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Irvine Lectures in Critical Theory




The CTI hosts lectures each year by members or visiting scholars on a topic related to the CTI's current research project. To the right is a list of Irvine Lectures organized by project.



Poor Theory (2008-2012)
In Security (2003-2008)
Futures of Property and Personhood (1999-2003)
The Forces of Globalization (1995-1999)
Culture and the Problem of the Disciplines (1991-1995)
Politics, Theory, and Contemporary Culture (1988-1991)
The States of "Theory" (1985-1988)
The Aims of Representation (1982-1985)

  Poor Theory (2008-2012)    



Laurence Rickels (Department of Germanic, Slavic & Semitic Studies, UC Santa Barbara)
February 29, 2012 - 3:00-5:00 pm - HIB 135

Horacio Legras (University of California, Irvine, Spanish and Portuguese)
"The Rights of the Ephemeral: Political Calculation in a Post-Neoliberal Order"
March 30, 2011 - 3:00-5:00 PM - HIB 135

Geeta Patel (University of Virginia, Studies in Women and Gender),
,"Impossible Objects? Reading Ismat Chughtai's Fiction"
March 9, 2011 - 3:00-5:00 PM - HIB 135

Brian Larkin (Barnard College, Columbia University, Anthropology),
,"The Secular Machine: Radio and the Materiality of Qur'anic Recitation"
February 2, 2011 - 3:00-5:00 PM - HIB 135

Lucas Hilderbrand (UCI Dept. of Film & Media Studies), speaker, & Bliss Cua Lim (UCI Dept. of Film & Media Studies)), respondent
"Inherent Vice: On the Poverty of Videotape and Copyright"
May 5, 2010 - 3:30-5:30 PM - HIB 135

Diana Coole (Birkbeck College, Univ. of London, Dept. of Politics)
"A Critical Theory of Aging: Framing, Declinism, and Emancipation"
April 21, 2010 - 3:00-5:00 PM - HIB 135

Steven Robins (Univ. of Stellenbosch, Dept. of Sociology & Social Anthropology)
"From Revolution to Rights in South Africa: Social Movements, NGOs and Popular Politics"
March 11, 2010 - 4:00-6:00 PM - Humanities Gateway 1030

Etienne Balibar (UCI Dept. of French & Italian)
"Secularism and Cosmopolitanism"
March 3, 2010 - 3:00-5:00 PM - HIB 135

Julia Elyachar (UCI Dept. of Anthropology), speaker, & Horacio Legras (Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese), respondent
"Phatic Labor and Poor Theory: Revisiting Empowerment in Cairo"
February 24, 2010 - 3:00-5:00 PM - HIB 135

Text of Prof. Elyachar's paper

Carla Freccero (UCSC Center for Cultural Studies)
"Carnivorous Virility, or Becoming-Dog"
November 16, 2009 - 3:00-5:00 PM - HIB 135

Liu Sola & Liu Dan
"Practicing Poor Theory: Thinking through Contemporary Chinese Art Making"
November 4, 2009 - 3:00-5:00 PM - HIB 135

AbdouMaliq Simone (Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London)
"Urban Intersections and Provisional Spaces"
April 13, 2009 - 3:00-5:00 PM - HIB 135

Kavita Philip (Women's Studies, UC Irvine)
"Postcolonial Conditions: Another Report on Knowledge"
March 18, 2009 - 3:00-5:00 PM - HIB 135

Ackbar Abbas (Comparative Literature, UC Irvine)
"Poor Theory and New Chinese Cinema: Jia Zhangke's STILL LIFE"
December 3, 2008 - 3:00-5:00 - HIB 135




  In Security (2003-2008)    

Derek Gregory (Geography, University of British Columbia)
"Visual Economies of Late Modern War: The City-as-Target, Cultural Turns and Killing Fields in Iraq
February 13, 2008

Wendy Brown (Political Science, UC Berkeley)
"Secularism, Idealism, Materialism: Charles Taylor and Karl Marx"
January 9, 2008

Eyal Weizman (Center for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University London)
"Lethal Theory"
November 8, 2006

Inderpal Grewal (Women's Studies, UC Irvine)
"'The Security Mom': Neolibral Subjects of U.S. Imperialism"
February 8, 2006

Lisa Hajjar (Law & Sociology, UC Santa Barbara)
"What's the Matter with Yoo? - The Crime of Torture and the Role of Lawyers"
April 13, 2005


Mark Poster (History, UC Irvine)
"The Digital Self: Identity Theft and Security"
February 23, 2005

David Theo Goldberg (African American Studies, UC Irvine)
"Targets of Opportunity"
January 26, 2005

