100 years with Kropotkin: time and again, his concepts – social economy, communist reorganization, mutual aid – prove their worth for analysis and transformative action alike. Amidst the current ecological and economic crisis, Piotr Kropotkin’s immense body of work allows us to think across geography and the sciences, culture and politics, economy and ecology. However, as the neoliberal state mobilizes its full authoritarian potential to protect capitalist accumulation in a warming world, his anarchist horizon can appear distant. As we face compounding crises on an unprecedented scale, we are without Kropotkin. This means that Kropotkin cannot serve as an infallible guide to revolutionary thought and action. Instead of merely celebrating his legacy or using his work as a blueprint, this conference aims to suggest ways of adapting his varied thought to other times and places, refracting it through different approaches, and asking what it has to tell us about the crises of today.
By thinking with and without Kropotkin, this conference takes him at his word. After all, as a thinker of adaptive change in nature and revolutionary change in social life, he called for systems to be “continually developed and readjusted in accordance with the ever growing requirements of a free life” (1903). We invite scholars from all disciplines to engage with such development and readjustment. Inquiries into the applicability and adaptability of his thought in a variety of fields will be appreciated. Throughout, we aim to understand Kropotkin’s approaches as a repository of possibilities, an adaptable body of work that we invite participants to apply, revise, and reconsider.
Call for Papers
We welcome papers from a wide range of subjects in the hope of representing the multi-disciplinary approach of Kropotkin. For example, but not limited to, any of the below:
- The modern relevance of Kropotkin’s work: especially within the context of neoliberalism, the Covid 19 pandemic and climate change
- Kropotkin’s contributions to science and the philosophy of science
- Kropotkin’s position within the broader anarchist movement now and during his lifetime
- The practice of applying many of Kropotkin’s theoretical perspectives: direct action, mutual aid groups etc
- Critical perspectives on Kropotkin’s work and continuing relevance (especially from a marxist and anarchist perspective)
- Theories of change on individual, social, and planetary scales, adaptation, revolution, evolution
- Revolutionary practice and social transformations, optimism, utopianism, critique
- Forms of organisation, federation, communism, means and ends
- The forgotten Kropotkin: overlooked facets of his life, work, and theory
The main language of the conference will be English. However, we are welcoming proposals for panels delivered in another language (with the proposal please written in English). For individual participants who do not feel comfortable with English, please do not hesitate to get in touch to talk about it (email below).
Submission of Proposals
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