Tag Archive for theory

Theory Certificate Hosts Lecture Series on Contours of the Present Crisis

This semester, the Certificate in Social, Cultural and Critical Theory is hosting a lecture series titled “Contours of the Present Crisis.”

This series will respond the heightened social and political conflicts of the current moment. Talks will be held on March 7, March 30 and May 4.

“Our aim is to emphasize at every turn the relationship between what we call ‘theory’ and the rest of our lives,” says Matthew Garrett, associate professor of English, associate professor of American studies and the director of the Certificate in Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory. “Intellectual work certainly deserves a privileged place; at the same time, as somebody once said, the world won’t get better on its own, and our work in the Certificate needs to keep alive the relationship between rigorous critical thought and open, radical activity in the world.”

Suleiman Mourad, professor of religion at Smith College,

Faculty, Distinguished Guest Discuss Tragedy and Revolution


Matthew Garrett, David Scott and Lily Saint led a discussion on “Tragedy and Revolution” in the Russell House.

On March 5, the Certificate in Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory supported a discussion on “Tragedy and Revolution.” Matthew Garrett, assistant professor of English, assistant professor American studies and director of the Certificate, moderated the discussion.

Assistant Professor Matthew Garrett, visiting distinguished guest David Scott and Assistant Professor Lily Saint led a discussion on “Tragedy and Revolution” March 5 in the Russell House.

David Scott, professor of anthropology at Columbia University and editor of the journal Small Axe, spoke about his recent book, Omens of Adversity: Tragedy, Time, Memory, Justice (Duke University Press, 2014). Lily Saint, assistant professor of English, provided a response to Professor Scott’s book.

Omens of Adversity

Theorist, Historian Federici Speaks to Students, Faculty

Theorist, historian and activist Silvia Federici spoke to faculty and students at the Center for African American Studies on Sept. 25.

Theorist, historian and activist Silvia Federici spoke to faculty and students at the Center for African American Studies on Sept. 25. She is the author, most recently, of Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Primitive Accumulation; Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle; and Witch-Hunting, Past and Present, and the Fear of the Power of Women.

Lemert Authors Book on Protestant Preacher Reinhold Niebuhr

Book by Charles Lemert

Charles Lemert, University Professor and Andrus Professor of Social Theory, emeritus, is the author of Why Niebuhr Matters, published by Yale University Press, November 2011.

Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971) was a Protestant preacher, an influential religious thinker, and an important moral guide in mid-20th-century America. His work has informed the thinking of political leaders and commentators from Barack Obama and Madeleine Albright to David Brooks and Walter Russell Mead. In this lively overview of Niebuhr’s career, Lemert analyzes why interest in Niebuhr is rising and how Niebuhr provides the answers we ache for in the face of seismic shifts in the global order.

In the middle of the 20th century, having outgrown a theological liberalism, Niebuhr challenged and rethought the nonsocialist Left in American politics. He developed a political realism that refused to sacrifice ideals to mere pragmatism, or politics to bitterness and greed. He examined the problem of morality in an immoral society and reimagined the balance between rights and freedom for the individual and social justice for the many. With brevity and deep insight, Lemert shows how Niebuhr’s ideas illuminate our most difficult questions today.

Lemert also is a Senior Fellow of the Center for Comparative Research at Yale University.

Faculty Lead Weekly Lectures on Critical Theorists

President Michael Roth spoke on "Theorizing the Self: Sigmund Freud" during the Fall 2011 "In Theory" lecture series Sept. 7. "In Theory" is a weekly lecture series by Wesleyan faculty who introduce and discuss major critical theorists. The series is sponsored by the Certificate in Social, Cultural and Critical Theory. Roth also read segments from his forthcoming book.

Duke’s Baucom Discusses Relationships Among War, Empire, Republicanism

Oct. 6, Duke University Professor of English Ian Baucom gave the first lecture in the English Department Lecture Series, titled "Reading a Letter: Republicanism, Empire, and the Archives of the Atlantic."

Baucom met with Wesleyan faculty and fellows on Oct. 7 to discuss his current book project, "The Disasters of War: On Inimical Life." Pictured at right is Matthew Garrett, assistant professor of English, who organized the event.

Wesleyan Offers 4 New Certificate Programs

This fall, students have the opportunity to work towards one of four certificates, in addition to their degree.

The new certificate programs include South Asian Studies; Middle Eastern Studies; Writing; and Social, Cultural and Critical Theory.

“These are outstanding endeavors by the faculty to keep the curriculum fresh and innovative, and to help students study across the disciplines but with a road map for curricular coherence,” says Karen Anderson, associate provost.

South Asian Studies Certificate
Wesleyan already offers courses and resources for all students interested in studying the cultures of Bangladesh,