Since 1981, the Critical Theory Institute has sponsored an annual lecture series, named in honor of René Wellek (Yale University), whose library of works in critical theory is housed in Langson Library at the University of California, Irvine.
Each year, we have invited an internationally distinguished critical theorist to visit the campus to deliver a series of three lectures in which he or she develops his or her critical position and relates it to the contemporary theoretical scene. Each set of lectures is generally published in our Wellek Library Lecture Series.
To the right is a chronological list of past and upcoming Wellek Library Lectures.
For Wellek Library Lecturer Bibliographies and other Series information (1981-2009), click on this link.
The Wellek Library Lectures were generously supported by Dr. Michael Koehn from 2001 to 2005
Donna Haraway (Professor Emerita, History of Consciousness,
University of California, Santa Cruz)
"Playing Cat's Cradle with Companion Species"
May 2, 3, & 5. 2011, 5:00-7:00 PM in Humanities Gateway room 1030
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of California, Irvine)
"The Hegelian Lord and Colonial Bondsman: Literature and the Politics of Knowing"
May 17, 19 & 21, 2010, 5:00-7:00 PM in Humanities Gateway, Room 1030
Rosalyn Deutsche (Art History, Barnard College)
"Hiroshima after Iraq: Three Studies in Art and War"
Joan W. Scott (Harold F. Linder Professor, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton)
"Politics and Academic Freedom"
Elizabeth Grosz (Women's and Gender Studies, Rutgers, The State Univerisity of New Jersey, New Brunswick)
"Chaos, Territory, Art"
Talal Asad (Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center)
"Thinking about Suicide Bombing"
David Harvey (Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center)
"Geographical Knowledges/Political Powers"
Achille Mbembe (Institute for Social & Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand)
"The Political Life of Sovereignty"
Angela Davis (History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz)
"Lectures on Abolition"
Paul Gilroy (Sociology & African American Studies, Yale U)
“Elements of Post-colonial melancholia”
Homi Bhabha (English & Afro-American Studies, Harvard U)
“The Quasi-Colonial: Scrambled Eggs and a Dish of Rice”
Gayatri Spivak (English and Comparative Literature, Columbia)
“The New Comparative Literature.” 2000
“The VItal Illusion.” 1999
Judith Butler (Rhetoric, UC, Berkeley)
“Antigone's Claim: Kinship, Aberration and Psychoanalysis.” 1998
Harry Harootunian (East Asian Studies, History, New York University)
“History's Disquiet: Modernity and Everyday Life.” 1997
Étienne Balibar (Philosophie, Politique et Morale, U. Paris-X, Nanterre)
“On Politics and History: Presence, Cruelty and the Universals.” 1996
Rosalind Krauss (Art History, Columbia)
“Formless: A Feat.” 1995
Wolfgang Iser (English & Comparative Literature, UC Irvine)
“Variables of Interpretation: Iterations of Translatability.” 1994
Evelyn Fox Keller (Rutgers)
“Metaphors of Twentieth- Century Biology.” 1993.
Geoffrey Hartman (English and Comparative Literature, Yale)
“Three on ‘Culture.’” 1992.
Fredric Jameson (Literature, Critical Theory, Duke)
“The Constraints of the Postmodern.” 1991
Hélène Cixous (Writer and Professor, U. Paris, VIII)
“Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing.” 1990
Edward Said (English, Columbia)
“Musical Elaborations.” 1989
Murray Krieger (English and Comparative Literature, UC Irvine)
“A Reopening of Closure: Organicism Against Itself.” 1988
Louis Marin (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris)
“Pascalian Propositions for Today.” 1987
Jean-François Lyotard (French & Italian, UC Irvine)
“The Law, the Form, the Event.” 1986
J. Hillis Miller (English and Comparative Literature, Yale)
“The Ethics of Reading.” 1985
Jacques Derrida (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales)
“Mémoires: Three Lectures for Paul de Man.” 1984
Frank Kermode (Fellow, King’s College, Cambridge; Visiting Profession Columbia U)
“Forms of Attention.” 1983
Perry Anderson (Historian, Historical Sociologist; Editor, New Left Review)
“In the Tracks of Historical Materialism.” 1982
Harold Bloom (English and Comparative Literature, Yale) [or Humanities]
“The Breaking of the Vessels: In Defense of Antithetical Criticism.” 1981