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GLOBAL ANARCHISMS: No Gods, No Masters, No Peripheries

Organized by Ray Craib (History, Cornell University) 

and Barry Maxwell (Comparative Literature and Program in American Studies, Cornell University)


SEPTEMBER 21-22, 2012

Africana Studies and Research Center 

310 Triphammer Road, 

Multipurpose Room


Anarchism: no gods, no masters. Enough with religion and the state. 

This workshop makes an additional demand: no peripheries.


The diffusionist line – anarchism was in areas outside of Europe an import and a script to be mimicked – has faced the challenge in recent years of research that reveals anarchism in its plural origins and sheer multiplicity of local variants. In this sense one might go so far as to argue that early twentieth century anarchists were—in their emphasis on the world as their home, in their peripatetic radicalism, in the fact that anarchist perspectives could be born from (rather than prior to) migration, in their critique of the constant efforts to divide and hierarchize people—the first postcolonial theorists.

To reflect on the histories and cultures of the anti-statist mutual aid movements of the last century, then, will be one aim of this conference. It has a second aim that dovetails with the first: the re-examination of the historical relationships between anarchism and communism, without starting from the position of sectarian difference (Marxism versus anarchism). Rather, we will look at how anarchism and communism intersected; how the insurgent Left could appear—and in fact was—much more ecumenical, capacious, and eclectic than frequently portrayed; and that such capaciousness is a hallmark of anarchist practice, which is pre-figurative in its politics and anti-hierarchical and anti-dogmatic in its ethics.



Gavin Arnall

(Doctoral candidate, Comparative Literature, Princeton University), 

‘Masters without Slaves’: 

Vaneigem contra Nietzsche

Gavin Arnall holds a Bachelor’s Degree in the College Scholar Program from Cornell University and is a Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Literature at Princeton University.  His current work focuses on the transformation of Marxism in Latin American and French Caribbean poetry, literature, and film. He has published articles in journals such as Critical Inquiry, The Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, and Theory & Event.  He is also an active participant in the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City and is a volunteer Professor of English Literature at Garden State Penitentiary.


Mohammed Bamyeh 

(Professor, Sociology, University of Pittsburgh)

Anarchy, Enlightenment, Tradition: 

a Perspective From the Arab Spring

Mohammed A. Bamyeh is Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, with research and teaching interests in cultural and political globalization, Islamic studies, culture and revolution, civil society, and comparative social theory. He is the author, most recently, of Anarchy as Order: The History and Future of Civic Humanity (Rowan & Littlefield, 2010), Of Death and Dominion: The Existential Foundations of Governance (Northwestern University Press, 2007), and The Ends of Globalization (University of Minnesota Press, 2000. 2nd printing, 2002). 


Banu Bargu 

(Assistant Professor, Politics, The New School for Social Research)


Banu Bargu (Ph.D. Cornell University, 2008) is an Assistant Professor of Politics at The New School, New York City, where she teaches political theory. Her main areas of interest are early modern, modern, and contemporary political theory, with particular interest in theories of sovereignty and resistance, Marxist, post-Marxist, and anarchist thought, and thinkers such as Machiavelli, Marx, Stirner, Schmitt, and Althusser. She has been the recipient of numerous teaching and research awards, including Janice N. and Milton J. Esman Graduate Prize for Distinguished Scholarship (Best Dissertation Award), The Luigi Einaudi, Mellon, and Sage Fellowships, and the John M. and Emily B. Clark Award for Distinguished Teaching from Cornell University. Her articles have appeared in journals such as theory & event and Constellations, as well as various edited volumes: Policing and Prisons in the Middle East: Formations of Coercion (Columbia UP, 2010), After Secular Law (Stanford UP, 2011), “How Not to Be Governed”: Readings and Interpretations from a Critical Anarchist Left (Lexington, 2011), and The Anarchist Turn (Pluto Press, forthcoming). Her book manuscript Biopolitics and the Death Fast is forthcoming from Columbia University Press. 


