One of the most fertile areas of radical/critical geography at the moment has got to be anarchist geographies. Coming out in the journal we’ve had a special issue (papers here and video here) and symposium on James Scott’s Two Cheers for Anarchism (available here).
ACME have published a special issue (available here); Dialogues in Human Geography staged a debate (available here; see also this exchange); and there’s the three volumes of Anarchism, Geography, and the Spirit of Revolt, edited by Antipode authors Simon Springer, Marcelo Lopes de Souza and Richard White, coming out this year (see here, here and here).
As if all that isn’t enough, we’ve published not one but two superb papers by Federico Ferretti: “They have the right to throw us out”: Élisée Reclus New Universal Geography and Arcangelo Ghisleri and the “Right to Barbarity”: Geography and Anti-colonialism in Italy in the Age of Empire (1875-1914). We’ve featured a video abstract on the former before, and here are pleased to present Federico talking about his latest research…
Forthcoming in Antipode 48(3) this June, Federico’s paper analyses the works of an early anti-colonialist geographer, Arcangelo Ghisleri, who was instrumental in the circulation and translation in Italy of the anarchist Élisée Reclus’s ideas. By analysing primary sources, Federico shows that Ghisleri,
“as an exponent of the radical Italian Republicanism, took part in a critique of imperialism which was not limited to an opposition of contingencies like Italian imperial politics in Africa, but rather questioned all colonial discourse. The international circuits that elaborated these critiques, strongly influenced by anarchism, provided an early questioning of the uniqueness of the geographical standpoint, refusing ethnocentrism and claiming for scientific visions which tried to understand empathically the standpoints of the Others. This paper offers a contribution to present debates on anarchist geographies by exploring the early bases of their transnational and cosmopolitan nature, and to present postcolonial debates by providing a further case study on heterodox and anti-colonialist European geographies.”