2014 Fall Event Schedule

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Lincoln Hall 1002

Modern Critical Theory Lecture Series

The Unit for Criticism's annual introductory lecture series on critical theory features lectures by Unit affiliates from across campus. Complete schedule here.

For more information, please email Susan Koshy, Ted Faust, or John Moore.

MCT Lecture Series

Monday, September 29
English Building, Lower Level Atrium

Graduate Student Pizza & Falafel Info Night

Learn about opportunities for scholarship and research support offered through the Unit for Criticism while eating pizza and falafel with the Unit's staff.

Please RSVP by emailing Ted Faust or John Moore.


Monday, October 27
Illini Union, Room 406

"Revolutions of Neoliberal Times"

Fall 2014 Unit for Criticism Distinguished Faculty Lecture by Asef Bayat (Sociology)

Introduction by Anna-Maria Marshall (Sociology)

Response by Jessica Greenberg (Anthropology)


In this talk Prof. Bayat explores the enigma of struggles in neoliberal times. Neoliberal economies and ''market societies'' have resulted in spectacular inequalities and social exclusion. These in turn have prompted waves of remarkable protests and revolutions in recent years. Yet the dissent has taken place not simply against, but also within and often shaped by the neoliberal logic. Bayat will examine these propositions by looking at the workings of the recent Occupy movements and the Arab revolutions to show a serious gap between the concerns of the grassroots and the language of the political class.





Monday, November 10

Alice Campbell Alumni Center, Ballroom

"Writer, Painter, Banker, Thief: The American Arts Colony in the Public Account"

Fall 2014 Unit for Criticism Distinguished Faculty Lecture by Catherine Prendergast (English)

Introduction by Stephanie Foote (Gender & Women's Studies/English)

Response by Kathryn Oberdeck (History)


The Gilded Age saw the dawning of an American arts movement, one where second tier robber barons and their kin, benefitting from a period of unregulated speculation, channeled their largesse toward the creation of art in the woods. Yaddo in Saratoga Springs was but one of four arts colonies to be launched nearly simultaneously in the first decade of the twentieth century. The MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, Byrdcliffe Colony in Woodstock, and Carmel-by-the-Sea on the California coast would join it in a statistical dead heat. Each colony founder used income from stocks and bonds to escape the evils of industrialization: the stench, the noise, the poor. They cast themselves as writers and painters, but their neighbors—the local merchant, the small farmer, the struggling craftsman—saw only bankers and thieves. Much has been written about the provocative, romantic, and political art that has emerged from these colonies. But far less is known about the equally provocative, romantic, and political story of their founding, about the men and women who created them, and of this moment in American history when the corporation became the instrument of American art.


November 13 Nicholson Distinguished Visiting Scholar Event

Spurlock Museum Auditorium


"On the Matter of Animism"

Achille Mbembe (Witwatersrand)


Friday, November 14

Asian American Cultural Center Conference Room

"New Directions in Critical Race Studies"

A seminar with Nicholson Distinguished Visiting Scholar Achille Mbembe