On May 20th at 7pm I-Books will be hosting the first of a series of reading group meet-ups on the excellent book Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Primitive Accumulation. Of interest to anyone invested in dissecting the histories of class struggle under feudalism, the privatization of the commons and wilderness areas, the rise of science and rationalist thought, the witchhunts, and women’s resistance to the proletarianization of free peasants, the book has received a renewed interest of late in anti capitalist, anarchist, and anticiv circles. From an online description of the text:
“Caliban and the Witch is a history of the body in the transition to capitalism. Moving from the peasant revolts of the late Middle Ages to the witch hunts and the rise of mechanical philosophy, Federici investigates the capitalist rationalization of social reproduction. She shows how the struggle against the rebel body and the conflict between body and mind are essential conditions for the development of labor power and self-ownership, two central principles of modern [capitalist] social organization.”
The first meeting of the reading group will discuss the books introduction and first two chapters: “All the World Needs a Jolt” and “The Accumulation of Labor and the Degradation of Women.” For those interested in getting a further background of some of the concepts laid out in Federici’s introduction, in particular Marx’s “primitive accumulation” and Foucalt’s “biopower,” short excerpts of relevant texts will be available as well. (Feel free to email back for those, and they will hopefully be posted online too)
If you do not have a copy of Caliban, feel free to buy one from I-Books, which should have more in stock soon!