Iain Boal 

(MayDay Rooms, London and San Francisco)

‘Vùng sâu Vùng xa’ (The Deep and the Far): 

Anarchism, History and a World in Common

Iain Boal is an Irish social historian of science, technics and the commons, associated with Retort, a group of antinomian writers, artisans, and artists based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is one of the co-authors - with T.J. Clark, Joseph Matthews and Michael Watts - of Retort’s Afflicted Powers: Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War (Verso). He is affiliated with the Institute of Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London, and co-director of MayDay Rooms, a safe haven for 'archives from below'. He is co-editor of West of Eden: Communes and Utopia in Northern California (PM Press), and author of The Green Machine (Notting Hill Editions), a brief planetary history of the bicycle. In 2005/6 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Science and Technology. 


Bruno Bosteels

(Professor, Romance Studies, Cornell University)

Neither Proletarian nor Vanguard

Bruno Bosteels is Professor of Romance Studies at Cornell University. He is the author of several books, including Alain Badiou, une trajectoire polémique (2007), The Actuality of Communism (2011), Badiou and Politics (2011) and Marx and Freud in Latin America: Politics, Religion, and Psychoanalysis in Times of Terror (2012). He is the translator of Theory of the Subject (2009) and Wittgenstein’s Antiphilosophy (2011), both by Alain Badiou. From 2005 until 2011 he served as general editor of diacritics. 


Glen Coulthard

(Yellowknives Dene First Nation)

(Assistant Professor, First Nations Studies, University of British Columbia)

Place Against Empire

Glen Coulthard (PhD - University of Victoria) is a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and an assistant professor in the First Nations Studies Program and the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. Glen has written and published numerous articles and chapters in the areas of indigenous thought and politics, contemporary political theory, and radical social and political thought. Glen is currently writing a book on Indigenous peoples and recognition politics in Canada. He lives in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories.


Ray Craib 

(Associate Professor, History, Cornell University)

Sedentary Anarchists, ‘Misplaced’ Ideas 

and Displaced Histories

Raymond Craib teaches in the Department of History at Cornell University and is the author of Cartographic Mexico: A History of State Fixations and Fugitive Landscapes (Duke Univ. Press, 2004; forthcoming in Spanish translation, UNAM, 2013). He is currently completing a book on the persecution of 'subversives' in Chile in 1920 and the death of the poet Jose Domingo Gomez Rojas. A number of his translations of Gomez Rojas's poems can be found in New Letters: A Magazine of Writing & Art (Fall 2011).


Geoffroy de Laforcade 

(Associate Professor, History, Norfolk State University)

The Ghosts of Insurgencies Past: 

Waterfront Workers, Anarcho-Syndicalist Labor Traditions, and the Contentious Emergence of the National-Popular State in Argentina

Geoffroy de Laforcade (Ph.D., Yale University, 2001) is an Associate Professor of Latin American and Caribbean History and the Director of Internationalization at Norfolk State University in Virginia. He is the co-editor, with Kirk Shaffer, of an anthology on anarchism in Latin American history (University of Florida Press, forthcoming). His previous publications include a chapter in Steven Hirsch and Lucien Van Der Walt (eds,), Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Post-Colonial World, 1870-1940 (Brill, 2010) and an article in the special issue of Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina (E.I.A.L.) on "Transnational Anarchism in Latin America" (Vol.22, no.2, July-December 2011). Dr. de Laforcade, a labor historian with interests in immigration, diaspora and and comparative history, has also co-authored Transculturality and Perceptions of the Immigrant Other (Cambridge Scholars, 2011) and The How and Why of World History (Kendall-Hunt, 2011).


Silvia Federici

(Professor Emerita, Social Sciences, Hofstra University)

Silvia Federici is a feminist activist, writer, and a teacher. In 1972 she was one of the co-founders of the International Feminist Collective, the organization that launched the international campaign for Wages For Housework. Among her writings are Revolution at Point Zero (PM Press, 2012) and Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Primitive Accumulation (Autonomedia, 2004).


