Director's Message

Jim SteintragerA distinguishing feature of the University of California, Irvine since its founding, critical theory is both crucial to our institutional history and vital to our scholarly present. Based in the School of Humanities, UCI Critical Theory amalgamates the events programming and faculty research support associated with the former Critical Theory Institute and the curricular and pedagogical doings of the interdisciplinary and cross-school Graduate Critical Theory Emphasis. As we enter this new and exciting phase, we will continue to organize and host our hallmark events: the annual Wellek Library Lectures and the Koehn Public Lecture in Critical Theory. At the same time, we will be adding programming such as workshops and research seminars for faculty and students, as well as enhancing our online presence.

This year's programming features mini-seminars by Ursula Heise (UCLA) on species extinction and narrative and by Étienne Balibar (Professor Emeritus at the University of Paris-X Nanterre and UCI). The Koehn Public Lecture in Critical Theory will be given by Eric Santner of the University of Chicago in May, and the year's programming culminates in late May and early June, when the Wellek Library Lectures will be given by Aijaz Ahmad. Professor Ahmad is the author of numerous books, including the seminal In Theory: Classes, Nations, and Literature (Verso, 1992) and Lineages of the Present: Ideology and Politics in Contemporary South Asia (Verso, 2002). 

James Steintrager

Director, UCI Critical Theory