The Critical Theory Workshop / Atelier de Théorie Critique is an intensive research program that takes place every summer in Paris, France. Founded by Gabriel Rockhill in 2008, the primary objective of the Workshop is to provide an international forum for trans-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. Special attention is paid to traditions of thought that have been structurally suppressed in the academy, including Marxism, anarchism, the black radical tradition, anticolonial theory, anti-capitalist feminism and radical ecological thought.
The Workshop, which takes place at the EHESS in central Paris and does not follow the
traditional structure of a course, is currently comprised of three interlocking components:
- Débats: invited speakers debate a common theme or current research projects.
- Rencontres: intellectuals are invited to participate in public interviews regarding their work to date and their current projects.
- Groupes de travail: the participants present their own research projects and workshop them with other participants.
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.
Although these activities are oriented toward a graduate level of education, anyone with the requisite background is welcome to apply. Participants thus 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 recommended, although not required, that applicants have a working knowledge of the French language.
Founder and Executive Director
Jennifer Ponce de León
Videographer and Media Manager
International Advisory Board
María del Rosario Acosta
Seloua Luste Boulbina
Jennifer Ponce de León
Primary Partner Institution in Paris
Centre Edgar Morin / Institut interdisciplinaire d’anthropologie du contemporain (CNRS / EHESS)
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). In the past, most participants have succeeded in finding reasonably priced apartments via Airbnb.
First 3 weeks of July (precise dates vary year to year)