Andrej Grubačić

(Associate Professor and Chair, Social and Cultural Anthropology, California Institute of Integral Studies)

Balkanizing Socialism: 

The Life and Times of Svetozar Marković

Andrej Grubačić specializes in historical sociology of nonstate spaces – a comparative research endeavor of stateless spaces in the modern capitalist world-system. Other interests include the sociology of global social movements and history of the Balkans. He is the author of several books including Don't Mourn, Balkanize! Essays After Yugoslavia (PM Press, 2010), and is associate professor of anthropology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Andrej is a member of the Global Balkans network, Serbian Freedom Fight Movement, Retort Collective, the Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies), and World Social Forum International Council. A past organizer of the PGA, he is a fellow traveler of Zapatista-inspired direct action and Occupy movements.


Steven Hirsch 

(Professor, International and Area Studies, Washington University in St. Louis)

Regional Variations of Transnational Anarchist 

Influence in Peru, 1903-1929

Steven J. Hirsch is Professor of Practice at Washington University in St. Louis. He teaches courses on Anarchism, Latin American history, and global labor movements in the Department of International and Area Studies. He co-edited with Lucien van der Walt, Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870-1940, (Leiden: Brill Academic Press, 2010).  He is currently preparing a book manuscript entitled, "Study, Organize, Rebel": A History of Peruvian Anarchism, 1898-1932.


Adrienne Hurley 

(Assistant Professor, East Asian Studies, McGill University)

Global Anarchist Skillshares: Ditching School, 

Being Unmanageable, and Practicing Fearlessness

Adrienne Hurley is an assistant professor in East Asian Studies and an associate member of the Department of Integrated Studies in Education.  She earned a Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Irvine in 2000.  She served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused youth in Orange County and was awarded a Japan Foundation dissertation fellowship in 1997-1998 for her research on child abuse and youth violence in contemporary Japan.  She held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Japan Studies at Stanford University from 2002-2005. From 2005-2008, she was assistant professor in Asian and Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Iowa, where she was also the founder and director of the University of Iowa Youth Empowerment Academy and coordinator of the University of Iowa's One World Foundation Young Leader Scholarship program. Hurley's translation of Tomoyuki Hoshino's novel Lonely Hearts Killer was published by PM Press in 2009 and is the first book-length work by the award-winning novelist to be translated into English.  She is the author of Revolutionary Suicide and Other Desperate Measures: Narratives of Youth and Violence from Japan and the United States (Duke University Press, 2011).


G. Peter Jemison (Heron Clan, Seneca Nation)

(Historic Site Manager, Ganondagan State Historic Site)


Film director G. Peter Jemison (Seneca) is the manager of Ganondagan State Historic Site, a recreation of a 17th-century Seneca village, located in Victor, New York. Jemison represents the Seneca Nation of Indians on repatriation issues; he serves on the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and formerly served on the board of directors of the American Association of Museums. He is also an artist whose work has been widely shown for more than two decades. His paintings and drawings have shown in solo exhibitions at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo and at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. He was the founding director of the American Indian Community House Gallery in New York City. Jemison received a BS in art education and an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Buffalo State College in Buffalo, New York.


Hilary Klein

(Independent Scholar and Community Activist)

The Zapatista Movement: Blending Indigenous 

Traditions with Revolutionary Praxis

Hilary Klein is a Lead Organizer at Make the Road New York, where she oversees the workers’ rights, affordable housing and leadership development programs. Hilary is originally from Washington DC and has been engaged in social justice and community organizing work for more than 15 years, on issues such as affordable housing, immigrants’ rights, and violence against women. She spent six years in Chiapas, Mexico, working with women’s projects in Zapatista communities, and is currently working on a book about women’s participation in the Zapatista movement.


Sasha Lilley

(Writer, journalist, and radio broadcaster; editor of PM Press's imprint Spectre)

Sasha Lilley is a writer and radio broadcaster. She's the co-founder and host of the critically acclaimed program of radical ideas, Against the Grain. She is the series editor of PM Press’ political economy imprint, Spectre, the author of Capital and Its Discontents, and coauthor of Catastrophism: The Apocalyptic Politics of Collapse and Rebirth.


