Although unintended, the internet is the quintessential example of a large scale anarchist organization. There is no hierarchical authority controlling the internet, the subunits participate voluntarily, information flows freely, individuals join and exit associations at will. Since the internet also contains abundant information about anarchism, it is the perfect medium for a course on the political history and theory of anarchism. This course is designed following a "content based approach to internet literacy" and involves active learning. You do not need to have any internet skills at the beginning of the course, but by the end of the course, not only will you have learned about the history and theory of anarchism, you will have become internet literate and made quality contributions to the information available on the internet.
Each week we will study a different anarchist theorist or movement, and week by week internet skills will be introduced that will allow you to both consume and produce materials dealing with the history and theory of anarchism. Just as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the first theorist to call himself an anarchist, acquired much of his education as a by-product of working as a printer, you will learn what the classic anarchists had to say as you prepare their words for publication on the World Wide Web. Although there are two texts for the course, much of the reading will consist of material already on the WWW and material you will scan and mark-up for electronic publication in the "Anarchy Archives".
Class sessions will consist of lectures, workshops, computer lab sessions, discussions, and internet video conferencing with scholars who have written about the history and theory of anarchism.
Traditionally, teachers control students' behavior by establishing a hierarchy based on the power to grade. The result is that most students pursue grades rather than knowledge. Anarchists have approached education in an entirely different manner. Anarchists believe that in all spheres, including education, "more harm than good results from coercion, top-down direction, central authority...pre-ordained standardisation..., etc." (Goodman, 1987, "The Anarchist Principle", in A Decade of Anarchy, ed. Colin Ward, p. 38. Also see Godwin, Political Justice, Book IV, Chapter 5, appendix.) Anarchists still recognize the value of leadership and expertise, but leadership and expertise must be separated from the exercise of power in order to avoid the deleterious and corrosive effects of coercion. Accordingly, in this course, evaluation will not result in a grade. As elaborated upon below, all students enrolled in the course will receive an "A" on their transcript. In this course, evaluation will be solely for the purpose of edification, and will be reserved strictly for participating members of the course collective.
The practice of anarchy requires order and moral integrity. Although adherence to anarchism is by no means a requirement of the course, order and integrity are necessary values to maintain if the course is to be a success. To meet these requirements, by voluntarily enrolling in this course and thereby becoming a member of the course collective, you have agreed to attend class sessions, make weekly contributions to the "Anarchy Archives", do the weekly reading for the course on a regular basis, and by the end of the semester 1) produce one scholarly work on any topic in the history and theory of anarchism, and 2) be internet literate (See: Internet Literacy Skills). If at any time during the semester you wish to leave the course collective, you may do so simply by dropping the class. If you choose to leave the course collective after the official add/drop period you will receive a "WP" (withdraw passing) grade on your transcript. If at any time during the semester you fail to meet the requirements of membership in the course collective, you may be asked to withdraw from the course. If you fail to withdraw from the course after being asked to withdraw, you will receive an "F" for the course on your transcript. Coming to the second class meeting constitutes agreement to these terms.
By eliminating traditional grading from the internal structure of the course I hope to create the possibility of a truly collective learning experience. Hopefully, this will create an environment in which we participate in the class activities for the intrinsic pleasure of learning, not the fear of a plummeting GPA. While grading has been eliminated, work has not. Perhaps by removing the drudgery of grades, room can be made to experience the joy of productive work. The class is designed in such a way that we will all be able to make real contributions to others' potential for learning, at the same time that we learn ourselves. How much we each learn will depend upon how much effort we each put into the course. On that note, I should make it clear that I have no interest in providing a refuge for those in need of a GPA fix. Therefore, you will be expected to make an effort to participate in the class. If you do not make that effort, you will be wasting not only your time, but other members' time as well and you will be asked to drop the course. Taking this class, therefore, should not be done lightly. The basic activities of the course are elaborated upon below, including descriptions of the "bare minimum" for meeting course expectations.
Marshall, Peter. (1993), Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism. London: Fontana Press. Bookchin, Murray (1977). The Spanish Anarchists. New York: Harper and Row.There will also be occasional articles or chapters in books that will need to be read. These will be on reserve or online. In short, actual assigned readings are relatively modest, i.e., generally less than 100 pages a week. Each week, however, there will be additional reading necessary to make your contribution to the Anarchy Archives and to produce the scholarly work due by the end of the semester. The reading list will contain extensive bibliographies from which you can select additional reading material.
