The Theory Reading Group at Princeton University
The Theory Reading Group at Princeton University has two main goals. First, we wish to provide a space outside of the classroom for graduate students and faculty dedicated to theoretical inquiry. The reading group is not a survey course of the Theory canon, but rather a workshop, a supplement to Princeton’s intellectual culture, where texts are chosen based on their interdisciplinary content and their immediate relevance to the present, within but also beyond the academy. Each month there is an online selection process where members propose and vote for the next month’s reading. In this way, each member of a diverse body of students and faculty are included in the decision-making process and intellectual trajectory of the group.
The second goal of the Theory Reading Group is to foster cross-disciplinary community through interdisciplinary discussion. Rather than the initiative of one department, this group is composed of representatives from multiple disciplines and aims to include both the Humanities and the Social Sciences. By bringing together such diverse perspectives, our discussions are unique and experimental. Members are introduced to new ways of thinking by learning from students and faculty they would not normally meet in the classroom. Also, each member’s view of what constitutes Theory, a view inevitably conditioned by one’s disciplinary training, is challenged by the members of other disciplines.
The Theory Reading Group Representatives are responsible for reaching out to their respective department and ensuring that the group remains a space for conversations across disciplines. Current representatives include:
Gavin Arnall (Comparative Literature)
Enda Bonhomme (History of Science)
Miguel Caballero Vazquez (Spanish and Portuguese)
Miyabi Goto (East Asian Studies)
Russ Leo (English)
Nick Nesbitt (French and Italian)
Radical Thought on the Margins (May, 2013)
Keynote Speaker - John Holloway (Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla)
Actuality and the Idea (May, 2012)
Keynote Speaker - Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Rodolfo Kusch - Indigenous and Popular Thinking in América
John Holloway - Crack Capitalism
Alain Badiou, Philosophy for Militants
Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud
2011 - 2012
Alberto Toscano, Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea
Judith Butler, Frames of War: When is Life Grievable?
Marina Sitrin, Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina
Sylvere Lotringer and Christian Marazzi, Autonomia: Post-political Politics