Barry Maxwell

(Senior Lecturer, Comparative Literature and Program in American Studies, Cornell University)

Barry Maxwell holds graduate degrees from Stanford (Ph.D.) and Simon Fraser (M.A.). At work on a book called A Grammar of Enclosure, which takes up the theft of the commons in the Americas, he is also in the last stages of editing Recognition at the Crossroads, the selected prose of the poet Lorenzo Thomas.  He has published on Frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, Michael Ondaatje, Ernst Bloch and Walter Benjamin.  Two further articles from this hand are "Jazz in Jail: The Supplement of the Musicians' Narratives" (Genre XXXV: 3-4 , 2002, a special issue on prison writing), and "'I hate it when things become so pat as to be oppressive': Staying Out of Range of the Commonplace in Nathaniel Mackey's Bedouin Hornbook" in Holding Their Own: Perspectives on the Multi-Cultural Literature of the United States (Tübingen: Stauffenburg Verlag, 2000).  His "Chromatic Shadows, So What:  Notes toward Clearer Reception of David Hammons's Signals" appears in Diaspora Memory Place. David Hammons/ Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons/ Pamela Z, edited by Cheryl Finley and Salah M. Hassan (Munich: Prestel, 2008).  In 2008, Barry Maxwell was a Fellow at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University.


Peter Linehaugh

(Professor, History, University of Toledo)

Peter Linebaugh, professor, a student of E.P. Thompson, received his Ph.D. in British social history from the University of Warwick in 1975.  A graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia University, he taught at the University of Rochester, New York University, University of Massachusetts (Boston), Harvard, and Tufts before joining the University of Toledo in 1994.  He is the author of the acclaimed social history of crime and the death penalty, The London Hanged (1991).  With Doug Hay and E.P. Thompson he edited Albion’s Fatal Tree (1975).  With Marcus Rediker he wrote The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic (Beacon, 2000) which has been translated into German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Korean, and with a Japanese edition in progress.  His most recent book is the Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All (California, 2008), which has become a reference point in the international discussion of the commons. He has written for The New Left Review, the Radical History Review, Social History, the Times Literary Supplement, and the online magazine CounterPunch. He was an active member of the Midnight Notes Collective.  For Verso Book’s Revolutions Series he wrote Peter Linebaugh Presents Thomas Paine (Verso 2009) and for PM Press he has written an introduction to the republication of Edward Thompson’s William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary (Spring 2011).  Currently he is working on the relation between commoning and Atlantic revolutionary aspirations of two hundred years ago.


David Porter 

(Professor Emeritus of Political Science, SUNY/Empire State College)

Competing Conceptions of Kabylia's Insurrectionary Assemblies Movement of 2001

David Porter is a political science emeritus professor at SUNY/Empire State College where since 1979 he taught courses, among others, on comparative politics, revolution and modern Algeria. He previously taught in Montreal and Maryland. In Algeria in 1965-66, he studied first-hand for his doctoral dissertation the ideals and realities of its post-independence large-scale experience with workers’ self-management. He edited Vision on Fire: Emma Goldman and the Spanish Revolution originally in 1983 and has also written on anarchic dimensions of the American revolutionary period. He is the author of a new book, Eyes to the South: French Anarchists and Algeria (AK Press, 2011) on the perspectives and activities of French anarchists concerning Algeria from 1954 to the present. For the past few years, he has also written articles periodically on current Algerian developments for ZNet, Counterpunch, Common Dreams, Pambazuka News and other political web sites.


Maia Ramnath 

(Visiting Scholar, Humanities and Social Thought, New York University)

Anarchism's Third Worlds: Third Ways?

Maia Ramnath is a teacher, writer, activist, and artist living in New York City. She is the author of Decolonizing Anarchism (AK Press, 2012) and The Haj to Utopia: How the Ghadar Movement Charted Global Radicalism and Attempted to Overthrow the British Empire (UC Press, 2011). She is currently a member of the Institute for Anarchist Studies board, South Asia Solidarity Initiative and the OWS-Global Justice working group.


