<aside> 📝 Created and taught by Dr. Alexandra Edwards


Course Description

When you hear the word “anarchy,” you might think of chaos, disorder, even violence. And yet, as a political philosophy, anarchism opposes violence, promotes utopian ways of thinking, and inspires remarkably cogent and inspiring pieces of writing. How can we understand these seeming contradictions? Is there more to anarchism than chaos?

In this survey-style course, we will read, watch, and listen to anarchist (and anarchist-adjacent) nonfiction from a variety of genres, including memoir, reportage, manifesto, oratory, documentary, and more, with a goal of understanding how anarchist nonfiction has influenced and been influenced by culture, society, and individuals throughout history. We’ll explore threads that range from 16th and 17th-century European Christian Anarchism to 21st-century indigenous guerrillas operating an autonomous society in Mexico. We’ll apply a variety of critical approaches to these texts as we practice analyzing literary genre.

Since anarchism rejects hierarchies and is skeptical of authority, we will spend the semester investigating and resisting the forms of hierarchy and authority all around us, including how college classes are “usually” conducted. While I am, to the university, the “expert” at the front of the room, in practice I will strive to be a facilitator for your self-directed learning. For more about what this means on a practical level, see the section on “Assignments and (un)Grading.”

Reading List

Assignments and (un)Grading

Statement of Goals

Midterm Self-Assessment

Collaborative Mutual Aid Project Proposal

Final Self-Assessment

What is Ungrading and Why is It a Thing?

<aside> 📖 This explanation is adapted from Monica Heilman. I have revised it to better reflect my values.