Book a Speaker

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art by Amanda Priebe

The Institute for Anarchist Studies is proud to make available the following dynamic, politically engaged speakers. Each speaker will support the good work that your political group is doing, and in turn, will use part of the honorarium that your collective, university, or organization provides to contribute to the work of the IAS.

Look over the list of speakers below, some of whom have received an IAS writing grant, have written books or essays for the IAS, are either current or past IAS board members, or are comrades. By hosting a speaker, you provide mutual aid between your organization or your own political work, and that of the IAS. You not only create an exciting intellectual event for your community, which can also underscore your own organizing efforts, but you use your resources to support the work of the IAS, and the radical organizers and writers it supports.

Your political collective, affinity group, organization, counter-institution, or college or university, is asked to provide transportation costs, lodging or lodging costs (where applicable), and as generous an honorarium as possible. Each speaker will then donate a percentage of the honorarium to support the mission and projects of the IAS.

For more information about any of our speakers, or to arrange a talk, please email: anarchiststudies@gmail.com


IAS Mutual Aid Speakers

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art by Amanda Priebe

carla bergman is an independent scholar, filmmaker, and producer. She is the co-producer of EMMA Talks, a mini-art-festival and speaker’s series by women, and has worked with youth in alternative-to-school settings for over 15 years, primarily through the Purple Thistle Institute. The threads that run through all her work are: radical social change, amplifying voices at the edges, and connecting emerging and new voices with well-seasoned folks. carla loves to zoom in on the in-between happenings and issues, and bust binaries. carla co-directed the film: Common Notions: Handbook Not Required, co-edited the AK Press book: Stay Solid: A Radical Handbook For Youth, and co-authored the book: Joyful Militancy: Building Thriving Resistance in Toxic Times, published by IAS/AK Press. carla is currently working on a film about language and decolonization called Women of the Bones: Pathways to Belonging, and joyfully editing an anthology book of essays called Radiant Voices with Brindle and Glass Publishers, forthcoming Fall 2019. carla spends much of her time with her partner, kids and friends in East Van, B.C. on Sḵwx̱wúʔmesh, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, and səlil’wətaʔɬ (Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh) Lands.

Topics: radical pedagogy/anti-pedagogy; unschooling; parenting; youth liberation; feminisms; art and activism; autonomy; joy and trust.

Alexis Bhagat is a writer based in Albany, NY. He co-organized An Atlas of Radical Cartography (2008), helped to realize the XFR STN (2013) public access media archiving project, and has organized numerous concerts of experimental music and exhibitions of sound art around the world. Parallel to his art activity, Alexis is active in peace and disarmament movements, walking throughout the world with the Nipponzan Myohoji buddhist order. He was a longtime member of the IAS board. He works as the Executive Director of the Albany Public Library Foundation, and helps to run the no-fences food garden at the Albany Free School.

Topics: activist maps; cartography, discovery, and property; anarchist perspectives on art history; Buddhism and anarchism.

Andrew Lee is an author and troublemaker who has intervened in housing, labor, and anti-authoritarian struggles for over a decade. His book Defying Displacement: Urban Recomposition and Social War (IAS/AK Press, 2024) builds on interviews with over a dozen anti-gentrification activists to construct a new theory of state and capitalism grounded in communities in revolt. He has supported projects including Housing is for Everyone, United Campaign Workers, Serve the People San José, the South Bay Community Land Trust, and No Arena in Chinatown Solidarity. Lee’s work investigates the intersections between land, home, resistance, and popular power. His writing has appeared in outlets including The ARDM, Teen Vogue, The New Inquiry, Yes! Magazine, and Perspectives on Anarchist Theory.

Topics:gentrification and land defense; 21st-century class analysis; the anarchism of praxis; anarchism(s) of color; revolutionary strategy; the politics of international and transracial adoption; base-building and radicalization; social movement development and resiliency; intercommunalism and transnational solidarities.

James Birmingham is an organizer of the long-standing All Power to the Imagination! conference in Sarasota, FL; on the board of the IAS, assisting with the forthcoming Imagination(s) issue of Perspectives; and is an independent scholar specializing in material culture studies.  In Sarasota, FL he has been organizing with student groups, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and working on opening a lefty book cafe called Red Books, Black Ink.  He is also involved with organizing within the North American Anarchist Studies Network. His research focuses on collectors and collecting, archaeology, food and foodways, technology, the material (re)production of everyday life and work organization. A list of prior presentations can be found at his Academia.edu pages.