John H. Smith (German, UC Irvine)
"Critique of Secure Reason"
May 26, 2004

Joseph Masco (Anthropology, Chicago)
"Threat Assessments: The Nuclear State of Emergency"
May 12, 2004

Michael Dillon (Political Science and International Relations, University of Lancaster)
"Security, Life, Terror"
March 10, 2004

  Futures of Property and Personhood (1999-2003) [top]    

Akhil Gupta (Cultural & Social Anthropology, Stanford)
“Bodily Practices and Rebirth”
May 14, 2003

Gabriele Schwab (English & Comparative Literature, UCI)
“Ethnographies of the Future:
Personhood, Agency & Power in Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis”
April 30, 2003

Akira Lippit (Film Studies, UCI)
“One, Two, Three: The Psychic Economy of Multiplicity”
April 2, 2003

Paul Rabinow (Anthropology, UC Berkeley)
“Untimely Meditations: Belated and Adjacent Work-in-Progress”
February 25, 2003

Étienne Balibar (Political Philosophy, Université de Paris X Nanterre & French & Italian, UCI)
“My self and my own: one and the same?”
February 12, 2003

Mary Poovey (English & Director of the Institite for the History of the
Production of Knowledge, NYU)
"Commodifying the Future: Futures Trading on the Stock Market
November 25, 2002

Marilyn Strathern (Social Antropology, Cambridge)
“Divided Origins & the Arithmetic of Ownership”
April 17, 2002


Alexander Gelley (English & Comparative Literature, UC Irvine)
“Language of Order(s): Jenny Holzer in the Public Sphere”
October 2001

Rosemary Coombe (Law, Communication and Cultural Studies, York U)
“Defending Toy Dolls and Maneuvering Toy Soldiers:
Property & Propriety on the Worldwide Web”
May 16, 2001

Pheng Cheah (Rhetoric, UC Berkeley),
“The Political Body as Organism and the Property of Life”
February 28, 2001

Lindon Barrett (English & Comparative Literature, UC Irvine)
“Assumptions of Identity, Racial Blackness and Neo-National Culture”
November 29, 2000

William Maurer (Anthropology, UC Irvine)
“Former Miracles and Future Possessions: Privatization, Property, Risk”
April 26, 2000

N. Katherine Hayles (English, UCLA)
“(Un)masking the Agent: Distributed Cognition and Stanislaw Lem’s ‘The Mask’”
April 19, 2000

  The Forces of Globalization (1995-1999) [top]    

Jean Comaroff (Anthropology, U Chicago)
“Alien-nation: Zombies, Immigrants & the Politics of Value in a Global Era”
February 10, 1999

Dipesh Chakrabarty (South Asian Studies and History of Culture, U. Chicago)
“Abstraction and Difference in the Work of Capital”
March 6, 1998

Elizabeth Grosz (Visiting Professor in the Critical Theory Emphasis, UC Irvine)
“Deleuze’s Bergson: Duration, the Virtual, and a Politics of the Future”
October 28, 1998

Étienne Balibar (Professeur de philosophie politique et morale à l'Université de Paris-X Nanterre)
“A Global Culture?”


Leslie Rabine (French & Italian and Women’s Studies, UC,Irvine)
“Globalization from the Margins: The Case of African Fashion”

Verena Andermatt Conley (Literature Program, Harvard)
“Globalism and Environment: New Ecological Territories”
April 11, 1997

Roderick Nash (Environmental Studies, UC, Santa Barbara)
“The Wild World: Past, Present, and Future”
November 6, 1996

Jim Ferguson (Anthropology, UC Irvine)
“Transnational Topographies of Power: Beyond ‘the State’ and ‘Civil Society’ in the Study of African Politics”
April 4, 1996

Iain Chambers (Anglo-American literature, Istituto Universitario Orientale, Italy)
“A torn map, a fold in time, an interruption”
November 29, 1995

  Culture and the Problem of the Disciplines (1991-1995) [top]    

Sacvan Bercovitch (English and American Literature, Harvard)
“A Literary Approach to Cultural Studies”
November 30, 1994

James Boone (Anthropology and European Cultural Studies, Princeton)
“Listening For Hybridity: Post-colonial Cultural Studies, A Boasian Anthropologist, and the Show Business”
January 25, 1995

J. Hillis Miller (English & Comparative Literature, UC Irvine)
“The Other Other: Literary and Cultural Studies in the Transnational University”
April 19, 1995

Leslie Rabine (French & Italian and Women’s Studies, UC,Irvine)
“Essence, Mirabella, and the Racial Construction of Gender”
June 7, 1995


Suzanne Gearhart (French and Italian, UCI)
“Colonialism, Culture, and Psychoanalysis: Albert Memmi and the Problem of Interiorization”
November 17, 1993

