The Critical Theory Workshop has offered online seminars and summer programs since 2019 (see below for some recent examples, as well as testimonials). For general information about our 2022 summer program, which we are planning to have take place in Paris and simultaneously online, click here and scroll down for details about how to apply, testimonials from former participants, and FAQs. To receive updates about upcoming online events, click on the “Follow via e-mail button” on the right-hand side of the screen, follow us on social media or check back!

2021 Summer Program

All of the sessions will take place online. Those marked with * will take place in French with simultaneous English translations, and the Q&A will take place in both languages.

Invited guests: Pierre-Antoine Chardel, Nazia Kazi, Annie Lacroix-Riz, Jennifer Ponce de León, Gabriel Rockhill, Antonio Vázquez-Arroyo and Sophie Wahnich

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST
Introduction: Gabriel Rockhill, “Capitalist Crisis and Fascist Resurgence: Historical Materialism as a Framework for Understanding the Current Conjuncture”
Anna Rochester, “Finance Capital and Fascist Trends
Georgi Dimitroff, “The Threat of Fascism in the United States
Gabriel Rockhill, “Fascism: Now You See It, Now You Don’t!

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST 

Author-Meets-Critics Session with Sophie Wahnich*
Participants: Owen Glyn-Williams and Mélanie Henry
Sophie Wahnich, “Introduction” to The Radical Legacies of the French Revolution (forthcoming in English from RLI)

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST 

Groupes de travail
Participants’ Preliminary Research Presentations

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST
Author-Meets-Critics Session with Jennifer Ponce de León
Participant: Gabriel Rockhill
Jennifer Ponce de León, “Introduction” to Another Aesthetics Is Possible: Arts of Rebellion in the Fourth World War

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST

Author-Meets-Critics Session with Pierre-Antoine Chardel*
Participants: Asma Mhalla and Manon Renault
Pierre-Antoine Chardel, “Introduction” to L’empire du signal: De l’écrit aux écrans

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST

Gabriel Rockhill, “The Global Theory Industry & Left Anti-Communism”
Gabriel Rockhill, “Foucault: The Faux Radical
Gabriel Rockhill, “Foucault, Anti-Communism & the Global Theory Industry: A Reply to Critics

12 p.m. – 3 p.m. EST 
(times will vary depending on participants’ groups)
Groupes de travail
Participants’ Research Presentations in Small Groups (click here to see your group)

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST

Annie Lacroix-Riz*
Annie Lacroix-Riz, “The Institute of Social History, an Antisocial Institution
12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST

Nazia Kazi
Nazia Kazi, “Reform, Abolition, and Decoloniality: Framing Islamophobia”

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST

Antonio Vázquez-Arroyo
Antonio Vázquez-Arroyo, “Critical Theory, Colonialism and the Historicity of Thought

1-5 p.m. EST (approximately)
Groupes de travail
Final Participants Conference

The Global Police State

Author-Meets-Critics Session with William I. Robinson
October 24, 2020 at 4 p.m. EST

Online via Zoom
This event is free and open to the public

Jennifer Ponce de León and Gabriel Rockhill will host William I. Robinson for an online discussion of his book The Global Police State (Pluto Press, 2020). While revealing the structural roots of 21-century fascism, this book demonstrates how the increasing inequality produced by global capitalism, including the treatment of entire segments of the population as ‘surplus humanity,’ calls forth increasing repression, while repression itself has become an ever more central engine of capitalist accumulation.  After CTW directors Rockhill and Ponce de León interview Robinson, he will answer questions from the viewing public.

William I. Robinson is Professor of Sociology, Global Studies, and Latin American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His many award-winning books include Into the Tempest: Essays on the New Global Capitalism (Haymarket, 2019), Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity (Cambridge University Press, 2014), and Latin America and Global Capitalism (John Hopkins University Press, 2008). More information and links to many of his articles can be found here:

William I. Robinson, “The Global Police State,” CTW Public Interview, October 24, 2020 (in English)

Why Marx Matters 11/23/19

This seminar, which is run in collaboration with Incite Seminars, will elucidate the fundamental tenets of Marx’s philosophy, as well as their importance for understanding and transforming the contemporary world order. It will begin by explaining key concepts like historical materialism, class struggle, alienation, the labor theory of value, ideology and revolution. It will then briefly discuss a few of the important debates in the deep and broad history of Marxism in order to explore some of the ways that Marx’s work has been interpreted and transformed by subsequent generations. Finally, the course will focus in on what Marxist analysis has to contribute to contemporary debates and struggles by demonstrating how it can help us understand phenomena such as the environmental catastrophe, the increasing social inequality of globalization, the carceral state and its relationship to electoral democracy, the military-industrial-academic complex, institutional racism and gender inequality. Although the course will be directed at a lay audience, it will pedagogically build up its analysis in such a way that it will also serve the interests of those with a working knowledge of Marx and Marxism.

