It’s our birthday! Want to give us a present?
If you have any of these things lying around,
here are some things we could use:
- external hard drive
- capable tablet, netbook or laptop- new or used
- phone cards
- FedEx or Kinko’s cards
- frequent flyer miles
- filing totes
We always appreciate your monetary donations. We are now a 501c3 so your donations are tax deductible. Make a monthly or one-time donation here.
And if you’re in the Portland, OR area on September 9, please come celebrate with us! Info about our exciting anniversary party is here.
Staying Power: The Institute for Anarchist Studies, Twenty Years Running, by Michelle Renee Matisons
Regarding the earliest days of the IAS, the story is quite simple. I was living in Greenpoint, Brooklyn when Chuck Morse called me to ask if I’d like to work with him on a new project. He explained his idea for an organization that would fund radical scholarship projects outside academia. Although it was only 1996, our circles (we had moved to New York City from Burlington, Vermont four years before to join others at the New School for Social Research) had already developed serious trepidation about “radical academia.” Was there more to life than becoming a “tenured radical?” We hoped so.
Michelle Renee Matisons reviews the latest issue of Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, N. 29, on the theme of anarcha-feminisms, in Counterpunch. She says, “Enter Perspectives, which should be read as part of the ongoing effort to expand anarcha-feminist ideas. True to form for the IAS, the issue offers a thoughtful cross-section of history and theory engaged in anarchist and popular movements: education, prisons, labor, health care, ecology, and Indigenous resistance are all included in Perspectives. In and of itself, given the challenging conditions of the academic/movement rift, Perspectives is valuable because it is grounded in nuts and bolts movement work, while also drawing from relevant academic resources as well.”
The first of the four writing projects that the Institute for Anarchist Studies funded in early 2016 has been written and posted in Waging Nonviolence here!
Perspectives offers this reflection on the IAS’ first twenty years from the current anarcha-feminisms issue, available here, by an IAS member who has been involved since the beginning. In order to assemble a growing history of the IAS that’s as rich and multi-vocal as possible, we are inviting additional reflections from those who have been involved as board members, authors, grantees, and readers, which we can post throughout the year.
The Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS) has received applications for writing grants throughout various waves of organizing over the last two decades. From Zapatista solidarity organizers in the nineties, to anti-capitalist globalization activists in the early ‘00s, Occupy folks over the last several years, and most recently from those working under the banner of Black Lives Matter. In 1996, the IAS was established to do just that. We have offered material support in the form of funds that allow people to take time off work or hire childcare, so they can devote time to reflection and writing.
Some time in 1995 my friend and comrade Chuck Morse asked me to join a new organization he was forming to support the development of anarchist theory. He was inspired by right-wing think tanks that funded the development and dissemination of their ideas, and thought the antiauthoritarian Left would benefit from something similar. What he envisioned, he explained, was a group that would raise money and award grants to people to devote time to thinking and writing, thereby assisting anarchism to live up to its full potential. He felt that contemporary anarchists needed financial help in the task of elaborating an anarchism that adequately responded to current conditions.
I immediately said “Yes” to Chuck, and became part of the group that founded the Institute for Anarchist Studies. The idea of developing structured, directly democratic organizations was important to us, and founding an institute made sense. Chuck incorporated the IAS as a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and away we went. We raised money through contributions of anything from twenty dollars from movement organizers, to several thousands from well-off radicals, and began soliciting applications for writing grants. The next year we also began publishing our newsletter, Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, the name for which came from a brochure Chuck had seen at his bank, Perspectives on Banking.
This is an excerpt of a piece Josh MacPhee wrote for the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative blog “Behind Design.” In it he describes the thought and work that went into the current cover art for Perspectives on Anarchist Theory.
I wanna show what went into the creation of the cover design for the new issue of Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, which went on sale in the Justseeds store this week. Perspectives started out a simple 4-8 page newsletter for the Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS) almost twenty years ago. Twelve years ago it merged with the publication The New Formulation: An Anti-Authoritarian Review of Books to become a traditional magazine-sized (8.5″ x 11″) publication, running 48-60 pages per issue. This format stuck for a couple years, then their were multiple single-issue attempts to convert it into a journal-sized format. I joined the board of directors of the IAS in 2009, and it was decided to relaunch it once again as a journal, but this time to have an editorial board that was connected to, but not the same as, the board of directors of the IAS. I took over design duties, and Perspectives v.12 n.1 was the first issue I did the cover for. It quickly sold out, and it was decided that this was the format we were going to stick with.
Breaking the Waves: Challenging the Liberal Tendency within Anarchist Feminism, By Romina Akemi and Bree Busk
From the new Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, this is one of many pieces on anarcha-feminisms. The whole issue, including full-color artwork, is available from AK Press here!
The Black Rose Anarchist Federation sent a delegation to participate in AFem2014, an international anarchist feminist conference developed by a committee of anarchists organizing in the UK. The goals of AFem2014 were to challenge sexism and other forms of oppression within the anarchist movement and to create a “safer space” to start conversations around individual and collective experiences that could be translated into organizing work. The conference committee hoped that the energy generated by this event would reinvigorate anarchist feminism as a whole, and would be reproduced as an ongoing series of conferences with a global impact. When viewed from this perspective, AFem2014 was an important political development that highlights the growth of anarchism and the need to advance the theory and practice of feminism within it. However, the Black Rose delegation left AFem2014 with more questions than answers, the foremost being, “What is anarchist feminism?”
Taking Sides on Taking Sides: A Response to Arun Gupta’s Review of Taking Sides: Revolutionary Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism (AK Press, 2015), by Michael Staudenmaier
Here is a response to Arun Gupta’s review of Taking Sides. It is written by Michael Staudenmaier, author of Truth and Revolution: A History of the Sojourner Truth Organization, 1969–1986 (AK Press, 2012). Michael wrote an original essay, “Brave Motherfuckers: Reflections on Past Struggles to Abolish White Supremacy” that opens and introduces Taking Sides: Revolutionary Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism (AK Press, 2015). This is the type of discussion we were hoping would be generated by Arun Gupta’s review. We encourage you to continue the discussion in the comments section. Perspectives Eds.
Early on in Arun Gupta’s review of Taking Sides, “A War of All Against All,” which appeared here in Perspectives, he writes, “The exact purpose of the book is hard to glean, other than gushing white-hot rage.” Replace “book” with “review” and you have an apt description of his essay. It is clear that Taking Sides made Gupta angry, but it is not at all clear why. Nor does he offer much of an alternative framing for a set of issues he acknowledges are important.