In this essay, online since septembre, 6th 2021, John-Erik Hansson examines how and why the 18th-century philosopher William Godwin has been portrayed – positively and negatively – as an anarchist by writers in the 20th century. In so doing, it sheds light on the ideological dynamics and possibilities implicit in the formation and circulation of an anarchist theoretical canon.
John-Erik Hansson is Lecturer in British History at the LARCA. He recently authored two essays on Godwin’s children’s literature, ‘Through the Looking-Glasses: Godwin’s Biographies for Children’ (2021) and ‘William Godwin, Romantic-Era Historiography and the Political Cultures of Infancy’ (2020), in edited volumes. He is also co-editor of the Ideology, Theory, Practice blog.
Anarchist Essays is a blog by Loughborough University’s Anarchism Research Group. For more information on the ARG, visit www.lboro.ac.uk/subjects/politics-international-studies/research/arg/ or Twitter @arglboro.
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LISTEN TO THE PODCAST (duration 16 mn, Spotify, registration may be required)