This is the web site for the “Fanaticism and the Abolition-Democracy: Critical Theory in the Spirit of Joel Olson” conference that happened Jan. 25-26, 2013. This conference broadly examined themes in the late Dr. Joel Olson’s work of fanaticism, racism, critical race theory, critical theory, praxis, political theory, and grass-roots politics. The participants included activists and academics presenting on roundtables and panels from the Northern Arizona University community, throughout the rest of the country, and various places throughout the world. One of the panels will have Dr. Olson’s friends presenting chapters of his unfinished book, American Zealot. Each day featured a different keynote speaker. Friday’s keynote was Critical Race Theorist and Professor Professor Noel Ignatiev speaking on “Extremism in the pursuit of liberty.” Saturday’s keynote is HLT Quan, an ASU Professor and a political theorist of radical movements, speaking on “Democratic Anarchism and the Art of Being Ungoverned.” The conference concluded with a screening of “Two Americans” — a documentary film about one family’s fight with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio — and a Q&A with the filmmaker.

For questions about the conference, please email nau.conference.committee@gmail.com.

From time to time, friends and students of Dr. Olson will post information on other events related to his life, philosophy, and thoughts. Check out the latest Olson event — the Olson teaching roundtable at Coconino Community College, the NPS special issue, and the Theory and Event issue on Olson’s work on fanaticism.

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