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IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 911: Anarchist Approaches to Medieval History: A Round Table Discussion

Tuesday 2 July 2019, 19.00-20.00

Organiser:Ian Forrest, Oriel College, University of Oxford
Moderator/Chair:Ian Forrest, Oriel College, University of Oxford

Anarchism has not become a mode of historical interpretation in a way that is true of Marxism or feminism, with 'anarchist history' focusing largely on the history of the modern anarchist movement. This is a missed opportunity, given the interpretive potential to be found in anarchist ideas about the operation of power and the range of human potential, among other subjects. In different, but arguably complementary, ways both anarchists and medieval historians also resist the normative and explanatory claims of modernity. This round table is a forum for exploring the possibilities of anarchist approaches to medieval history. Issues for discussion may include the existence of non-state spaces (including James C. Scott’s 'Zomia' model) and autonomy, experiences of domination and inequality, alternate histories of institutions and the state, radical feminism, indigenous knowledge, environmental histories, the Middle Ages in the classical anarchist tradition, and the ethics of academic history. Participants will give short provocations to debate and contributions will be welcome from any interested persons.

Participants include Ian Forrest (University of Oxford), Amanda Power (University of Oxford), and Claire Taylor (University of Notitngham).