The Critical Theory Workshop/Atelier de Théorie Critique is an international platform for transdisciplinary, cross-cultural and committed research in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Originally founded in 2008 by Gabriel Rockhill as a dual-language intensive summer research program at the Sorbonne and then the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, the Workshop has grown over the years to include additional activities, including symposia and seminars in Philadelphia.
Description of the Paris Summer Program
The summer workshop is an intensive research program that takes place in Paris, France. Its primary objective is to provide an international forum for transdisciplinary and comparative work in critical theory in the broadest 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 radical thought that have often been suppressed or sidelined in the academy, including Marxism, anarchism, anti-colonial theory, materialist 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 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 in order to cultivate productive debates around work in progress and topical concerns for theory and practice today.
Although these activities are oriented toward a graduate level of education, anyone with the requisite background is welcome to apply. Participants come from around the globe and often include very advanced undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, faculty, autodidacts, artists, writers and independent researchers.
The primary language of discussion is English, but some of the activities take place in French with English summary translations that are projected on a screen. Therefore, it is beneficial, although not required, that applicants have a working knowledge of the French language.