GabrielRockhill (1)

Facilitator: Gabriel Rockhill, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University and Director of the Critical Theory Workshop. His main areas of research are modern and contemporary thought, social and political theory, continental philosophy, aesthetics, and historiography. Gabriel is the author of Radical History & the Politics of Art; Interventions in Contemporary Thought: History, Politics, Aesthetics; Logique de l’histoire: Pour une analytique des pratiques philosophiques; Contre-histoire du temps présent: Interrogations intempestives sur la mondialisation, la technologie, la démocratie, as well as numerous articles, book chapters, reviews, and edited books.

Date: Saturday, November 23, 10am-2pm.
Location: The Bourse, 111 S. Independence Mall East, Conference Room 5A, (Incite Seminars), Philadelphia. Map.

Cost: Pay-what-you-can, up to $90

We are committed to making our offerings of knowledge, dialogue, and community available to anyone who feels they can benefit from them, regardless of ability to pay. We trust you to pay what you can currently afford. If you can not afford to pay anything, but feel you can benefit from our seminars, we wholeheartedly encourage you to register for free. For others, please bear in mind that a seminar costs nearly $1000 in labor and expenses to run.


From the Summer 2020 Online Summer Program

“The Critical Theory Workshop provides the rare type of space for study, collaboration, and discussion, that I always imagined scholarship to be. During the summer session, I experienced genuine and generous discussion, free from the competitiveness and guardedness that often characterizes exchanges between academics. But perhaps most importantly, the international cohort of participants was made up of serious scholars who occupied many different roles, positions, and relationship to traditional institutions, providing a rich texture of experience for sharing ideas and building relationships. I had been searching for a place to discuss radical research outside of the typical academic setting and was really blown away by the program and all of the people who showed up. It is so refreshing to be able to take overt political stances on scholarship without fear of reprisal and to be welcomed into debate without the accustomed dismissal.”

– Scott Branson, PhD

From the Summer 2019 Online Summer Program

“In the face of the extension of the logic of the market into all spheres of education, the continuing enclosure of the commons, and the valorization of the ‘private’ use of reason over the ‘public’, the Critical Theory Workshop (CTW) in collaboration with the University of the Commons offers a critical pedagogy from below, prefiguring a community of thinkers de novo. The University of the Commons gave me the opportunity to take part in the CTW at a time when I could not have done so otherwise. The various formats—live streams, participatory symposia, and virtual seminars—although new to me, were easy to navigate, despite the platform being in its early stages of development. More importantly, the CTW gave me exposure to a vibrant community of scholars working in the fields of international critical theory, aesthetics and politics, Middle Eastern thought, and Lacanian psychoanalysis, to name a few. A special thanks to Çetin for his guidance, kindness, and patience, without which the experience would not have been as enjoyable as it was. I can only hope that the University of Commons continues to collaborate with the CTW and to run courses, reading groups, and workshops that provide a platform for radical forms of collective engagement and ‘commoning’ as a live social practice.”

– Omar Bachour, Ph.D. Candidate, Queen’s University, participated from Canada

“The UniCommons and CTW collaboration has been a quite a refreshing exercise for me in learning about the possibilities, and more importantly the realities, of community building through online spaces and means within and thereabouts in academia – and, of course, the margins of The Academy, which really reminds me of Franz Kafka’s story, “A Report to an Academy.”
Participating in the seminar was an enjoyable experience as it put me in touch with a multi- and transdisciplinary perspective regarding various issues, and also to discuss my own project and it’s future directions. I hope that many more such collaboration take place in the future.
Lastly, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the many people whom I do not know of but without whom this seminar would not have been possible – though, a special thank you for Çetin since coordination, especially transnational coordination, isn’t as easy as it’s made out to be at times”.

– Muhammad Khurram, participated from Pakistan

“First I would like to thank for opening the opportunity to make the seminar available on-line. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the live session due to my schedule but I enjoyed so much watching the video recordings and the online discussion. I know this did not give me the full experience of the seminar but it was alot better than missing the whole event. The seminar introduced to some new thoughts and exposed me to some new theory. Also, some talks made me more aware of my biases and some blind area in my thinking.
I am from Saudi Arabia but currently living in the US doing my Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. I am interested in fostering reflective and critical thinking in engineering and design through critical theory and critical pedagogy.”

– Mohhammed A., participated from Saudi Arabia

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