If you are new to the internet or still nervous pulling into the fast lane of the infobahn, a very basic, easy to read resource is:
Patrick Crispen (1997), Atlas for the Information Superhighway. Cincinnati: South-Western Educational PublishingA few copies have been ordered as a "recommended" book and are available at the bookstore. If you already can navigate the net, the Atlas will be unnecessary.
This section of the course will be different for each member depending upon your starting level of internet literacy skills. The skills necessary to be internet literate will be covered throughout the course and, as needed, may require an additional "lab hour" each week. The reading list below has links which will help you accomplish the course projects and in the process become internet literate. Each set of links focuses on a different internet skill. To be internet literate, you should have each of the following basic skills:
If you already know most or all of these skills, you will 1) scour the archives for ways to improve its organization, 2) update links, 3) screen materials produced by other students in the course collective before they are submitted for inclusion in the Archive, 4) improve the presentation of material in the Archive, including producing links within and between documents in the Archive, and 5) help others in the collective to achieve internet mastery. As part of that assistance, rather than working on an Archive contribution, you may prefer to work on various parts of the Internet Literacy Skills Modules.
For students who have not yet become internet literate, activities will be designed so that each week different internet skills can be mastered. The reading list includes material on the WWW to help you master these skills and there is a set of tasks embedded in the reading list designed to help you develop each skill. For some, these will be new tasks, for others all the tasks will be old hat. Everyone, expert or novice, is expected to perform the tasks. Some of the tasks are related to the weekly archive contributions, but some are not.
Anarchie (FTP Client)
BBeditLite (HTML Editor)
StuffIt Lite 3.6 (Utility)
Fetch (FTP Client)
Graphic Converter (Graphics Utility)
ircle (Chat Client)
rtftohtml (Word to Web Utility)
Stuffit Expander (Utility)
NCSA Telnet (Telnet Client)
The InFORMer (translates form data)
Turbo Gopher (Gopher Client)
WebColor (HTML Color Assistant)
WebMap (Creates Interactive Maps)
CRT (Telnet Client)
CuteFTP (FTP Client)
EOHex (Color Picker)
FreeAgent (News Reader)
FTPVoyager (FTP client)
HGopher (Gopher Client)
Mapedit (Creates Interactive Maps)
Stuffit Expander (Utility)
Trumptel (Telnet Client)
UltraEdit (HTML Editor)
wsircc20 (Chat Client)
The required readings are listed below in green type.
|Internet Literacy Skill: Email||Bibliographic Resources|
|Internet Literacy Skills Task 1|
|GODWIN AND HIS TIME|
|Internet Literacy Skill: Telnet||Bibliographic Resources|
|Internet Literacy Skills Task 2|
|PROUDHON AND HIS TIME|
|Internet Literacy Skill: HTML||Bibliographic Resources|
|Internet Literacy Skills Task 3|
|BAKUNIN AND HIS TIME|
|Internet Literacy Skill: Utilities||Bibliographic Resources|
|Internet Literacy Skills Task 4|
|THE PARIS COMMUNE, SOCIALISM AND ANARCHISM|
|Internet Literacy Skill: Gophering||Bibliographic Resources|
|THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL|
|Internet Literacy Skills Task 5||Bibliographic Resources|
|KROPOTKIN AND HIS TIME|
|Internet Literacy Skill: Conferences||Bibliographic Resources|
|Internet Literacy Skills Task 6|
|EMMA GOLDMAN'S LIFE & TIMES|
|Internet Literacy Skill: FTP||Bibliographic Resources|
|EMMA GOLDMAN'S PHILOSOPHY|
|Internet Literacy Skills Task 7|
|STIRNER, MALATESTA, TOLSTOY,AND OTHERS|
|Internet Literacy Skill: Searching||Bibliographic Resources|
|THE IMPACT OF NINETEENTH CENTURY ANARCHISM|
|Internet Literacy Skills Task 8|
|ANARCHISM AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION|
|Internet Literacy Skill: USENET||Bibliographic Resources|
|ANARCHISM IN THE CHINESE REVOLUTIONS|
|Internet Literacy Skills Task 9||Bibliographic Resources|
|Internet Literacy Skill: Advanced HTML||Bibliographic Resources|
|Internet Literacy Skills Task 10|
|THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR|
|Internet Literacy Skill: Graphics||Bibliographic Resources|
|THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR|
|LATIN AMERICAN ANARCHISM
|Internet Literacy Skills Task 11|
|ANARCHIST POLITICS AND ECONOMICS|