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
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,
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
After an extended summer holidays Critical Conversations is gearing up for another great year. This October our first session will be facilitated by Melanie Kampen. We will be looking at an important text in Indigenous thought, Vine Deloria Jr.’s God is Red. I have uploaded chapters 4, 6, and 7. We will be focusing on chapters 6 and 7 (about 30 pgs total).
Deloria – God is Red
Looking forward to seeing some regulars and some new faces!
We will be meeting Friday October 11, noon @ The Katherine Friesen Centre (940 Notre Dame Ave).
In April we will be reading Talal Asad’s contribution to Is Critique Secular? Blasphemy, Injury, and Free Speech (2009). The title of his chapter is “Free Speech, Blasphemy, and Secular Criticism.”
We will be meeting Friday April 12, noon @ The Katherine Friesen Centre (940 Notre Dame Ave).
This month we will be reading a text by Karen Barad entitled, “Posthumanist Performativity.”
We are meeting Friday March 8th at noon (Katherine Friesen Centre, 940 Notre Dame Ave).
See you then!
I realized that I did not include endnotes for Geophilosophy. They can can be downloaded here.
I was also looking at an earlier chapter and, given how central the terms reterritorialization and deterritorialization are for our chapter, I thought I would include this quote from chapter two ‘Conceptual Personae’.
It seems to us that a social field comprises structures and functions, but this does not tell us very much directly about particular movements that affect the Socius. We already know the importance in animals of those activities that consist in forming territories, in abandoning or leaving them, and even in re-creating territory on something of a different nature (ethologists say that an animal’s partner or friend is the ‘equivalent of a home’ or that the family is a ‘mobile territory’). All the more so for the hominid: from its act of birth, it deterritorializes its front paw, wrests it from the earth to turn it into a hand, and reterritorializes it on branches and tools. A stick is, in turn, a deterritorialized branch. We need to see how everyone, at every age, in the smallest things as in the greatest challenges, seeks a territory, tolerates or carries out deterritorializations, and is reterritorialized on almost anything – memory, fetish, or dream. . . . Social fields are inextricable knots in which the three movements are mixed up so that, in order to disentangle them, we have to diagnose real types or personae. The merchant buys in a territory, deterritorializes products into commodities, and is reterritorialized on commercial circuits. . . . We believe that psychosocial types have this meaning, to make perceptible, in the most insignificant or the most important circumstances, for formation of territories, the vectors of deterritorialization, and the process of reterritorialization. – What is Philosophy, 67-68.
CC will be taking a break for January but I will take advantage of all your good new year’s intentions and post February’s text. We will be reading chapter four of Deleuze and Guattari’s What is Philosophy. The chapter is titled, “Geophilosophy” [pdf].
We will be meeting Friday February 8, noon @ The Katherine Friesen Centre (940 Notre Dame Ave).