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Cover of book titled Letters on the Autonomy Project

Letters on the Autonomy Project

Janet Sarbanes

In the face of rising authoritarianism and on the heels of urgent struggle, autonomy calls to us. How might we excavate the theory and history of autonomous politics to arrive at new possibilities for radical democracy and the radical imaginary? How might we understand political and artistic autonomies as linked, rather than diametrically opposed? And what role does radical pedagogy have to play in all of this? Stylistically, these open letters, addressed inclusively to artists, activists, and academics, are modeled on the philosophical letters of Friedrich Schiller on the one hand and the revolutionary communiqués of the Zapatistas on the other. If we are indeed living in a time of creative struggle to remake the whole of society, then an understanding of the autonomy project – and how theory, pedagogy, activism, and art might contribute to it – is of burning relevance. Janet Sarbanes is the author of the short story collections Army of One and The Protester Has Been Released.

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