Preliminary Programme

Wed 18 March
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    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 19 March
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    14.00 - 16.00
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Fri 20 March
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    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 21 March
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    14.00 - 16.00
    16.00 - 17.00

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Wednesday 18 March 2020 08.30 - 10.30
Q-1 LAB01 Anarchism and the National Question - Historical Perspectives
Lipsius, 227
Networks: Labour , Politics, Citizenship, and Nations Chair: Ruth Kinna
Organizers: Jose Antonio Gutierrez, Ruth Kinna Discussant: Ole Laursen
Tom Goyens : Johann Most's Views On The American Republic
The German exile socialist Johann Most travelled to the United States in December 1882 shortly after his release from a London prison. He had been invited by New York comrades to undertake a speaking tour of the American industrial belt. At the same time, he converted to Bakuninist anarchism and ... (Show more)
The German exile socialist Johann Most travelled to the United States in December 1882 shortly after his release from a London prison. He had been invited by New York comrades to undertake a speaking tour of the American industrial belt. At the same time, he converted to Bakuninist anarchism and settled in New York where he continued publishing his revolutionary paper Freiheit. How did he view the American republic, American democracy and the American people? This paper seeks to analyze and contextualize the changing views of a restless, estranged immigrant New Yorker. Most distinguished between the American State and the people making up the nation. To Most and many other foreign radicals, greed, corruption, and exploitation (“a new kind of feudalism”) swiftly erased all moral distinctions between the Old and New Worlds. Gone was the beacon republic that once inspired European Forty-eighters. Now, repression and violence from Haymarket to Homestead, and countless other labour disputes engulfed the country while the American working classes seemed unwilling to revolt. During the 1890s, Most tempered the rhetoric of insurrection and embraced communist anarchism. There was more commentary on American politics and he even offered cultural analyses of Thanksgiving and Labor Day. Twenty years after his immigration, Most’s perspective deepened and his views on America changed in some surprising ways as if American pragmatism and reform-mindedness during the Progressive Era held some promise for the future. (Show less)

Carl Levy : Region, City and Town: Italian and Spanish Anarchism from the 1860s to the 1940s
This paper compares and contrasts the role of national, regional and municipal patriotisms in Italian and Spanish Anarchism from the 1860s to the 1940s. It will focus on Catalonia and Barcelona on the one hand and a belt of ‘anarchist towns’ located in Central Italy on the other. The role ... (Show more)
This paper compares and contrasts the role of national, regional and municipal patriotisms in Italian and Spanish Anarchism from the 1860s to the 1940s. It will focus on Catalonia and Barcelona on the one hand and a belt of ‘anarchist towns’ located in Central Italy on the other. The role of Federalist Republicanism, campanilismo, Diasporic experiences and linguistic markers will be compared and contrasted. The concept of opportunity structures will be invoked to explain cycle of linkages to national or regional forms of patriotism and national identity and non-anarchist parties in alliances of convenience and/or conviction. (Show less)

Davide Turcato : The Step-Motherland: Italy, the Anarchists, and the Great War
The Great War provides a unique vantage point for addressing questions of national identity and patriotism, for several reasons: it was a time of dramatic dilemmas that forced many to choose between different allegiances that had coexisted in times of peace; national independence, with special reference to smaller countries such ... (Show more)
The Great War provides a unique vantage point for addressing questions of national identity and patriotism, for several reasons: it was a time of dramatic dilemmas that forced many to choose between different allegiances that had coexisted in times of peace; national independence, with special reference to smaller countries such as Belgium, was the pièce de résistance of the interventionist propaganda on the side of the Triple Alliance; accordingly, a wealth of arguments about the national question were offered by the press of all parties in all countries. This is all the more the case for anarchists, who were among the few to oppose the war and had a hard time justifying their persisting antimilitarism amidst the raging storm.
I will use this vantage point to investigate the Italian anarchists’ views on questions of national identity and patriotism. I will focus mainly on the Italian anarchist press in the United States, for three reasons: in the three years between the outbreak of the war and the United States’ intervention, that was one of the few countries where anarchists could voice their antimilitarism without being heavily censored; relatedly, and following a consolidated pattern of transnational activism, during those three years the Italian anarchist press flourished in the United States at the same time that it was silenced in Italy; finally, since the United States were the country of largest Italian immigration, the battle of ideas around intervention and patriotism was not fought remotely with the gaze turned to a distant homeland, but was directly fought on the ground in the Italian communities, especially around the issue of the reservists’ call.
I will mainly focus on the anarchists’ view of the concept of homeland (patria) and its derivatives, such as patriotism. In the year 1915 alone, the two main weekly papers, Cronaca Sovversiva and L’Era Nuova, published thirty articles that contained one of those terms in the title, and many more that dealt with those topics. I will seek to clarify where the concept of homeland stands in the cluster of allegiances that mattered to anarchists, from mankind at one end to family at the other. In discussing these concepts, I will try to spell out the different normative implications of competing versions of “homeland.” I will pay particular attention to the female universe, which was a contested ground between the patriotic propaganda, with its model of the “spartan mother,” and the antimilitarist one, for which allegiance to an abstract homeland could not trump family affections.
Two themes featured prominently in the Italian anarchist press. The first is that love of one’s country was a natural and unproblematic feeling, if it was meant as love for the place where one was born and raised, where one had the closest ties, and whose language one spoke. What anarchists rejected was the concept of nation as a super-individual and indivisible whole that claimed exclusive allegiance. The second theme was that, for the poor and especially for those who were forced to emigrate, the rhetoric of the motherland was hollow. For them, Italy was a step-motherland that had not even been able to feed them and therefore had no right to claim their allegiance, let alone their life. (Show less)

Kenyon Zimmer : National Subjects and Subversive Subjectivity: the Paradox of the Anarchist Deportee in the Era of the First Red Scare, 1919-1939
Before the Second World War most anarchists in the United States were immigrants, posing a dilemma for both the consolidating American state and the Westphalian world-system of nation-states. Anarchists were the antitheses of loyal subjects or patriotic citizens—they were the most impossible of “impossible subjects,” who were neither wanted by, ... (Show more)
Before the Second World War most anarchists in the United States were immigrants, posing a dilemma for both the consolidating American state and the Westphalian world-system of nation-states. Anarchists were the antitheses of loyal subjects or patriotic citizens—they were the most impossible of “impossible subjects,” who were neither wanted by, nor wanted to be a part of, any nation-state. These feelings were reciprocated, and between 1903 and 1919 U.S. legislation rendering all immigrant anarchists de facto illegal aliens. This campaign culminated in the deportations of hundreds of anarchists during the postwar Red Scare. Yet thousands more remained at large, and others proved frustratingly unremovable as a result of changing national borders, breakdowns in international relations, and creative legal and extralegal strategies. Still others re-entered the United States clandestinely and resumed their radical activates under assumed names. Alien anarchists were inherently deportable, but in practice often difficult to deport. Even those who were expelled to their countries of origin caused consternation, as the national governments obligated to receive them under international law did not in fact want them in their midst, but could not legally expel them in turn. The logics and practices of a state-based international system, within which everyone is designated a citizen and subject of a specific nation-state, often broke down in the face of anarchists’ alternative subjectivity of statelessness and “internationalism.” (Show less)



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