Dr. Sharon Presley


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... is the guest speaker scheduled for the 131st meeting of the Karl Hess Club, to convene on May 16, 2005.


    Dr. 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.


    About Sharon Presley

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 music videos.

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.