Perspectives on Anarchist Theory

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Vol. 7 - No. 1
Spring, 2003

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Institute for Anarchist Studies Update

By John Petrovato

Welcome to the spring 2003 issue of Perspectives! We are pleased to announce that the Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS) has successfully completed its sixth year of existence. Once again we have provided grants to exciting anarchist writers, met our fundraising goals, and published our bi-annual newsletter, Perspectives.

The IAS has experienced some major changes over the past year. In February, we added Alexis Bhagat to our board of directors and also elected Michael Caplan of Montreal as the IAS’s new general director. We believe Alexis and Michael will make important contributions to the IAS and help us improve its effectiveness and vitality.

The addition of Michael Caplan, our new general director, is extremely exciting for us.  Michael is very well suited for the position, as he has extremely strong administrative skills as well as a deep commitment to the development of anarchist theory. We expect that Michael will encourage the IAS to expand in new and improved directions. (Please note that we have also changed our mailing address, indicated in the box below.)

Our new board member, Alexis Bhagat, is also very exciting to us. Like Michael, Alexis has skills and experiences which we believe will contribute to the IAS. He has a long background in prison activism, the arts, and is a devoted writer. We welcome the two of them aboard.

As always, we must give thanks to all the generous friends of the IAS, both new and old, who have contributed to our fundraising campaigns. It is difficult to communicate how inspiring it is for us to see the anarchist community rallying around projects such as the IAS.

In February, we also awarded grants to four individuals. The projects range from historical analyses, to art criticism and literature, to anarchist cultural studies. More detailed information about these funded projects is available in the “Grants Awarded” section on the first page.

As the IAS ages, we expect that the work that we do, along with the myriad other important anarchist projects in existence today, will begin to have an effect and impact on social change in general and the anarchist community in particular. While anarchists already have an important role to play in new social movements around the globe and have provided key critical analyses, we expect that the work that we do today—both written and participatory—to have an essential impact in the coming years. 

We believe that the IAS, by providing much needed financial support to radical writers; by offering moral and technical support to both grantees and others; and by encouraging the growth of critical anarchist studies in general, is an important asset to the growing anarchist movement in the United States as well as in the world. We encourage those with an interest in furthering anarchist aspirations to join us and help support our work.

This issue of Perspectives interviews historian and radical critic Howard Zinn. Also included is a piece on what everyday life is like for Palestinians who live under a military occupation: what techniques are used to maintain control; how violence and the threat of  such differs from other colonial regimes; and how anarchists may understand this conflict and contribute to understanding and resistance.

Also included is Chuck Morse’s regular contribution, “What’s happening: Books and Events,” which reports on new books, articles, and other resources that are relevant to the anarchist community.

It is our hope that you find the essays, articles, and organizational updates included in this issue of Perspectives to be valuable. As always, we encourage people to contact us with questions or concerns.

Lastly, on a personal note, I would like to thank all the board members who had assisted me over the past year as general director. I resign from the position knowing that the organization will be in good (indeed better) hands. I also feel as hopeful as ever that the IAS will continue to evolve and become ever more relevant in contributing to the development of critical anarchist thought.

Perspectives on Anarchist Theory - Vol. 7, No. 1 - Spring 2003