100 Years with and without Kropotkin

Conference, 25-27 August 2021, online

[Final programme in PDF in attachment]

[More info: https://100yearswithandwithoutkropotkin.wordpress.com]

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.