Anarchism never left

October 1, 2009

Alex Prichard celebrates the return of anarchism as an academic subject ("More than mayhem", 24 September), but one might ask if it ever went away. As the convenor of the socialist history seminar at the Institute of Historical Research for 15 years, I've regularly booked anarchist speakers, who invariably offer robustly academic papers - and interesting political discussion in the bar afterwards.

Anarchists are well represented in areas such as social movement studies, particularly the annual Alternative Futures conference held at Manchester Metropolitan University. I don't think vice-chancellors need to worry just yet that their authority is about to be overthrown - sadly, some might say - but anarchist thought is firmly entrenched in the British academy, as it should be. I'm a lifelong Marxist, by the way ...

Keith Flett

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