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About the Critical Theory Program

The Critical Theory Program within the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University offers a minor in Critical Theory for undergraduate students; a graduate cluster and certificate for graduate students; and a community of scholars to study the meaning of critical theory. 

Over the past three decades, the term "critical theory" has come to designate, particularly in the United States, a type of study that cuts across disciplines to examine the premises, concepts, and categories that structure academic discourse in areas such as literary studies, art history, film studies, history, philosophy, and political theory, to name just a few. Critical theory is therefore not limited to a particular field or even to specific content; it is involved wherever methods, concepts, and social formations are not simply taken for granted but subjected to systematic and rigorous critical reflection.

In December 2016, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a three-and-a-half year, $1,525,000 grant to the University of California, Berkeley and $1,020,000 to Northwestern University to establish the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs (ICCTP). The Consortium rests on the view that critical theory is not only an important interdisciplinary field of research and teaching within the university, but it also crucially informs the university‘s task of promoting critical thought. The grant to Northwestern also includes a new curriculum initiative that will develop undergraduate and graduate courses and bring together scholars from around the globe to focus on critical theory in the global south

We welcome students, faculty, and scholars to participate and get involved in the Critical Theory Program. The program hosts numerous events throughout the academic year, inviting scholars from all across the world. Browse our website to find more information about the opportunities available to you!

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Please contact the Critical Theory Program at if you have any questions or need more information.