Topics: anarchist archaeology/anthropology; anarchism and material culture; technology studies; critiques of primitivism; and topics related to the above or those listed on his Academia.edu site.

Glen Coulthard is Yellowknives Dene and an associate professor in First Nations and Indigenous Studies and the Department of Political Science, at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), winner of the 2016 Caribbean Philosophical Association’s Frantz Fanon Award for Outstanding Book, the Canadian Political Science Association’s CB Macpherson Award for Best Book in Political Theory, published in English or French, in 2014/2015, and the Rik Davidson Studies in Political Economy Award for Best Book in 2016.

Topics: Indigenous anti-colonialism; Global Red Power; Marxism, settler-colonialism, and Indigenous struggles; Fanon studies; solidarity.

Chris Dixon is a longtime activist, writer, and educator. Originally from Alaska, he lives in Ottawa, Canada on unceded Algonquin territory, where he is a member of the Punch Up Collective. He is a columnist for Canadian Dimension Magazine and serves on the advisory board for the activist journal Upping the Anti and is a former member of the IAS. His most recent book is Another Politics: Talking Across Today’s Transformative Movements, (University of California Press). Find him at writingwithmovements.com.

Topics: contemporary forms of antiauthoritarian organizing; developing strategy for social transformation; challenges and possibilities of prefigurative politics; learning from US social movement histories; the relevance of women of color feminism to anarchism; models and practices of antiauthoritarian leadership; movement-based research methods; and the backstory of the North American global justice movement.

Eleanor Finley is an activist-anthropologist and social ecologist. As a member of the Institute for Social Ecology (ISE) since 2011, she has engaged with movements for direct democracy around the world. Eleanor is currently conducting doctoral research in anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her writings have appeared in ROAR Magazine, openDemocracy, and In These Times.

Topics: social ecology; direct democracy; communalism; libertarian municipalism; Murray Bookchin (bio, history, ideas); Kurdish movement; Rojava Revolution; democratic confederalism; anarchist anthropology.

Harjap Grewal is an antiauthoritarian organizer/activist based in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories, working with the No One Is Illegal collective and various local campaigns. His work focuses primarily on migrant, trade, and environmental justice rooted in an anticapitalist and anticolonial analysis. He organizes within the local South Asian community, with communities of color, and in solidarity with indigenous sovereignty struggles. Harjap’s environmental activism has been primarily in support of indigenous communities, and against the Alberta Tar Sands development and infrastructure. In recent years, he has done workshops and presentations on the economic crisis, the new era of trade agreements, the ecological limits of economic growth, community alternatives, and the commons. Harjap was also involved in organizing the mobilizations against the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Topics: migrant justice, displacement, and the nation-state; fighting the next generation of free trade agreements; from colonization to globalization in India; environmental justice and decolonization; organizing and protest tactics; and popular resonance of antiauthoritarian thought.

Andrey Grubačić is Professor & Chair of Anthropology and Social Change department at CIIS-San Francisco. He has been active in anarchist movements for most of his adult life. His ongoing research on exilic (non-state) spaces in the modern capitalist world system considers how spatial expressions of concentrated mutual aid are produced and reproduced on the outside/inside of capitalist civilization. Exilic spaces and practices refer to liminal and non-state areas relatively autonomous from capitalist valorization and state control. His principal research focus is on the autonomous “cracks” peopled by Don Cossacks, Atlantic pirates, Macedonian Roma, Jamaican Maroons, and Mexican Zapatistas. This research is included in his Living at the Edges of Capitalism: Adventures in Exile and Mutual Aid (University of California Press, 2016).

Topics: world history from the perspective of mutual aid; anarchist anthropology of societies against the state; world history and world-systems studies; anarchist and Marxist political economy; activist and militant research; and radical oral history.

Matt Hern lives in East Vancouver on səlil’wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) territory, with his partner and daughters.  He is currently co-directing Solid State Industries, has co-founded and directed many other community projects and continues to lecture globally. Matt’s books and articles have been translated into thirteen languages. His most recent books are What a City is For: Remaking the Politics of Displacement (MIT Press, 2016) and Global Warming and the Sweetness of Life (MIT, 2018, with Am Johal and Joe Sacco).

