Specters of Anarchy: Literature and the Anarchist Imagination

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Algora Publishing, Oct 1, 2015 - Political Science - 296 pages
Anarchy. The word alone conjures strong emotional responses. Anarchism is one of the most important, if maligned, radical social movements. In the 21st century, anarchist politics have enjoyed a significant revival, offering a positive vision of social change and an alternative to the injustice and inequality associated with states and corporate dominance. Yet anarchism remains misunderstood and misrepresented in mass media and government accounts that associate the term with chaos and disorder. Despite the negative portrayals anarchism, in fact, has always been a movement of intense creativity. More than a political movement, anarchism has, for over a century, made important contributions to cultural developments, especially in literature and art. Often overlooked are the vital creative expressions of anarchism. This lively volume featuring works by innovative scholars presents the compelling potency of anarchist literature through distinct voices. Anarchism has greatly influenced literary production and provided inspiration for a diversity of writers and literary movements. Edited by a longtime anarchist theorist, this exciting collection of engaging works highlights the rich articulations of anarchism and literary creations. It places anarchism at the center of analysis and criticism. Authors examined include Octavia Butler, John Fowles, James Joyce, Ursula LeGuin, Eugene O’Neill, B. Traven, and Oscar Wilde, among others. The collection shows the richness of anarchist movements in politics and culture. Specters of Anarchy examines critically the generally overlooked intersections, engagements, debates and controversies between literature and criticism and anarchist theories and movements, historically and in the present period. Synthesizing literary criticism with the theory and practice of anarchism, this book offers a re-reading of important literary and political works. Anarchist politics is a major, and growing, contemporary movement, yet the lack of informed analysis has meant that the actual perspectives, desires and visions of this movement remain obscured. Lost in recent sensationalist accounts are the creative and constructive practices undertaken daily by anarchist organizers imagining a world free from violence, oppression and exploitation. An examination of some of these constructive anarchist visions, which provide examples of politics grounded in everyday resistance, offers insights into real world attempts to radically transform social relations in the here and now of everyday life.

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The Artists Individualism through Anarchy
The Legacies of Emerson and Thoreau
The Anarchist Politics of James Joyce
Spanish Anarchism in Literature
Anonymous Authorship in B Traven
Anarchistic Influence in The French Lieutenants Woman
Ursula K Le Guin Anarchism and Authority
An Anatomy of Rebellion
On Anarchism and Drama
10 What Things Could Come? Xenogenesis and PostAnarchist Feminism
List of Contributors

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About the author (2015)

Jeff Shantz, the editor, is an engaged activist scholar who has taught anarchist theories in a variety of university classes and community-based courses, and who has decades of community organizing experience within social movements. Jeff teaches critical theory, elite deviance, community and human rights in the Department of Criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Metro Vancouver, Canada. He is the author of the book Living Anarchy: Theory and Practice in Anarchist Movements. His writings have appeared in leading international journals including Critical Sociology, Critique of Anthropology, Feminist Review and New Politics as well as numerous anthologies. A longtime community organizer, he has been a member of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and host of the weekly "Anti-Poverty Report" on radio stations CHRY and CKLN in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Shantz received his Ph.D. from York University in Toronto.

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