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.

(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.

Stevphen Shukaitis
Autonomedia Editorial Collective

"Autonomy is not a fixed, essential state. Like gender, autonomy is
created through its performance, by doing/becoming; it is a political
practice. To become autonomous is to refuse authoritarian and
compulsory cultures of separation and hierarchy through embodied
practices of welcoming difference... Becoming autonomous is a
political position for it thwarts the exclusions of proprietary
knowledge and jealous hoarding of resources, and replaces the social
and economic hierarchies on which these depend with a politics of
skill exchange, welcome, and collaboration. Freely sharing these with
others creates a common wealth of knowledge and power that subverts
the domination and hegemony of the master's rule." - subRosa Collective

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