Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations, Collective Theorization

Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations, Collective Theorization

Edited by Stevphen Shukaitis + David Graeber with Erika Biddle

From the ivory tower to the barricades!
Radical intellectuals explore the relationship between research and resistance.

What is the relationship of radical theory to movements for social change? In a world where more and more global struggles are refusing vanguard parties and authoritarian practices, does the idea of the detached intellectual, observing events from on high, make sense anymore? In this powerful and unabashedly militant collection, over two dozen academic authors and engaged intellectuals—including Antonio Negri and Colectivo Situaciones—provide some challenging answers. In the process, they redefine the nature of intellectual practice itself.

The book opens with the editors’ provocative history of the academy’s inherent limitations and possibilities. The essays that follow cover a broad range: embedded intellectuals in increasingly corporatized universities, research projects in which factory workers and academics work side by side, revolutionary ethnographies of the global justice movement, meditations on technology from the branches of a Scottish tree-sit. What links them all is a collective and expansive reimagining of engaged intellectual work in the service of social change. In a cultural climate in where right-wing watchdog groups seem to have radical academics on the run, this unapologetic anthology is a breath of fresh air.

“These essays present a series of inspiring examples of how to conduct research for radical politics both inside and outside the university.” – Michael Hardt, author (with Antonio Negri) of Empire and The Labor of Dionysus

“This book is one of a kind. This book answers the question of what anarchist social studies, as opposed to conventional marxism or liberalism might look like. It combines a searching discussion of methods of research with substantive issues such as “who is the researcher?” Arguing that research is engaged or it is nothing, that “academics” who have no commitment to fundamental social change generally cannot produce work that illuminates the world and sparks the radical imagination, the various authors represented in this volume have collectively made a critical contribution to knowledge. The introduction is itself a major contribution to our understanding of the significance of what the editors call '68 thought', the reference being not only to the famous May events in France but to the Italian hot autumn of the following year.” – Stanley Aronowitz, author of False Promises and The Knowledge Factory

Includes materials from Brian Holmes * Ben Holtzman // Craig Hughes // Kevin Van Meter * Antonio Negri * Colectivo Situaciones * Gavin Grindon * Maribel Casas-Cortes + Sebastian Cobarrubias * Angela Mitropolous * Jack Bratich * Harry Halpin * Jeff Juris * Gaye Chan + Nandita Sharma * Ben Shepard * Kirsty Robertson * Bre * Anita Lacey * Michal Osterweil + Graeme Chesters * Dave Eden * Uri Gordon * Ashar Latif + Sandra Jeppesen * CrimethInc Ex-Workers Collective

Available now from AK Press:

(Source: posting on the Research on anarchism list)

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May 30 2007 15:57


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