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ICCTP Conferences

ICCTP International Conference Cycle 2017-2020

Additional information about the conferences will be added.

The Critical Tasks of the University

Part 1: Università di Bologna, Italy
June 22-24, 2017
Organized by Rosi Braidotti and Raffaele Laudani

Full program

Rosi Braidotti (Utrecht University) | Website 

Raffaele Laudani (Università di Bologna) | Website

Supported by the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs (UC Berkeley), Chair on the Academic and the Civic (Utrecht University), and The Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory (Università di Bologna, Duke University, University of Virginia)

This conference is the first meeting of the conference cycle of the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs (ICCTP), funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Focused on “The Critical Tasks of the University,” the conference evaluates the prevailing metrics of value that increasingly structure and restrict the university in various global locations and considers how critical thought or more robust notions of “critique” can inform and enliven our contemporary reflections on valuable ways of knowing. As important as it is to support the study of critical theory in the university, it is also crucial to defend the university as a valued site for critical thinking in public life. Taking up issues of censorship, the suppression of dissenting views, the devaluation of the humanities and arts, and the new metrics of excellence, this meeting considers how the critical humanities might reflect anew on the public obligations of the university as well as the need to safeguard the university as a site for critical reflections on pressing issues of public concern. A second conference on the same theme will take place at the end of the ICCTP conference cycle in 2020.

Part 2: University of California, Berkeley
Spring 2020
Organized by Judith Butler

Judith Butler (University of California, Berkeley) | Website


The Ends of Democracy: Populist Strategies, Skepticism about Democracy, and the Quest for Popular Sovereignty

SESC Unidade Pompeia, São Paulo, Brazil
November 7-9, 2017
Organized by Natalia Brizuela, Judith Butler, and Vladimir Safatie

Full program

Natalia Brizuela (UC Berkeley) | Website

Vladimir Safatle (Universidade de São Paulo) | Website

Judith Butler (UC Berkeley) | Website

Organized by the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs (University of California, Berkeley) and Departamento de Filosofia da Universidade de São Paulo

The rise of populist movements in recent years raises questions about the challenges for liberal democracy and its basic institutional forms. For instance, what are “the ends” of democracy in a double sense: what are the ends of democracy, that is, its purposes and promises, but also, what is the possibility of a collapse of democracy as a specific political form of government or an ideal for existing forms?  What meaning, if any, can be given to popular sovereignty during this time, and how does it relate to prevalent ideas of populism?  Following the spirit of the critical approach formulated by the Frankfurt generation of Critical Theory, this conference brings together philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists and psychoanalysts from a range of countries to address the need for a reactualization of critical theory in light of present political challenges. Hosted by the Universidade de São Paulo Department of Philosophy in collaboration with UC Berkeley, it is the second meeting of the conference cycle of the International Consortium of Critical Theory Program (ICCTP) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Critical Memory: Telling Political Time in the Political Afterlife of Violence

Part 1: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Winter 2018
Organized by Achille Mbembe and Sarah Nuttall

Achille Mbembe (WISER Institute, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa) | Website

Sarah Nuttall (WISER Institute, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa) | Website

WISER Institute (University of Witwatersrand, South Africa) | Website

Part 2: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Fall 2019
Organized by Nelly Richard and Leonor Arfuch

Nelly Richard (Universidad de Artes y Ciencias Sociales, Chile)

Leonor Arfuch (Universidad de Buenos Aires) | Website


Critiques of Contemporary Violence

Belgrade University, Serbia
Summer 2018
Organized by Petar Bojanić

The conference will focus on contemporary forms of violence and what form a critique of violence can now take, focusing on state and non-state forms of violence, and the politics of non-violence.

Petar Bojanić (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade) | Website


Populism and Democracy

Part 1 Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, Fall 2017
Organized by Vladimir Safatle
Part 2 University of Brighton, UK, Spring 2019
Organized by Paula Biglieri (Universidad de Buenos Aires) and Mark Devenney

Vladimir Safatle | Website

Paula Biglieri (Universidad de Buenos Aires) | Website

Mark Devenney (University of Brighton) | Website

This conference will bring together scholars from Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East to address the relation between populism, the popular will, popular movements, and democracy. Two conferences, taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa and Buenos Aires, Argentina, will be dedicated to new directions in the field of critical memory studies.


The International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs (ICCTP) is housed at the University of California, Berkeley and Northwestern University and is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The task of this international consortium is to document, connect, and support the various programs and projects that now represent critical theory across the globe. Through its work, the Consortium aims to document the global contours of critical theory today, supporting critical thought both inside and outside the university in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and science and technology studies, and seeking collaborative ways to become critically responsive to pressing global challenges.

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