The Critical Theory Workshop / Atelier de Théorie Critique is an intensive research program that takes place every July in Paris, France.  Founded by Gabriel Rockhill in 2008, the primary objective of the Workshop is to provide an international forum for cross-disciplinary and comparative work in critical theory in the least sectarian sense of the term. Participants are exposed to the work of contemporary thinkers and engage with current debates in the Francophone world and beyond.

IMG_2630The Workshop, which takes place at the Sorbonne in central Paris, does not follow the
traditional structure of a course or a conference. Instead, it functions as a collaborative platform for the sharing and perfecting of autonomous research projects. It is currently comprised of four interlocking components:

  • Débats: invited speakers debate with the director on a common theme or question related to their research.
  • Rencontres: intellectuals are invited to participate in public interviews regarding their work to date and their current projects.
  • Recherches en cours: invited guests and the director discuss current or recently completed research projects.
  • Groupes de travail: the participants present their own research projects in an opening mini-conference, workshop them in consultation with other participants, and then present their final projects in a closing conference.

The overall objective is to bring together a diverse panoply of thinkers from different horizons in order to cultivate productive debates around specific themes and issues, with a particular emphasis on contemporary debates and current events.

IMG_2562Although these activities are oriented toward a graduate level of education, anyone with the requisite background is welcome to apply. One of the goals is to create a relatively egalitarian space of collaboration that cuts across the standard academic distinctions between professors and students. Participants often include very advanced undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, faculty, autodidacts, artists, writers and independent researchers.

The primary language of instruction is English, but some of the activities take place in French with English summary translations. Therefore, it is highly recommended–although not as an absolute requirement–that applicants have at least a working knowledge of the French language.

Program Founder and Director
Gabriel Rockhill

International Advisory Board
María del Rosario Acosta13775771_642926412532210_4002178529612465513_nAmy Allen
Seloua Luste Boulbina
Esteban Buch
Pierre-Antoine Chardel

Geneviève Fraisse
Bruno Karsenti

Jan Spurk
Patrick Vauday

Primary Institution
Villanova University, Department of Philosophy, with the generous support of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Primary Partner Institution in Paris
Centre Edgar Morin / Institut interdisciplinaire d’anthropologie du contemporain (CNRS / EHESS)

Partner Institutions
LASCO IdeaLab de l’IMT
Faculté des SHS Sorbonne

AVANT. Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies
JournalConference Host

Partner Journal
ASAP/Journal: the official journal of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present

École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, 105 boulevard Raspail, 75006 Paris

Participants are welcome to make their own arrangements or reserve a room at the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris (approximately $900)

First 3 weeks of July (precise dates vary year to year)

Program Fees
$550 for tenure-track or tenured faculty (includes opening reception & final dinner)

$350 for applicants who are not tenure-track or tenured faculty (includes opening reception & final dinner)

Partial tuition remission is available in certain cases


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