Anarchism in Europe
Anarchism in Europe: Movements, Activism, and Political Thought in an Age of Centralised Authority 2023-24
School Of History, Law And Social Sciences
Module - Semester 1
This module explores the history of different European anarchist movements since the late nineteenth century: their thinking, their activities in key historical events and their social, cultural, and political context.
Indicative course content list: • Background: a historical introduction to anarchism – definitions and history of concepts: ‘anarchy’, ‘anarchism’ • Peter Kropotkin • Kropotkin’s The Conquest of Bread • Anarchism and terror: Emile Henry – violence and counter-violence • From terrorism to general strike: anarcho-syndicalism in France (CGT) and Italy (USI) • Anarcho-syndicalism in Germany • The Makhnovshchina (anarchist Ukraine), 1917–1921 • ‘The world’s most dangerous woman’: Emma Goldman • Anarchism in the Spanish Civil War, 1936/37 • Anarchism in practice? Catalonia and Andalusia • Alex Comfort and the psychology of power • Anarchist influences in the ‘1968’ student protests • ‘1968’ in West Germany • Anarchism in literature and film: Conrad’s The Secret Agent
- Analyse individual pieces of historical evidence very closely – particularly setting them in context, judging their qualities as evidence, and explaining their significance.
- Demonstrate a close familiarity with a range of primary sources concerning anarchism in the twentieth century, analyse these sources, and use them in historical arguments.
- Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of various European anarchist thinkers and movements in the twentieth century.
- Judge between competing interpretations of anarchism and its context (including current historiographical positions).
- Present clear, evidence-based, and cogent historical arguments.
Essay requiring an analysis of an area of the topic.
Exam (Centrally Scheduled)
Unseen exam requiring short comment on extracts from primary documents (gobbets)