ASN hosts a variety of events and activities. The biennial Anarchist Studies Network conference is our flagship event which attracts people from all over the world. The conference is a focal point for many scholars to share new research, present ideas or simply meet like-minded people in convivial settings. The conference actively supports early-career or underfunded participants with grants and is committed to working on inclusion and dismantling structures of power within the space. We also organise smaller workshops and research activities lead by our members, notably through the PSA’s annual conferences.
ASN Code of Conduct
Please read the following guidelines if you are considering attending an ASN event. They apply to all ASN events, including meetings, conferences, online spaces, communications, etc. They came out of discussions at ASN conferences on how to make the space more inclusive. We are aware that safer space policies are never going to be perfect, exhaustive or always prevent oppressive behaviours. However, we argue that part of being an anarchist is to open up the possibility for free and equal association with others, and these guidelines should be seen as a way of accommodating that. Please feel free to email us with suggestions or criticism on how to improve them.
- Avoid making assumptions about people’s gender based on their appearance or their name. This includes, but is not limited to, asking for people’s pronouns (e.g. “she/her”) and providing yours.
- Be aware of power dynamics (e.g. sexism) and how they affect our actions.
- Listen and learn from people with first-hand experience.
- Be aware that oppressive behaviour can manifest through what you’re talking about and how you’re talking about it (e.g. using the word ‘crazy’ to describe something/suggesting that mental health conditions are not a real disability).
- Make sure you speak in a clear way, avoiding or explaining academic jargon or acronyms.
- Take a believing stance towards those speaking about their own experiences of violence, and avoid all forms of apologism for violence, particularly victim-blaming and gaslighting.
- Bear in mind that others may find certain conversations intimidating, triggering or draining and make sure discussion of traumatic topics (such as sexual violence) is entered into with appropriate care.
Be aware of:
- Sexist language or behaviour, e.g. assuming female or non-binary academics specialise in feminist issues.
- Transphobic language or behaviour, e.g. excluding trans women from discussions aimed at women.
- Binarist language or behaviour, e.g. splitting a group into “men and women” or excluding non-binary people from discussions aimed at trans people.
- Homophobic language or behaviour, e.g. suggesting that gay men are always camp.
- Biphobic language or behaviour, e.g. excluding bi people from discussions aimed at queer communities.
- Whorephobic language or behaviour, e.g. not treating sex work as work.
- Racist language or behaviour, e.g. derailing discussions about race and making derogatory generalisations about racialised faiths, especially Islam.
- Cultural appropriation – avoid using parts of cultures that you have a colonial relationship to, e.g wearing religious or cultural symbols from cultures rather than your own.
- Ableist language or behaviour, e.g. blocking wheelchair access to a room or assuming people don’t have a disability because you cannot see one.
- Body shaming (ourselves or others), e.g. “fat / short / ugly”.
- Ageist language or behaviour, e.g. young women can be established academics too.
Remember it is up to every individual person in the space to make others aware of oppressive behaviour and language when they see it and support others who speak up.
Remember that some people are more affected by certain issues than others.
Maintain the confidentiality agreed in each discussion and avoid outing queer people, trans people, people with hidden disabilities, and survivors of violence.
In case of conflict:
In general, we do not think that calling people out is the best way to approach an inappropriate or offensive behaviour. Learning how to dismantle patriarchy, racism, homophobia and other oppressive structures is a long-term process and a collective one that needs to be consistently engaged with. That said, sometimes calling-out can happen. If you do get called out during an event, please take it humbly and use it as an opportunity to improve your understanding of the issue you’ve been called out on. Please do not expect the person who called you out to provide resources or engage with the issue further. When possible, we suggest calling people in, i.e. have a private conversation with them to explain why their behaviour was unacceptable and ways they can improve it, or ask someone else you trust to do it instead of you. We also recognise that not everyone is able to do this, and we don’t judge the ways people decide to approach a difficult situation.
Whatever the case may be, please do not hesitate to contact the organisers of the event if you need support.
Some resources for further reading: