segunda-feira, 30 de março de 2009

anarchism and archaeology

Anthropology graduate students at Binghamton University (SUNY) are organizing a RATS (Radical Archaeological Theory Symposium) conference, October 16-17, 2009.
The theme will be "anarchism and archaeology."

The label “radical archaeologist” carries both theoretical and practical implications. As people who wear the label proudly, we share a commitment to engage with ideas that are often considered anti-establishment, marginal, or confrontational. Moreover, we embrace a political commitment to act against entrenched systems of oppression, such as racism, sexism and discrimination; and on a larger scale all forms of colonialism and imperialism.

The greatest threat to a radical position is a slow mainstreaming into respectability -- when a “grand theory” becomes institutionalized, when debates are reduced to questions of doctrine, when radical practice is bravely (re)presented in discourse but does not extend beyond the classroom or lab door.

This RATS conference challenges archaeologists to engage with ideas drawn from the political philosophy of anarchism: the belief that hierarchies of any kind are inevitably corrupting, oppressive and dehumanizing; and a paired commitment to act against hierarchies and coercive practices at all times.
We believe that any discussion of theory is aimless without a paired focus on practice/praxis. Anarchism can easily be viewed as a principle of practice only. One goal of this conference is to examine the extent to which anarchist practice can, is, or should be grounded in theory. How can we rethink the dialectic, but all too often missing, link between anarchist theory within academia and anarchist practice outside of academia?
Few archaeologists self-identify as anarchists, yet we are perhaps uniquely suited to investigate and expose the situated, historical trajectories of hierarchy, domination and resistance. Moreover, as practitioners in the classroom, lab, field and society, we can set our imagination free and live out our ideas. We wish to explore the implications of anarchism for archaeological theory and practice.

We challenge participants to consider:
1. Does anarchism have a body of theory that can be applicable to archaeological theory?
2. Can or should archaeology contribute to anarchist theory(?) and practice?
3. How would an anarchist archaeology be theorized and practiced?
4. What roadblocks (institutional, pedagogical, practical and otherwise) to anarchist archaeological theory and/or practice must be opposed, and how?
5. How can anarchist archaeological theory and methods be developed?

We invite papers on these and related topics for presentation and discussion. We envision a lively, participatory environment, with an agenda largely directed by the wants and needs of the group. Breakout session space will be made available. In addition to the papers and discussions, possibilities include but are not limited to video reports/digests, web presentations, poster/art creation and display, developing an agenda for an anarchist archaeology, etc. The goal is to open spaces for new forms of discussion and presentation.

Abstracts for papers (150 words or less) are requested by Friday, April 24, 2009. In addition, proposals for specific working groups, or posters or other visual presentations, are requested by the same date (though these will be accepted later as well). Direct all submissions and inquiries to

David Graeber's 'Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology':

Mark Lance, professor of philosophy and director of the Program on Justice and Peace at Georgetown University.

Mark Lance earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, and held a three year post-doctoral fellowship at Syracuse University.
Professor Lance works mostly in the areas of philosophy of language, epistemology, philosophical logic, and metaphysics, but writes as well on pragmatism, feminism, meta-ethics, the foundations of mathematics, anarchist theory and applied issues of social justice activism. He has published over 30 articles and two books on such topics as relevance logic, normativity, meaning, Bayesianism, and sexual identity. He is currently writing books on anarchism and rational community, understanding, defeasible laws (with Margaret Little), and the pragmatics of social authority (with Rebecca Kukla), as well as articles on such topics as the foundations of set theory, and consensus decision making. His most recent book is 'Yo!' and 'Lo!': the pragmatic topography of the space of reasons, co-authored with Rebecca Kukla, which was recently published by Harvard University Press.
Outside of philosophy, Professor Lance is an activist and organizer, and has given more than 250 presentations on political and activist topics to universities, community organizations, religious institutions and activist meetings.

Recent Publications:

“Civil Society and Civil Disobedience: Strategy and Tactics of solidarity,”
in a volume of papers from the 2005 United Nations meeting on the implementation of the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on the Wall in Occupied Palestine.
“Toward a unified strategy of Solidarity with Palestine: The case for the
Caterpillar campaign,” forthcoming in a volume of papers from the 2005 Trans-Arab Research Institute conference.
“Fetishizing Process,” Social Anarchism #38, 2005. Reprinted and widely debated on
numerous websites.
“Challenging Left Dogma on the Draft,” Left Turn, 2004, widely distributed and
debated on the web.
“Walls, ‘states,’ and resistance,” in Washington Report On Middle East
Affairs, October 2003.
“Israel’s Apartheid Wall and Palestinian Resistance,” published in Left Turn, Dec/Jan
“Not an anti-war movement,” published in Left Turn, Fall 2001, and The Peace
Chronicle, Fall 2001.
“Anti-Authoritarian activism in the wake of Sept. 11” in Perspectives on Anarchist
Theory, Summer 2002.
“Identity Judgments, Queer Politics,” (with Alessandra Tanesini), Radical Philosophy
100, March/April 2000. Reprinted in Queer Theory (Readers in Cultural
Criticism Series), ed Morland, Willox, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2004.
“Study, Act, Reflect, and Analyze: Service Learning and the Justice and Peace Studies Program at Georgetown,” (with Sam Marullo and Henry Schwarz), in Teaching
for Justice: Concepts and models for service-learning in Peace Studies,
Kathleen Maas Weigert and Robin J. Crews, eds., American Association for
Higher Education, 1999, pp. 47 – 55.

Awakening Reason: Towards a constructive anarchism
Moral Contextualism and Defeasible Laws (with Margaret Little)

Over 100 philosophical presentations at universities and academic meetings.

Over 250 presentations on political and activist topics to universities, community
organizations, religious institutions and activist meetings.

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