In the spirit of labor schools and free universities comes AnarchistU, a Toronto-based free education collective starting classes this September. Open education was, once upon a time, a foundational activity of labor-oriented political movements. For instance, the Workmen’s Circle, a Jewish mutual aid society dating to the last decade of the 19th century, ran a circuit of travelling lecturers across the country, delivering talks on topics ranging from literature to physics to Darwin to Marx.
AnarchistU doesn’t have quite so wide a selection of topics (yet?) but the ones they do offer look interesting: experimental literature, the Russian Revolution (ostensibly the one in 1917), art and collaborative techniques, and more. I, alas, am not a resident of Toronto, but I hope to follow from afar how things develop at AnarchistU–hopefully,they will stand as a model for similar experiments in other cities.