Linda Williams (Film Studies and Women’s Studies, UC Irvine)
“Visual Culture and Spectatorial Discipline: ‘the Care and Handling of Psycho’”
January 26, 1994

David Lloyd (English, UC, Berkeley)
“Foundations of Diversity: Rethinking ‘The Idea of the University’ in a Time of Multiculturalism”
May 18, 1994

Nancy Armstrong(Comparative Literature and Modern Culture and Media, Brown U)
“Modernism’s Body: The Arts of Overexposure”
January 13, 1993

Gerald Graff (English, U Chicago)
“The Professional Humanities and Their Discontents”
May 6, 1993

  Politics, Theory, and Contemporary Culture (1988-1991) [top]    

Jean-François Lyotard (French & Italian, UC Irvine)
“The Wall, the Gulf, and the Sun: A Fable”
October 26, 1990

Teresa de Lauretis (History of Consciousness, UC, Santa Cruz)
“Freud, Sexuality and Perversion”
January 24, 1991

Donna Haraway (History of Consciousness, UC, Santa Cruz)
“The Theory in the Figure: Feminist Figuration in Unmanly Worlds”
March 7, 1991

Joan Scott (Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton)
“Women’s History”
October 18, 1989

Gabriele Schwab (English & Comparative Literature, UC Irvine)
“The Subject of the Political Unconscious”
November 22, 1989

Alexander Gelley (English & Comparative Literature, UC Irvine)
“City Texts”
December 6, 1989



Catharine Stimpson (English, Rutgers University)
“How Did Feminist Literary Theory Get That Way?”
January 8, 1990

John Carlos Rowe (English & Comparative Literature, UC Irvine)
“The Writing Class”
May 23, 1990

Sam Weber (Comparative Literature, U Massachusetts, Amherst)
“Politics, Aesthetic and Theater”
March 2, 1989

Jessica Benjamin (Psychoanalyst)
“Women and the Image”
March 10, 1989

Ernesto Laclau (U. Essex)
“Hegemonic Logics and Politics”
April 20, 1989

  The States of "Theory" (1985-1988) [top]    

April 24-25, 1987 States of Theory Colloquium:

Jean-François Lyotard (Emeritus, Université de Paris/Vincennes-St. Denis, French, UCI)
“Peregrinations: Law, Form, Event.”

J. Hillis Miller (English & Comparative Literature, UC Irvine)
“Face to Face: Plato’s Protagoras as a Model for Collective Research in the Humanities.”

Murray Krieger (English & Comparative Literature, UC Irvine)
“A Meditation on a Critical Theory Institute”

Carolyn Porter (English, UC, Berkeley)
“Are We Being Historical Yet?”



Jaques Derrida (Directeur d’Etudes, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales)
“Some Statements and Truisms About Neo-Logisms, Newisms, Postisms, Parasitisms, and Other Small Seismisms.”

Frederic Jameson (Comparative Literature, Duke U)
“Spatial Equivalents: Postmodern Architecture and the World System.”

Jean-Luc Nancy (Philosophy, Université de Strasbourg, and Visiting Prof. UC, Berkeley)
“Finite History”

Claude Lefort (Directeur d’Etudes, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales)
“Machiavelli: History, Politics, Discourse.”

  The Aims of Representation (1982-1985) [top]    

Robert Weimann (English and Literary Theory, Zentralinstitut für Literaturgeschichte, Berlin)
“History, Appropriation, and the Uses of Representation in Modern Narrative.”

Dominick LaCapra (European and Intellectual History, Cornell)
“Criticism Today.”

Stephen Greenblatt (English, UC, Berkeley)
“Capitalist Culture and the Circulatory System.”

John Carlos Rowe (English & Comparative Literature, UC Irvine)
“Surplus Economies: Deconstruction, Ideology and the Humanities.”

Mark Poster (History, UC Irvine)
“Foucault, Post-Structuralism, and the Mode of Information.”


Shoshana Felman (French and Comparative Literature, Yale)
“Women and the Dream from which Psychoanalysis Proceeds: ‘The Irma Dream.’”

Anthony Giddens
(Fellow and Director of Studies on Social and Political Science, Cambridge)
“Action, Subjectivity, and the Constitution of Meaning.”

Jean-François Lyotard (Philosophy, U Paris, Vincennes/Saint-Denis)
“Judiciousness in Dispute, or Kant after Marx.”

David Carroll (French, UC Irvine)
“Narrative, Heterogeneity, and the Question of the Political: Bakhtin and Lyotard.”

Wolfgang Iser (English & Comparative Literature, UC Irvine & Universitât Konstanz)
“Representation: A Performative Act.”