Book Progress Report, Week 18

1 Apr

Did a few non-writing activities for the book this week. Found images to send to the cover designer, hoping they will make their way in some form onto the cover. Right now the idea is to have a cluster of pins/buttons with some common anarchist symbols that directly relate to the content of the book (poly anarchy, Food Not Bombs, bikeanarchy, etc).

On Thursday  got to see David Graeber speak at NYU. It was my first time seeing him speak, and I was really intrigued by his new argument, that we can think of whole cultures as successful social movements (see Nick Mirzoeff’s recap of the talk for more info). Within this work, Graeber is paying a lot of attention to the idea of refusal–e.g. what *don’t* cultures adopt as they develop–which is super relevant to my new project actually (the Media Refusal project – there was never a question that Graeber would be relevant to the Lifestyle Politics and Radical Activism project).

The Q&A period was slightly traumatic for me due to some sectarian shenanigans from some always lovely RCP types. I haven’t been to many anarchist events aside from Occupy things since doing my dissertation fieldwork, and I had forgotten how disturbing I find that kind of disruption. I can’t imagine having to face that sort of conflict on a regular basis, which is probably a central reason why I’ve chosen academic writing over other, perhaps more effective, forms of activism. It makes me nervous about presenting my anarchism work in public venues, though if we’re being realistic, my work will probably never attract enough attention to receive this kind of backlash. Probably also helps that I don’t explicitly identify as an anarchist. If I ever get rogue misogynists or homophobes in an audience though, I hope I can handle the conflict as gracefully as Graeber did.

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