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Dr Carissa Honeywell


Phone 0114 225 5722

Research interests/current work

My research concerns the political theory of anarchism, particularly in 20th century contexts. This includes contextually focused and theoretical analyses of anarchist political thought. This has provided the basis from which to investigate key relationships between anarchism and other intellectual currents and social movements, establishing anarchism as a more significant later twentieth century ideological tradition that has been generally assumed.

My most recent project concerns the British trial of four anarchists in the closing years of World War Two. This trial was one of the most significant catalysts for the revival and development of the anarchist tradition in Britain, drawing figures like Herbert Read, Alex Comfort and Colin Ward into the movement as well as securing sympathies from figures like George Orwell.

The project involves examination of relevant holdings at the International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam, the People's History Museum, Manchester and the National Archives at Kew. For some British intellectuals, and for the anarchist ones in particular, this trial was direct evidence of the consolidation of a more comprehensive and invasive model of British statehood. The general neglect afforded to the British anarchist movements of the twentieth century means that the significance of the confrontation between the state and the anarchists, specifically in relation to the social and political settlements of the wartime and post-war era, have not been fully realised in relation to the critical examination of the democratic features of the British polity. This research aims to highlight the revealing anomalies of the prosecution of the anarchists under wartime regulations and illustrate the anarchist sensitivities to the shortcomings of the British political settlements of the era.

Research outputs: key publications since 2004

Honeywell, C. (2011) A British Anarchist Tradition: Herbert Read, Alex Comfort and Colin Ward (New York: Continuum)

Honeywell, C. (2011) Paul Goodman: Finding an Audience for Anarchism, Journal for the Study of Radicalism, 5.1

Honeywell, C. (2011) Bridging the Gaps: Anarchism Old and New in edited volume, Continuum Companion to Anarchism edited by Ruth Kinna (Forthcoming, Summer 2011)

Honeywell, C. (2011) Colin Ward: Anarchism and Social Policy, Anarchist Studies (19.2, Autumn 2011)

Honeywell, C. (2009) Art and Utopia: The Philosophies of Herbert Read, Altertopian, (1, November 2009)

Honeywell, C. (2007) Utopianism and Anarchism, Journal of Political Ideologies special issue on Utopianism and Ideology: Reflections in the Early Twenty-First Century

Conference papers

Anarchism and the British Warfare State: The Prosecution of the War Commentary anarchists, 1945, ESRC Conference International Relations: Rethinking Anarchy, University of Bristol, 18-19th June 2010, also the MMU Political Theory Workshops 3–5 September 2010

Anarchism and Mutiny in WWII, History Department Seminar Series, Sheffield Hallam University, March 2010, also SPP Departmental Seminar Series, Sheffield Hallam University, April 2010

Paul Goodman: Finding an Audience for Anarchism, Political Studies Conference, April, 2010

Colin Ward: Anarchist Social Policy, Ideology and Policy Conference, University of Nottingham, 19 January, 2010

Anarchism and Apocalypse in WW11, delivered at the 10th International Conference of the Utopian Studies Society, July 2009, Porto

Utopia and Prefiguration, delivered to the Sheffield University Critical Perspectives Group, Sheffield University, 11 June 2009

Art and Anarchism, 9th International Conference of the Utopian Studies Society, July 2008, Limerick University.

Anarchist thought and direct action: the theory and practice of prefigurative utopia, with Dr. Kevin Gillan, July 2007, Utopia: 8th International Conference of the Utopian Studies Society, Plymouth University.

The Anarchist Political Philosophy of Dr. Alex Comfort, April 2006, presented on one of three panels organised under the auspices of the newly formed PSA Specialist Group for the Study of Anarchism, Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Reading University.

Anarchism and Romanticism in the work of Herbert Read and Paul Goodman, April 2004 Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Lincoln University.

Utopianism and the Socialist Tradition, April 2005 Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Leeds.

Anarchism and Utopianism, 17 June 2005, Is there a Role for Utopia in Twenty-First Century Ideology? Conference, Sheffield University.

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