Global Warming and the Sweetness of Life: Matt’s 2018 book argues that any definition of ecology has to start with decolonization and that confronting global warming requires a politics that speaks to a different way of being in the world—a reconstituted understanding of the sweetness of life; What a City is For: Remaking the Politics of Displacement: a 2016 book that investigated the incredible racialized displacement of Portland’s Black community and the questions around belonging and sovereignty it disturbs.

Topics: Urban Peripheralization and Cetrifugality: Matt’s current research, writing and organizing work is studying the expulsions of low-income and racialized communities to urban peripheries/suburbs and how displacement theory might respond; Matt is also interested in topics you might have.

Hillary Lazar is an educator, organizer, and writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. She has been involved with anarchist radical education and social justice projects since the 1990s, and is currently a collective member of the Big Idea Bookstore, on the advisory board for Agency: An Anarchist PR Project, an instructor the Institute for Advanced Troublemaking, and part of the efforts to organize graduate student workers. Her writing has been published in Perspectives on Anarchist Theory and Counterpunch and she has contributed to several book projects including Anarchism: A Conceptual Approach and Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years. She is a member of the Perspectives on Anarchist Theory journal collective. Hillary is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, where she teaches about social movements, gender, power, and resistance through an anarcha-feminist lens.

Topics: anarcha-feminisms; anarchist intersectionality; structural domination and theories of oppression; transnational anarchist histories; 21st century social movements; prefigurative politics; care work, solidarity, and relational organizing models; popular/transformative education and academic unionization.

Mark Lance is a scholar/activist. He is a professor of philosophy and professor of justice and peace at Georgetown University. He has published two books and over forty articles on philosophy of language, logic, metaphysics, epistemology, moral theory, and political philosophy. He has been an activist and organizer for 35 years on a wide range of issues: international solidarity, LGBTQ rights, anti-militarism, anti-fascism, racial justice, economic justice, etc. He has taught at the Institute for Social Ecology, and is a former board member of the Institute for Anarchist Studies. His current major academic project is a book on Revolutionary Nonviolence (with historian and comrade Matt Meyer). His current main activist project is with The Truth Telling Project.

Topics: nonviolence; diversity of tactics; revolution; anarchism; and a wide range of topics in mainstream philosophy.

Josh MacPhee is a designer, artist, and archivist. He is a founding member of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative (Justseeds.org), the author and editor of a half dozen books about art and politics, and the organizer of the Celebrate People’s History poster series. His poster and design work is regularly shown in international exhibitions of political posters and graphics. He co-founded and helps run Interference Archive, a public collection of cultural materials produced by social movements (InterferenceArchive.org) and is a former member of the IAS board. Josh has done cover designs for the IAS’ journal, Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, and for the Anarchist Interventions book series, for the last ten years.

Topics: History as a Tool of Resistance; Celebrate People’s History: Decentralizing and Popularizing our Past; Print Agit Prop: A Whirlwind Tour of Posters and Print in the Service of Politics; Street Art and Social Movements; Realizing the Impossible: Art and Anarchism.

Todd May is a professor of philosophy at Clemson University. He teaches and writes in recent French thought and issues in ethics. Todd is the author of The Political Philosophy of Poststructuralist Anarchism, and has written and spoken extensively on the relationship between poststructuralism and anarchism. In addition to his academic work, he has been involved in liberation struggles from gay rights to anti-apartheid to the Palestinian rights struggle. He also does training sessions in grassroots organizing.  While living in Pittsburgh, Todd was the co-coordinator of campaigns against aid to the Contras and the anti-Gulf War (I) campaign. He also served as national co-director of the Palestine Solidarity Committee and was a member of the IAS board.

Topics: the intersection of philosophy and anarchism; poststructuralism; anarchist theory; political theory; and Palestine.

Lara Messersmith-Glavin is a white/queer/femme writer, educator, and performer based in Portland, Oregon. She serves on the board of directors of the Institute for Anarchist Studies, as well as on the editorial collective for their house journal, Perspectives on Anarchist Theory. Her work has appeared in Across the Margin, MaLa Literary Journal, Anchored in Deep Water: the Fisherpoets Anthology, Stoneboat Literary Journal, Gertrude Press Book Reviews, Selkie, the EMMA Talks collection Radiant Voices, and elsewhere. She co-edited Life During Wartime: Resisting Counterinsurgency (AK Press: 2013) with Kristian Williams and Will Munger, and she was the primary IAS editor for Walidah Imarisha’s Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption (AK Press: 2016), which won the Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. Her organizing work focuses primarily on climate justice, gender equity, and abolishing white supremacy. When she’s not in the streets, in a classroom, or working on a book, she can be found performing onstage with other Fisherpoets, exploring the woods with her child, or swinging kettlebells at the gym where she coaches. Check out her work at queenofpirates.net.

