not every proposal will be selected.

If your proposal is accepted, you are automatically registered. All presenters must pay the registration fee, since RAT has no funding other than all of us contributing to make this space possible.

Send your proposal(s), by or before September 1, to:

(Starting on September 15, 2007)

RAT registration, limited to 150 people, will open on September 15. All presenters are automatically registered, but like everyone else, they must pay the registration fees in full by or before October 15. RAT has no outside or independent funding, so everyone who attends contributes financially to making this conference possible. Those who register for RAT can also book a table(s) for bookstores, infoshops, magazines, and other projects.

Once registration opens, we will offer a sliding-scale registration for the following three options:

1. Registration and five meals (for locals and others not requiring housing): $45 to $65

2. Registration, five meals, and 2 nights in shared dorm room: $105 to $125

3. Registration, five meals, and 2 nights in single dorm room: $155 to $180

Also, a limited number of partial scholarships will be available to subsidize RAT conference fees for those with financial need. These scholarships, as in the past, will be made possible because of the generosity of other RAT participants who can afford to pay the higher end (or more!) of our sliding scale.


RAT will open this year with a single panel on the evening of Friday, November 2, followed by a full day of presentations, panels, and a party on Saturday, November 3, and will wrap up with more presentations and panels until about 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 4. All presenters and participants should plan on attending the full conference, since RAT is meant as an extended conversation.

We are renting space at a small college in Montpelier, Vermont, for meeting rooms, tabling, five meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Saturday; breakfast and lunch on Sunday), and dorm rooms. On Saturday night, we'll be using the Langdon Street Cafe for a performance (rants! confessions! diatribes! music!) and socializing space.
Geographical Scope: National


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