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 on Tuesdays from 5:15-6:45pm in 1090 Lincoln Hall. The lectures are coordinated with graduate seminars on critical theory in a number of departments, but are also open to other faculty or graduate students who may wish to attend.
Students may wish to purchase the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, Third Edition (2018).
NOTE: Participants who are not registered for one of the affiliated courses and who would like to read the supporting readings should email Alyssa Bralower (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Week 1 (8/28): No Public Lecture
Week 2 (9/4): German Idealism
Lecture: Helga Varden, Philosophy, UIUC
- Ch.13: "Of the Natural Condition of Mankind, as concerning their Felicity, and Misery," pp. 86-90
- Ch. 14 (excerpt): "Of the first and second Natural Lawes, and of Contracts," pp. 91-92
- Ch. 17: "Of Commonwealth," pp. 117-121.
- Ch. 2 "Of the State of Nature," p. 269-278.
3. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques: Excerpt from The Social Contract and Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men, in Basic Political Writings (ed. Donald A. Cress, Hackett Publishing Company, 2012).
- Discourse, Part 2, app. 69-75
- The Social Contract: ch. 1-7, 156-165
- paragraphs 1-5 (pp. 401-403/6: 245-249)
- paragraph 10 (pp. 411-413/6: 258-260)
- paragraph 41-5 (pp.450-457/6:305-314)
Week 3 (9/11): Structuralism
Lecture: Jeff Martin, Anthropology, UIUC
2. Gleick, James. 2011. The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood. NY: Vintage. (especially Chs 7 & 8, pp. 204-268)
3. Wilcken, Patrick. 2010. Claude Levi-Strauss: The Father of Modern Anthropology. NY: Penguin. (especially Chs 4 & 5, pp. 115-201)
Week 4 (9/18): Psychoanalysis
Lecture: Rob Rushing, French & Italian
4. Lacan, Jacques. "The Mirror Stage." In Écrits: A Selection, translated by Alan Sheridan, Routledge, 2001, pp. 1-6.
5. Žižek, Slavoj. "Courtly Love, or Woman as a Thing." In The Žižek Reader, edited by Elisabeth Wright and Edmond Wright, Blackwell, 1989, pp. 148-173.
Week 5 (9/25): Marx & Marxism
Lecture: Brian Jefferson, Geography, UIUC
Week 6 (10/2): Deconstruction
Lecture: Geoffrey Bennington, French & Italian, Emory
"Politics in Deconstruction"
Week 7 (10/9): Biopolitics
Lecture: Jana Sawicki, Philosophy, Williams
2. Stoler, Ann Laura. "A Colonial Reading of Foucault." In Biopower: Foucault and Beyond, edited by Vernon Casey and Nicolae Morar Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power, University of Chicago Press, 2016, pp. 326-347.
Week 8 (10/16): Postcolonial Theory
Lecture: Shona Jackson, English, Texas A&M
1. Wynter, Sylvia. "Unparalleled Catastrophe for Our Species? Or, to Give Humanness a Different Future: Conversations." In Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis, edited by Katherine McKittrick, Duke University Press, 2015, pp. 9-89.
Week 9 (10/23): Critical Race Theory
Lecture: Kathryn Sophia Belle, Philosophy, Penn State
Week 10 (10/30): Indigenous Studies
Lecture: Nicholas Estes, American Studies, University of Mexico
1. Denetdale, Jennifer Nez. "No Explanation, No Resolution, and No Answers": Border Town Violence and Navajo Resistance to Settler Colonialism." Wicazo Sa Review, vol. 31 no. 1, 2016, pp. 111-131. Project MUSE, muse.jhu.edu/article/623736.
2. Simpson, Audra. "The State is a Man: Theresa Spence, Loretta Saunders and the Gender of Settler Sovereignty." Theory & Event, vol. 19 no. 4, 2016. Project MUSE, muse.jhu.edu/article/633280.
3. Stark, Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik. "Criminal Empire: The Making of the Savage in a Lawless Land." Theory & Event, vol. 19 no. 4, 2016. Project MUSE, muse.jhu.edu/article/633282.
4. Grande, Sandy. (2013). "Accumulation of the Primitive: The Limits of Liberalism and the Politics of Occupy Wall Street," Settler Colonial Studies, 3:3-04, 369-380, doi:10.1080/2201473X.2013.810704.
Week 11 (11/6): Feminist Theory
Lecture: Lisa Rosenthal, Art History, UIUC
Week 12 (11/13): Queer Theory
Lecture: Ghassan Moussawi, GWS/Sociology, UIUC
2. From: The GLQ Archive. 2003. “New Directions in Multi-ethnic, Racial, and Global Studies,” GLQ 10 (1).
Only: Sharon Holland "The Question of Normal" (pp. 128-131) and Jose Quiroga "From Republic to Empire: The Loss of Gay Studies" (pp. 133-135).
Fall Break (11/20 no lecture)
Week 13 (11/27): Ecocriticism
Lecture: Gillen Wood, English/ISEE, UIUC