Here is a selection of testimonials from participants in the CTW/ATC summer program in Paris. For more on the experience of the Workshop, read Larry Busk’s article “What Is Critical Theory’s Role Today?“:

“I was very lucky to have participated in the 2018 Critical Theory Workshop/Atelier de Théorie Critique. It’s rare to find spaces where radical political organisation and rigorous critical intellectual work meet at such a high level, without either taking precedence over the other. To spend three weeks working in Paris with such a talented group of thinkers, activists, artists… incredible!”
– Shannon Walsh

IMG_0679“The Critical Theory Workshop is incredible: the generosity and creativity of the participants, the commitment to radical pedagogical and conversational experimentation, and our engagement with the politics of the city we were working in were absolutely exhilarating. The workshop is an antidote to the combative everyday world of my (and most of our) academic spaces, and something that will keep me going all year. The workshop is a real resource for collaboration and growth on any project at a variety of stages. It was so good to work alongside people who are resisting and critiquing the types of work that the institutions they are embedded in demand, who care about changing themselves and their worlds, and who are marshalling their resources and perspectives in order to create other ways of looking and building and speaking.”
– Katherine Mitchell

IMG_0700“The Critical Theory Workshop benefits from a great line-up of speakers, a schedule that faciltates both solitary research and group collaboration, in addition to all the resources Paris offers. Participating as junior faculty, I particularly enjoyed how the conference allowed me to bring my own research project into the workshop and work through my ideas in both small and large groups. Over the course of three weeks, I was able to draft two articles during the daytime while the evening sessions always gave me new perspectives on my own writing and the field as a whole. The break-out sessions were especially valuable in this regard. In particular, listening to what graduate students are currently working on was eye-opening and pushed me to evolve my research to keep up with the ways in which the critical tradition is currently progressing. I also enjoyed the line-up of speakers. Presentations by the likes of David Palumbo-Liu and Seloua Boulbina provided the opportunity to talk with thinkers I might not normally interact with, but who have been successful at promoting minor perspectives within the academy. This interdisciplinary workshop plays an important role at the limits of the university system insofar as it brings together intellectuals from a range of backgrounds all interested in inventing new approaches to teaching, writing, thinking, and activism both within the university and the community at large.”
– John Harfouch

“At this time where the academic world is continuously modified by the vertiginous relations between different cultures, political perspectives, and societal rhythms, this workshop provides the possibility to respond to this particular contemporary context by conceptualizing our own social and political research in a reflective, critical and dialogical way. We have the opportunity to confront our views with scholars from institutions from different parts of the world, with divergent cultural origins and in different states and depths of research. Two hopes unite us: the belief in social change and that the academic world could have a substantial role in producing it.”
– Luz Azcarate

IMG_2394“My greatest takeaway from the CTW/ATC is the practice of intellectual labor collaboratively and collectively. Working through ideas and texts with other members, and the experience inside the seminars and outside, whether picnicking by the Seine or at a brasserie, have led to open discourse that inspired my work. This is not attributable to one theorist alone, but is much more true to Marx’s ‘General Intellect,’ making an environment for truly collaborative and radical theoretical practice to take place.”
– Brendan Rome

“A sense of community is essential for reminding ourselves that radical theory is still possible in these dark times, that isolation is not a necessary condition of doing heterodox work, and at the risk of sounding sentimental, that we are not alone. The Critical Theory Workshop/Atelier de Théorie Critique in Paris is an indispensible avenue for such community building. […] In addition to developing their own projects individually and in dialogue with small groups, participants also take part in critical debates and “encounters” (rencontres) with internationally renowned guest speakers. Eschewing traditional conference formats and institutional hierarchies, the Workshop is critical in form as well as in content. […read more]”
– Larry Busk