Penelope Rosemont

(Independent scholar; Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company)

Surrealism and Situationism, an attempt at a comparison and critique by an Admirer and Participant, including a brief look at a seemingly far-away place in space and time or King Kong meets Godzilla...How New Thoughts are let loose in the World

Penelope Rosemont is a painter, photographer, collagist, and writer. She is editor of Surrealist Women: An International Anthology (University of Texas, 1998) and author of Dreams & Everyday Life: André Breton, Surrealism, Rebel Worker, SDS & the Seven Cities of Cibola (Kerr, 2008). With Franklin Rosemont (1943-2009), she met Breton and Debord in 1966. Since 1983, she has served as a director of Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company, a publisher of books on history and radical history in Chicago.


Jolene Rickard


(Director of the American Indian Program and Associate Professor, History of Art and Visual Studies, Cornell University).

Visualizing Indigenous Resistance

Jolene Rickard is a visual historian, artist, and curator interested in the issues of Indigeneity within a global context. She is currently a recipient of a Ford Foundation Research Grant and is conducting research in the Americas, Europe, New Zealand and Australia culminating in a new journal on Indigenous aesthetics, and has a forthcoming book on Visualizing Sovereignty. She served as Interim Chair for the Art Department 2009-2010 and is an affiliated faculty member in the American Indian Program at Cornell University. She is a 2010-2011 recipient of a Cornell University Society of the Humanities Fellowship on the thematic topic of “Global Aesthetics.”


Bahia Shehab 

(Artist, designer and Islamic art historian; Associate Professor of Professional Practice, American University in Cairo; Creative Director at Mi7-Cairo; PhD candidate at Leiden University).

A thousand times NO

Lebanese-Egyptian artist, designer and Islamic art historian studying ancient Arabic script and visual heritage to solve modern-day design issues. Bahia is a Creative Director with Mi7-Cairo working on projects relevant to cultural heritage. She is Associate Professor of Professional Practice at the American University in Cairo and has developed a new four-year Graphic Design program for the department of the Arts with the first specialized courses on the History of Arab Design and communication as a discipline in the Arab world. She is also a PhD candidate at Leiden University in Holland. Her research is focused on Fatimid Kufic inscriptions and epigraphic evidence in the decorative arts and on portable items in the Mediterranean basin and beyond. It is concerned with form versus content and the extent to which the medium dictated the message. Her MA thesis entitled "Floriated Kufic on the Monuments of Fatimid Cairo" received the Nadia Niazi Thesis Award at AUC in 2009. Bahia's work has been on display at Traffic Gallery in Dubai-UAE, Beijing International Typography Exhibition in Beijing-China, Haus Der Kunts in Munich-Germany, Palazzo Lucarini Contemporary in Italy, and Bielefelder Kunstverein in Germany. Graduated from the American University in Beirut with a degree in Graphic Design in 1999, she worked as a Creative Director with several multinational advertising agencies in Beirut, Dubai and Cairo, developing international and regional advertising campaigns. She notably created a De Beers campaign which won an IAA (International Advertising Association) gold award. Bahia is a TED Global Fellow for 2012. Her book "A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif" was published in 2010 by Khatt Books in Amsterdam.


Friday, September 21 

10-10:45 • Coffee / book tables

10:45-11:15 • Welcome and introduction, G. Peter Jemison, Salah Hassan and Barry Maxwell.


Learning from Indigenous Experience: Anarchism and Indigeneity 

“Is there a Native philosophical alternative? And what might one achieve by standing against the further entrenchment of institutions modeled on the state?”  (Taiaiake Alfred)

Eric Cheyfitz, moderator

Jolene Rickard

"Visualizing Indigenous Resistance"

Glen Coulthard

"Place Against Empire"

Hilary Klein, 

"The Zapatista Movement: Blending Indigenous Traditions with Revolutionary Praxis"


12:45-2:00 • Lunch at Africana


A Thousand Links:  Transnational Lines in an Anarchist Age 


“We never live only by our own efforts, we never live only for ourselves; our most intimate, our most personal thinking is connected by a thousand links with that of the world.”  (Victor Serge)

Barry Carr, moderator 

David Porter

"Competing Conceptions of Kabylia's Insurrectionary Assemblies Movement of 2001"

Maia Ramnath

"Anarchism's Third Worlds: Third Ways?"