Topics: anarchism 101 and making anarchist ideas accessible to broader audiences; climate science, climate justice, and climate organizing; language and power; writing as a tool of resistance; storytelling and spellbinding; fitness for Every Body; facilitation, group dynamics, and listening; radical pedagogy; radical parenting.

Paul Messersmith–Glavin is a long-time antiauthoritarian organizer and writer. He was a member of the Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation, and a founder of the Youth Greens, an organization best known for initiating the Earth Day Wall Street Action in 1990. Paul has served on the IAS board since its inception in 1996, and is a member of the Perspectives on Anarchist Theory journal collective since 2009. He has worked with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), doing workplace organizing, and was a member of Parasol, a climate change study, education, and action collective, as well as the Hella 503 Collective, which grew out of Occupy and, subsequently, did grassroots organizing work for five years. Most recently he has been involved in initiating popular mobilization against right-wing groups. He can speak to processes and perspectives on undoing patriarchal conditioning for men, holding people close as we engage in collective action and social change work, and radical parenting. He wrote the forward for, and edited, Javier Sethness Castro’s Imperiled Life: Organizing Against Climate Catastrophe (IAS/AK Press). His essay, “Between Social Ecology and Deep Ecology: Gary Snyder’s Ecological Philosophy” appears in The Philosophy of the Beats (University Press of Kentucky), and he has also been published in Upping the Anti, Free Society, Profane Existence, Counterpunch, and The Portland Radicle, among others. He spent a year living and working in China, five months in India and Nepal, and currently lives, works, loves, and is raising a family in the Pacific Northwest. He’s a bike commuter, a practitioner of Chinese medicine, and an avid softballer, among other things.

Topics: capitalism and ecology; politics of climate change; the importance of collective theory to social movements; the role of study groups, and democratic approaches to developing ideas together; revolutionary strategy, insurrection and organization; the radical history of acupuncture in the US, and its development within Maoist China; radical parenting and everyday antiauthoritarian practices;  and other topics.

Ashanti Alston Omowali is a former member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, and an ex-political prisoner. Formerly an IAS board member, Ashanti published the Zine Anarchist Panther, and speaks on the Panthers, anarchism, and the history of Black nationalist movements. He has spent time in Chiapas, Mexico, studying the autonomous structure of Zapatista communities, and is currently working on his memoirs. Ashanti resides on the East Coast.

Topics: lessons from the Black Panther Party; the history of Black nationalist movements; Black and postmodernist anarchism; and the relevance of the Zapatistas.

Maia Ramnath is a writer, historian, teacher, performing artist (aerialist/dancer/choreographer) and activist living in Lenapehoking (New York City). She was an IAS member, and is an editor and collective member for Perspectives on Anarchist Theory. She is the author of the books Haj to Utopia and Decolonizing Anarchism, and a contributor to anthologies including No Gods No Masters No Peripheries, The Internationalist Moment, Routledge Handbook of Radical Politics, and Palgrave Handbook of Anarchism, and is currently working on a book about the South Asian Progressive Writers movement and its international politics from anti-fascism to Afro-Asian solidarity. She has taught world history, South Asian history and writing at NYU, Penn State and Fordham University, and served as an instructor at the Institute for Advanced Troublemaking. Maia is currently active with Adalah-NY (BDS) and South Asia Solidarity Initiative/Alliance for Justice and Accountability. She has organized for many years in various capacities around intersecting manifestations of economic justice, environmental justice, racial justice, gender justice, global justice, Palestine liberation, indigenous solidarity, anti-fascism, anti-capitalism, and anti-imperialism.  She is still (always) struggling to figure out a more effective and accountable way to be-do-practice-make-share-learn-build-contribute-support-fight.

Topics: histories of colonialism and anti-colonial movements; decolonization, anarchism and anticolonialism; anti-authoritarianism in the global south/third world; politics of solidarity, empire and racial capitalism; radical history for radical futures; radical imaginations.

