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A study in anarchy

With no campus, accreditation, or heirarchy, Corvid College thrives underground
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  August 1, 2011

Greer anarchy
ROAD TO NOWHERE Christian Greer’s Corvid College exists everywhere, and no place at all. It’s the manifestation of his idea that no one experience is the same for everyone.

Christian Greer doesn't believe in geography.

"It's a myth," he says, smiling at the Narragansett tallboy he's about to bury in his beard. "That may sound ridiculous to some people, but you can't deny that there are concepts you won't see on a map."

Corvid College certainly isn't on any map. It's a school with no tuition, hoops team, or campus per se. Instead, its nomadic students meet everywhere from public green spaces, to living rooms, to the uber-indie Lorem Ipsum bookstore in Inman Square, where 27-year-old Greer has taught classes on everything from cyberpunk to hallucinogens.

Corvid is everywhere. Corvid is nowhere. Corvid is unaccredited.

Named after a family of birds that is markedly playful and diverse, Corvid is a benevolent underground anarchist institute fostering eclectic inter-disciplinary thought. The resulting counter-curriculum features such offerings as "A political survey of fantasy literature: Authoritarianism vs. Anarchism in Lord of the Rings."

Greer launched the floating college in late 2009, after becoming "sick and tired of a Boston that was just bars, nightclubs, and a bunch of consumer bullshit."

"I wanted to live in a place with late-night swimming, streaking, and things like that," says Greer. "I wanted my life back."

For the past year and a half, Greer has acted as a teacher and spiritual cheerleader for a group that now boasts more than 80 hipsters, bookworms, and the like. He's also Corvid's unofficial publicist, and, to entertain his geographic skepticism, Greer took on an added role as the school's "chairman of cartography." So I put it to him: "So you're telling me your school has no campus, and, essentially, no physical resources. Does that hurt with recruiting?"

"It sounds hippy-dippy," Greer says, "but when people ask where Corvid is, I tell them that it's in their mind."

I don't even laugh. He's beginning to make sense. "Boston isn't a static idea," he goes on. "My Boston is different than your Boston, and the same goes for everybody else. With Corvid, we're trying to figure out what kind of Boston we can all create together."

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