The School of Criticism and Theory 2018, Cornell University

2018 Summer Sessions – June 17 – July 26, 2018

An international program of study with leading figures in critical thought

The School

The School of Criticism and Theory was founded in 1976 by a group of leading scholars and critical theorists in the conviction that an understanding of theory is fundamental to humanistic studies. Today, in an unparalleled summer campus experience, the SCT o ers professors and advanced graduate students of literature and related social sciences a chance to work with preeminent figures in critical thought—exploring the relationships among literature, history, art, anthropology and the law; examining the role of ideological and cultural movements; and reassessing theoretical approaches that have emerged over the last fifty years. Cornell also o ers participants the resources of one of the great research libraries in the United States.

Six Week Seminars

  • Eduardo Cadava (Professor of English, Princeton University): “Genealogies of Memory and Perception: Literature and Photography
  • Peter Gordon (Amabel B. James Professor in History; Faculty Affiliate, Department of Germanic Languages; Faculty Affiliate, Department of Philosophy, Harvard University): “Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory
  • Sharon Marcus (Orlando Harriman Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University): “Critical Methods in the Humanities: Description, Interpretation, Explanation, Evaluation


  • Tracy McNulty (Professor of French and Comparative Literature, Cornell University): “Psychoanalysis and Politics”


  • Veena Das (Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology and Adjunct Professor of Humanities, Johns Hopkins University):  “Ordinary Ethics and Its Critics”
  • Bernard E. Harcourt (Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and Political Science, Columbia University; Director of the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought; Directeur d’études, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris): “Toward a Critical Praxis
  • Samuel Moyn (Professor of Law and History, Yale University): “American War
  • Avital Ronell (University Professor of the Humanities; Professor of German, Comparative Literature, and English; Director of Poetics & Theory, New York University): “Trauma Zone – Falling Apart in Literature & Philosophy

Visiting Guest Lectures

  • Anne F. Rothenberg (Professor of the Humanities, Department of English; Director, Mahindra Humanities Center; Senior Advisor on the Humanities to the President and Provost, Harvard University): “Statelessness and Death: Reflections on the Burdened Life
  • Paul Fleming (Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature; Taylor Family Director, Society for the Humanities, Cornell University): “The Politics of Anecdotes
  • Alondra Nelson (Professor, Sociology and Gender Studies, Columbia University; President, Social Science Research Council): “Moral Institutions and Racial Reconciliation after the Genome
  • Sari Nusseibeh (Professor of Philosophy, Al-Quds University, Jerusalem): “Sound Minds

The Program

In an intensive six-week course of study, faculty members and graduate students from around the world, in the humanities and social sciences, explore recent developments in critical theory.

Participants work with the SCT’s core faculty of distinguished scholars and theorists in one of four six-week seminars. Each faculty member o ers, in addition, a public lecture and a colloquium (based on an original paper) which are attended by the entire group.

The program also includes mini-seminars taught by scholars who visit for shorter periods. Finally, throughout the six weeks, distinguished theorists visit the SCT as lecturers.

Admission and Costs

The application deadline is February 1, and admissions decisions are announced in March.

All applications must be submitted online. The online application may be accessed at the site listed below beginning on December 1, 2017.

Tuition for the 2018 session is $3,000.

Applicants may compete for partial tuition scholarships and are encouraged to seek funding from their home institutions. On-campus housing is available for an additional charge.

For application and program information: website.

The prospectus is viewable online here.



phone: 607-255-9276

address: The School of Criticism and Theory Cornell University

A.D. White House 27 East Avenue

Ithaca, NY 14853