Gossip as Direct Action (2013)

“Gossip as Direct Action” in Contesting Publics: Feminism, Activism, Ethnography (Pluto, 2013) pulls no punches as a ‘personal’ ethnographic account of sexism within contemporary anarchist collectives. In the process I mobilize and develop classic feminist debates regarding the construction of “public” vs. “private” space to suggest that anarchists operate according to state logic more than they may realize.

This piece is based on the ethnographic research of my Masters thesis in anthropology (2007), and also forms part of Chapter 2 in my PhD dissertation and current manuscript in progress, “Good Politics”: Property, Intersectionality, and the Making of the Anarchist Self.

The French language publishing house Remue Ménage will be translating “Gossip as Direct Action” to be presented in compilation with a francophone edition of Occult Features of Anarchism (forthcoming in 2022), which will emphasize my feminist intervention in this work. (To date Occult Features of Anarchism has received more attention for its treatment of “conspiracy theory” than its feminist critique of the Left.)

In Contesting Publics Sally Cole, Lynne Phillips, Marie-Eve Carrier-Moison and I also discuss the importance and challenges of public scholarship in our conclusion, “A Pedagogical Conversation: Public Scholars and Public Scholarship”.