The Critical Theory Workshop has offered online seminars since the summer of 2019. To receive information about upcoming events, click on the “Follow via e-mail button” on the right-hand side of the screen or follow us on social media!

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 Seminar “International Critical Theory”

“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

An Online Summer Seminar
Critical Theory Workshop & University of the Commons
Dates: July 1 – July 18, 2019
Organizers: Gabriel Rockhill, Jennifer Ponce de León, Emre Çetin Gürer
Primary Facilitator: Emre Çetin Gürer
Confirmed Speakers: Paola Bacchetta, Patricia Gherovici, John Harfouch, Jennifer Ponce de León, Jacques Rancière, Gabriel Rockhill
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Language: English
Eligibility: Open to anyone with the requisite background, including advanced undergraduates, graduate students, autodidacts, faculty, writers and artists.
Application: Download the very short application form as a Word document here, or as a pdf here, and send it to both &
: Rolling admissions until June 30, 2019 (early applications are welcome)
Nota bene: proceeds from this course will contribute directly to supporting the work of radical scholars around the world who are suffering from direct repression and/or political exile

The Critical Theory Workshop, in collaboration with the University of the Commons, is proposing an online seminar that will run in parallel to the July workshop in Paris, extending its work into a global virtual network of scholars while facilitating the participation of those who cannot afford to travel. By combining live streams and recordings of select events in Paris with a series of participatory symposia run by the facilitator, the course seeks to put global communications technology in the service of an ecological and widely accessible format for international education.

Participants in the program will meet with the facilitator and organizers in online virtual symposia, contribute to discussion boards to generate questions for the invited speakers, watch live streams and/or recordings of the discussions in Paris focused on international critical theory (which will include the contribution of the questions generated in the discussion boards), present their own research projects if they wish, and receive peer feedback on their work if they so decide. In addition to participating in the discussion boards, the program will include approximately 5 live streamed and/or recorded sessions, 3 optional research workshops, and 3 virtual discussion sessions (see below for the full schedule). Rather than doing required assignments, participants are encouraged to work on their own research projects, developing them in a context within which they are engaging with the work of leading critical theorists and a vibrant international community of scholars. Upon successful completion of the program, all of the participants will receive a certificate from the Critical Theory Workshop & the University of the Commons.


Control room of Project Cybersyn (Proyecto Synco), cybernetic infrastructure for networked, real-time economic planning, developed by the socialist government of Salvador Allende, 1971-1973

Nota bene: All of the times that are listed are for Paris, France (CET/GMT+2:00). If participants are not able to live stream the events (or if there are any technological problems with the live stream), video recordings will be made available in the University of the Commons’ course module within approximately 24 hours of the event. The virtual symposia times are flexible and will depend on the availability of the participants. Recordings will always be made available to those who cannot directly participate in the symposia due to timing conflicts or a lack of availability (which means that individuals can easily take the course even if they are not available at the precise times listed below).  The program is subject to change.

1-3 p.m.
Virtual Symposium (Session 1)
Course Introduction and Discussion with Emre Çetin Gürer
3 p.m.-5 p.m.
Livestream (Session 2)
Gabriel Rockhill and Jennifer Ponce de León, “International Critical Theory”
Material: William I. Robinson, “Critical Globalization Studies
Optional Material: Sevgi Doğan, “An Overview of Academic Freedom in Turkey: Re-Thinking Theory and Praxis

Livestream (Session 3)
5-7 p.m.
Jacques Rancière
Material: “Aesthetics and Politics Revisited: An Interview with Jacques Rancière

5-7 p.m.
Livestream (Session 4)
Paola Bacchetta
Material: Paola Bacchetta, Sunaina Maira & Howard Winant, “Global Raciality: Empire, PostColoniality, DeColoniality” (the introduction to Global Raciality)
Optional Material: Paola Bacchetta, “Décoloniser le féminisme: intersectionnalités, assemblages, co-formations, co-productions

Virtual Symposium (Session 5)
Preliminary research presentations by each of the participants

5-7 p.m.
Livestream (Session 6)
John Harfouch, “Decolonial Middle Eastern Thought”
Material: Frantz Fanon, “Why We Use Violence
Hizbullah, “The Political Manifesto
Optional: Frantz Fanon, excerpt from “On Violence” in The Wretched of the Earth (the full text is available here in English, and here in French)

Virtual Symposium (Session 7)
Working group presentations by each of the participants

Virtual Symposium (Session 8)
Discussion with Emre Çetin Gürer
Material: Sevgi Doğan, “An Overview of Academic Freedom in Turkey: Re-Thinking Theory and Praxis

2-4 p.m.
Virtual Symposium (Session 9)
General discussion with Emre Çetin Gürer, Jennifer Ponce de León, Gabriel Rockhill

5-7 p.m.
Livestream (Session 10)
Patricia Gherovici
Material: “The Unconscious Is the Latest Activist: Cassandra B. Seltman Interviews Patricia Gherovici” and “The Argentinian Exception Proves the Rule

Virtual Symposium (Session 11)
3-7 p.m.
Final Participants Conference