Kevin Van Meter is a writer, teacher, and activist originally from suburban New York and rural Vermont, and now currently based in Portland, Oregon where he serves as adjunct faculty in the field of human Geography. Holding numerous degrees in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Van Meter is currently completing his doctorate in Geography at the University of Minnesota, researching autonomist Marxism, social movement publications, and the production of space.  He is the author of Guerrillas of Desire: Notes on Everyday Resistance and Organizing to Make a Revolution Possible(AK Press, 2017), is the co-editor of Uses of a Whirlwind: Movement, Movements, and Contemporary Radical Currents(AK Press, 2010), and numerous other articles and book chapters. As a long-time supporter of the IAS, Van Meter’s intellectual and movement efforts focus on “organizers to come” and “organizations ‘all the way down,’” mutual aid and working-class self-activity, the refusal of work and everyday forms of resistance.

Topics: autonomist Marxism and its relation to anarchism; mutual aid, working-class self-activity, everyday forms of resistance; care-giving, care-work, and social reproduction; social movement and political theory as part of the revolutionary tradition; community organizing and popular education. 

Harsha Walia is a South Asian community organizer, facilitator, popular educator, and writer currently based in Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Indigenous Territories, in Western Canada. She has been active in grassroots movements including migrant justice, indigenous solidarity, Palestinian liberation, antiracism and feminist collectives, and anti-imperialist and anticapitalist struggles. She has also been involved in No One Is Illegal, Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign, Radical Desis, South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy, Vancouver Status of Women, Fire Women, and Trans of Color collective, South Asian Women’s Community Centre, Olympic Resistance Network, STATUS Anti-Imperialist Coalition, Anti-Authoritarian People of Color, and more. Her writings have appeared in alternative and mainstream publications, magazines, journals, and newspapers. She is also the author of the IAS/AK Press Anarchist Interventions book Undoing Border Imperialism.

Topics: anti-oppression in movement building; strategy and vision; no borders and migrant justice; alliances between anticolonial and anticapitalist struggles; third world liberation; antiauthoritarian people of color organizing; and anarchism in practice.

Dorian Wallace is an American composer, pianist, and teacher based in New York City. His compositions incorporate philosophic, social, and political themes. Wallace co-founded Tenth Intervention, a progressive new music collective and concert series based in New York City. Wallace is one of New York City’s most in demand accompanists for dance, playing for the Martha Graham Dance Company, Doug Varone and Dancers, Columbia University, and many others. He teaches composition, improvisation, and mindfulness meditation, and has lead workshops around the world. He leads music therapy session work through American Humanist Association and About Face, a group for veterans against war. Wallace currently lives in Harlem, New York with his partner, violinist Hajnal Pivnick. (www.dorianwallace.com)

Topics: The Radical Music Therapist; music and anarchism; nonhierarchical music education for the proletariat; mindfulness meditation.

Theresa Warburton is a scholar and organizer currently splitting her time between Narragansett/Wampanoag territories in Providence, RI and Lummi, Nooksack, and Coast Salish territories in Bellingham, WA. Her work is focused on how anarchist movements can better attend to issues of settlement and gendered violence within radical spaces with a special emphasis on the role that literature and storytelling can play in these projects. She has written for Perspectives on Anarchist Theory and Upping the Anti and is the co-editor (with Elissa Washuta) of Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers, forthcoming from University of Washington Press. She is also the author of The Politics of Make Believe: Answering Native Women’s Writing in Contemporary Anarchist Movements, on Northwestern University Press. Theresa is a member of the Perspectives on Anarchist Theory journal collective and the IAS. She’s been involved in a number of community organizations and projects that focus on indigenous sovereignty, prison abolition, gendered violence, and public education.

Topics: gendered violence in radical social movements; anarchism and feminism; anarchism and indigenous movements; settler colonialism; Native and Indigenous literatures in North America and the Pacific; gender and sexuality.

Kristian Williams is the author of Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America and the forthcoming Resist Everything Except Temptation: The Anarchist Philosophy of Oscar Wilde, as well as an editor of Life During Wartime: Resisting Counterinsurgency.

Topics: police; counterinsurgency and political repression; Oscar Wilde.

Lesley Wood has been involved in many movements throughout her life. Today she is a member of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and the Blackfly Sustainable Living and Education Cooperative. She is a sociologist at York University, and has written a number of books including Crisis and Control: The Militarization of Protest Policing (Pluto 2014); and Direct Action, Deliberation and Diffusion (Cambridge 2012).

Topics: Lesley can speak on questions of solidarity, strategy, and organization; on anarchist gatherings from the 1980s to the present; as well as on protest policing and the militarization of policing.

For more information about any of our speakers, or to arrange a talk, please email: info@anarchiststudies.org