CC in April – Unsettling Theology: Decolonizing Western Interpretations of Original Sin

This month we are pleased to present another opportunity to engage original research. Melanie Kampen ( will present chapter 5 of her recently defended Master’s Thesis Unsettling Theology: Decolonizing Western Interpretations of Original Sin. The chapter reads quite well on its own but if you are interested please leave a comment and I send the entire thesis.

So please come and join us Friday April 25 @ noon (Katherine Friesen Centre; 940 Notre Dame Ave)

Chapter 5 & Epilogue - Conversion & Assimilation: Redemption, Resurgence, and Romans 5-8

CC in March – Blum and Foucault

This month will be engaging a chapter out of Peter Blum’s recent book For a Church to Come: Experiments in Postmodern Theory and Anabaptist Thought.

We will be reading Chapter 1, “Foucault, Genealogy, Anabaptism.”

For those who are interested and ambitious I am also posting a background piece by Foucault that informs Blum’s work.
Michel Foucault – Nietzsche, Geneaology, History

We are meeting Friday, March 14 @ noon (Katherine Friesen Centre; 940 Notre Dame Ave).

CC in January – Bruno Latour and the future of critical thought

We will kick off 2014 with an important text in critical theory that asks the blunt question, “Critical theory died away long ago; can we become critical again?” Has critical theory run out of steam; must it always take away and never add?

Bruno Latour – Matters of Fact, Matters of Concern [.pdf]

We are meeting Friday January 10 @ noon (Katherine Friesen Centre; 940 Notre Dame Ave)

CC in December – Anarchy in the Ukraine

This month we will be engaging the original research of Sean Patterson a graduate student here in Winnipeg. We will be discussing aspects of the Makhnovshchina during the civil war in the Ukraine from 1917-1921, particularly as it was experienced in relation to the surrounding Mennonite communities. From Patterson’s work,

The Makhnovshchina emerged from the hope and expectations of the revolution and was developed, and ultimately defeated, in the devastation of civil war.  A thoroughly peasant movement it drew support predominantly from the rural poor (bedniaki and batraki) and to a lesser extent the middle peasantry (seredniaki). . . . A defining characteristic of the Makhnovshchina was its adherence to philosophical anarchism.  While the whole of the civil war “Green movement” could be described as “anarchistic” it was only the Makhnovshchina that was led by confirmed anarchists and actively strove through propaganda to make its ideological agenda widely known.

This essay seeks to lay bare the nature of the anarchist experiment through a comparative analysis of the movement’s beneficiaries and victims.

Please come having read the first linked text and it is encouraged that the other texts be read for further context and engagement.

Makhnovists and Mennonites: Intersecting Histories, Unacquainted Narratives
Re-Narrativizing Eichenfeld
Nestor Makhno Memoir Excerpts

We will be meeting Friday December 13, noon @ The Katherine Friesen Centre (940 Notre Dame Ave).

For those interested, Patterson’s entire thesis can be accessed here,

November CC – The Queer Failure of Judith/Jack Halberstam

Things will be a little different this November.

First, this month we will shift our regular second Friday slot to the first Friday. So we will be meeting Friday November 1st @ noon (The Katherine Friesen Centre 940 Notre Dame Ave).

The second change is that alongside a text of critical theory we will also be looking at a popular text. Malcolm Gladwell came up in our last reading group and, with help from Melanie Dennis Unrau (who will be facilitating), we will be reading Judith (now Jack) Halberstam’s The Queer Art of Failure (chapter three) alongside Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath (intro and chapter one). Failures and Underdogs.

We will focus on Halberstam but please give Gladwell a look as a point of cultural reference. I think this will be fun!!

Gladwell – David and Goliath – Intro and Chapter One
Halberstam – Queer Art of Failure – Chapter Three

Queer Art of Failure – Images and Endnotes