All Knees and Elbows of Susceptibility and Refusal

The book All Knees and Elbows of Susceptibility and Refusal: Reading History From Below began as a discussion between two friends, Anthony Iles and Tom Roberts, about the politics of writing history. Neither are trained historians. They have assembled a critical and necessarily partial picture of the practice of ‘history from below’: historiographical tendencies which sought to uncover the agency of ‘ordinary people’ in challenging capitalism and developing different forms of social organisation. All Knees and Elbows surveys the work of a number of British and international left historians and groups, including Silvia Federici, History Workshop, Eric Hobsbawm, C.L.R James, Peter Linebaugh, Sheila Rowbotham, Jacques Rancière and E.P. Thompson.

“The completed study is not intended to be comprehensive. We’ve veered towards the subjects, areas and materials which interest us. These include questions of sources and their uses, working class education and self-education, welfare and the wage, language, historical authenticity and literary inventiveness, and contemporary political instrumentalisations of radical history. The book attests to the importance of reading history critically against the present.”

Authors: Anthony Iles & Tom Roberts
Illustrations: Artwork by Rachel Baker
Publishers: Transmission Gallery, The Strickland Distribution, Mute Books
ISBN: 978-0-9565201-3-5 (paperback) / 978-0- 9565201-4-2 (ebook)

Sample chapter:  Members Unlimited



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All Knees and Elbows Bibliography

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Taking a cue from E.P. Thompson, Paulson seeks to "outline the myths of the insurgents' (the 'radicals') imagination- the formal structures that shaped 'riots', in particular traditional forms of 'crowd ritual'." As an event, riots are both festive and seditious. They are defined in relation to the in-place social order, [...]
Sun, Aug 24, 2014 8:49:00 PM, Continue reading at the source
One of the central questions of social theory has been the relationship between class and knowledge, and this has also been a crucial question in the history of socialism. Differences between people – acting and knowing subjects – may influence our view of the possibility of valid cognition. If there [...]
Tue, Aug 12, 2014 2:35:00 PM, Continue reading at the source
Wed, Aug 06, 2014 11:55:00 AM, Continue reading at the source
@transpontine [...]
Fri, Jun 06, 2014 10:00:00 AM, Continue reading at the source
The official accounts and commemorations of the anniversary of World War One mask the real social history of the period. This conference is a chance for us to educate ourselves about the protests, strikes, mutinies and revolutions that preceded, provoked and, eventually, ended the war. We will also discuss how [...]
Mon, Apr 21, 2014 2:51:00 PM, Continue reading at the source
The text of “Democracy” was delivered as a talk at Oxford University’s La Maison française, as part of the colloquium “Littérature, espace(s) public(s) et démocratie” — Literature, Public Space(s) and Democracy — held November 1–2, 2013. For me, it concerns raising a voice of resistance to the illusions of capitalist [...]
Fri, Apr 11, 2014 1:45:00 PM, Continue reading at the source
Around the same time, Andy Swallow and Tony Wilson having already run a successful after-hours club at Mile End, Hackney, starts Echo's in a small club at the foot of Bow flyover, East London. Friday's are Tony Wilson's "Adrenaline" while Saturdays sees Andy Swallow's "Pasha". With links to ICF (West [...]
Wed, Mar 26, 2014 8:06:00 PM, Continue reading at the source
Outside London, Tommy Smith and Tony Creft take over the administration of the illegal parties in Blackburn after the first organisers are arrested. Almost every week empty warehouses in and around the Blackburn area are descended on by thousands of ravers. Sett End, Bubble Factory, Unit 7, Pump Street and [...]
Wed, Mar 26, 2014 6:40:00 PM, Continue reading at the source
History Workshop 13, on the subject of People’s History and Socialist Theory, took place between 30 November and 2 December 1979 at Ruskin College. The centrepiece was a plenary session in which E. P. Thompson, Stuart Hall, Richard Johnson, and others debated points raised in Thompson’s book The Poverty of [...]
Mon, Nov 19, 2012 4:28:00 PM, Continue reading at the source
History Workshop Online today launches an online exhibition of material from the archives of the History Workshop movement, held at Bishopsgate Institute in London [...] Below, Barbara Taylor considers the rise and fall of History Workshop. [...]
Mon, Nov 19, 2012 4:21:00 PM, Continue reading at the source