... is the
guest speaker scheduled for the 131st meeting of the Karl Hess Club, to
convene on May 16, 2005.
Sharon Presley on "Voltairine's Relevance for Today"
This month we welcome Sharon
back for what is, we believe, the record for appearances by speakers before
the Karl Hess Club (not counting Brad, Neil, or Sam!) at five solo turns.
Sharon will discuss her book, Exquisite
Rebel: The Essays of Voltairine de Cleyre -- Anarchist, Feminist, Genius,
a commentary on essays by 19th century feminist libertarian Voltairine
de Cleyre. There will be a Q&A -- and Sharon will bring copies
to sign for interested book buyers!
Voltairine de Cleyre, wrote Emma
Goldman, was "the most gifted and brilliant anarchist woman America
ever produced." Yet de Cleyre's writings and speeches on anarchism
and feminism -- as radical, passionate, and popular at the time as Goldman's
-- are virtually unknown today.
Sharon's book brings de Cleyre
out from obscurity. It includes her classic essays "Anarchism and
the American Tradition," "The Dominant Idea," and "Sex Slavery," and 19
other essays, some never before reprinted. The collection spans the
vast breadth of de Cleyre's writing, encompassing anarchism, free thought,
feminism, education, literature, and political activism.
Also included are three biographical
essays (two new ones by the editors and a rare reprint from Emma Goldman),
plus introductory essays for each theme, placing de Cleyre's essays in
historical and current perspective.
An eloquent voice in the American
libertarian tradition of Thoreau and Jefferson, de Cleyre's insights into
political philosophy, feminism, and psychology are as fresh and relevant
now as in her own day.
Sharon Presley received a
B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and an
M.A. in psychology from San Francisco State College. She received
her Ph.D. in social psychology from the City University of New York Graduate
Center where she studied with Stanley Milgram, author of the classic Obedience
to Authority. Presley's Ph.D. dissertation was a study of political
resisters to authority.
She currently teaches psychology
at California State University, Hayward. She has taught at Iowa State
University, the College of Wooster, and Weber State College. She
has researched political resisters to authority, women resisters, Mormon
feminists, gender comparisons in moral judgement, and images of women in
A libertarian writer, speaker,
and activist since 1964, Presley was co-founder and former co-proprietor
of Laissez Faire Books, and Editor of
its book review/catalog, Laissez Faire Review, from 1972 to 1977.
She's written for many publications, including Free
Inquiry, Truth Seeker, Reason, Liberty,
Social Anarchism, and Inquiry.
A founding member and National
Coordinator of the Association of Libertarian
Feminists from 1975 to 1982, she has recently returned to the position
of National Coordinator of ALF. She has spoken and written extensively
about libertarian feminism and Voltairine de Cleyre.
For more information go to: Resources
for Independent Thinking.
ADDENDUM: David Harmon
took these images at the above meeting.