Adrienne Hurley

"Global Anarchist Skillshares:  Ditching School, Being Unmanageable, and Practicing Fearlessness 

Steven Hirsch

"Regional Variations of Transnational Anarchist Influence in Peru, 1903-1929"


4:00-4:30 • Coffee / book tables


"The Horizon at the Centre”:  No Peripheries 

“Social space … is the horizon at the centre of which they place themselves and in which they live.” (Henri Lefebvre)

Mecke Nagel, moderator

Ray Craib

'Sedentary Anarchists, ‘Misplaced’ Ideas and Displaced Histories"

Geoffroy de Laforcade

"The Ghosts of Insurgencies Past: Waterfront Workers, Anarcho-Syndicalist Labor Traditions, and the Contentious Emergence of the National-Popular State in Argentina" 

Andrej Grubačić

'Balkanizing Socialism: The Life and Times of Svetozar Marković"


Saturday, September 22 

9:15-10 • Coffee / book tables

10-10:15 • Welcome and introduction, Ray Craib


The Black Mirror: Anarchism, Surrealism, and the Situationists

"It was in the black mirror of anarchism that surrealism first recognized itself." (André Breton) 

Barry Maxwell, moderator 

Gavin Arnall

“‘Masters without Slaves’: Vaneigem contra Nietzsche”

Iain Boal

“‘Vùng sâu Vùng xa’ (The Deep and the Far): Anarchism, History and a World in Common” 

Penelope Rosemont

“Surrealism and Situationism, an attempt at a  comparison and critique by an Admirer and Participant, including a brief look at a seemingly far-away place in space and time, or King Kong meets Godzilla... How New Thoughts are let loose in the World”


11:45-1 • Lunch at Africana


Bahia Shehab: “A thousand times NO” (Presentation and discussion) 


Black, Red, and Grey: Anarchism, Communism, and Political Theory

"All theory is grey."  (the Devil)

Satya Mohanty, moderator

Mohammed Bamyeh

“Anarchy, Enlightenment, Tradition: A Perspective from the Arab Spring”

Banu Bargu


Bruno Bosteels

“Neither Proletarian nor Vanguard”


3:30-4:00 • Coffee / break


Improvocations:  Silvia Federici, Iain Boal, and Peter Linebaugh 

Sasha Lilley, moderator 


Adams, Jason

Non-Western Anarchisms: Rethinking the Global Context

Anderson, Benedict

"Preface." Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870-1940. Ed. Steven Hirsch and Lucien van der Walt. Boston: Brill, 2010

Kropotkin, Peter

"Anarchism." Encyclopedia Britannica. 11th ed. 1910



Co-sponsored by

Africana Studies and Research Center

American Indian Program

American Studies

Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future

Comparative Literature

Development Sociology


Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies



History of Art and Visual Studies

Institute for German Cultural Studies

Latin American Studies Program

Latino Studies Program

Near Eastern Studies

Romance Studies

Rose Goldsen Lecture Series

Society for the Humanities


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Barry Maxwell
Conference Organizer
Institute for Comparative Modernities Resident Director
Senior Lecturer, Comparative Literature and American Studies, Cornell University


Ray Craib
Conference Organizer
Associate Professor, History, Cornell University
tel: (607) 255-6745


Molly Kerker
Program Coordinator
Institute for Comparative Modernities


Mailing address:

Institute for Comparative Modernities
Cornell University
Toboggan Lodge
38 Forest Home Dr.
Ithaca, NY 14853

Phone: 607.255.8073
Fax: 607.254.7244