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experiments in theory and interdisciplinarity

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, September 3

Welcome Back Reception

Join us for a welcome back reception in the Lincoln Hall atrium from 4:00-5:15 before the first lecture in the Modern Critical Theory Lecture Series on "German Idealism." We hope to see you there!

Featured Video

Michael Dawson (U Chicago), "Race, Capitalism, and the Current Crisis: Conundrums for Those Who Envisage a Socialist Future," Racial Capitalism Symposium Keynote Address

On March 30, 2019, the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory hosted a keynote address by Michael Dawson (U of Chicago) entitled “Race, Capitalism & the Current Crisis: Conundrums for Those Who Envisage a Socialist Future,” as part of the Racial Capitalism Symposium. Michael Dawson was...





Affiliated Courses

Unit-affiliated graduate courses, are open to graduate students in all departments and programs, and have a significant theoretical and interdisciplinary component. They can also be used to complete course requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Criticism and Interpretive Theory.

Modern Critical Theory Lecture Series

The Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory will offer a series of public lectures on the history of critical theory. These lectures, each of which will be followed by open discussion, will take place every Fall semester, on Tuesdays, from 5:15-6:45 pm.


A Unit seminar is a non-credit faculty/graduate student reading group. Attendance at all meetings is not required. Topics change each semester and grow out of the interests and recommendations of Unit-affiliated faculty and students. Most seminars lead to a symposium or conference enabling us to read the work of ourspeakers in advance of their visit to our campus. Recent topics have included: Technocultural Futurisms, Interrogating the Nonhuman Turn, Beyond Utopia? Freedom and Its Discontents, Bios, Mad World, and Feminist Futures.



Radical Collabs

In recent years, the Unit's boldest experiments in theory and interdisciplinarity have emerged from Radical Collaboratives (Radical ColLabs) formed to address major questions such as planetarity, racial capitalsim, climate change, technocultural futurisms, the non-human turn, and global threats to free speech. The collaboratives, which bring together Unit faculty and students from the humanities, social sciences, arts, and sciences, have opened up new fields of inquiry, revised interdisciplinary research models, and invented new event formats. The Radical ColLabs have made Illinois' unique research and creative strengths visible nationally and internationally and transformed research and teaching on campus.


See all Radical ColLabs



On April 27, the College of Fine and Applied Arts hosted a keynote address by Georgina Born (Oxford) entitled “Interdisciplinarity: Modes, Logics, Geneaologies, and Reflections,” as part of Methodologies, the 2019 Festival of the Arts, Design, and Planning symposium. Ian Nutting's (Musicology) response entitled, "Theorizing Interdisciplinarity: Georgina Born’s Relational Ontology of Interdisciplinary Autonomy," is now live on Kritik. As always, we welcome your comments. 

The Unit for Criticism & Interpretive Theory is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2019-21 Unit for Criticism & Interpretive Theory Faculty Fellows. Congratulations to the Junior Faculty Fellows, Vincent Cervantez (Spanish & Portuguese) and Maryam Kashani (Asian American Studies/Gender & Women's Studies), and Senior Faculty Fellow Julie Turnock (Media & Cinema Studies)! The fellowships are made possible by the generous support of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.






Congratulations to the winners of this year's Nicholson Graduate Fellowships, Alana Ackerman (Anthropology) and Jamillah Rasheda Gabriel (Information Sciences)! The fellowship covers the costs of tuition, accommodation, and travel to attend the Cornell School of Criticism and Theory's six-week summer seminars in critical theory.