The UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory is meant to galvanize, coordinate, and expand research and teaching in critical theory across departments and disciplines at UCLA.The Program offers the Graduate Certificate in Experimental Critical Theory, which is open to graduate students enrolled in a Ph.D. or MFA program in any participating department at UCLA.The Program also sponsors the annual ECT Colloquium, which meets twice a quarter, and various lectures and conferences.


Alain Badiou


will present three lectures in Southern California in November:


Monday, Nov. 7 at 7:00PM at the Art Center College of Design: 950 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

“On the Connection between War and Politics”


Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 5:30PM at UCLA: The Young Research Library Conference Room #11360

“Concerning Violence”


Thursday, Nov. 10 at 5:30 at UCLA: The Young Research Library Conference Room #11360

“Reflections on Death, Based on a Poem by Brecht”


Information on the topics of the talks will be available here by Oct. 25.

No reservation is necessary; seating is on a first come basis.

Co-Sponsored by the UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory and the UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies.

Alain Badiou is widely considered to be one of the most important Continental philosophers alive today, and one of the greatest thinkers of our time. He was born in Morocco in 1937 and came of age in France in the 1960s, when he began publishing novels, plays, works of philosophy, political theory, and literary and aesthetic criticism. Since then he has written dozens of books and hundreds of essays, which have been read not only by scholars and students all over the world, but by artists, writers, political organizers, and many other people who have been inspired by his strikingly original and powerful ideas, his eloquent writing and teaching, and the example of his personal optimism and commitment.  Badiou’s major books of philosophy are Theory of the Subject (1982; English translation 2009), Being and Event (1988; English translation 2005), its sequel, Logics of Worlds (2006; English translation 2009), and a third major volume in this series, The Immanence of Truths, is now in preparation. In addition he has written dozens of books on politics, film, literature, music, ethics, Saint Paul, mathematics, and many other topics. He has also published six plays (which are frequently staged in Europe), three well-received novels, and innumerable occasional pieces.



Call for Applications for the UCLA Graduate Certificate Program in Experimental Critical Theory

Core Seminar 2016-17

Religion, Philosophy, Politics


Winter Quarter taught by Professor Eleanor Kaufman (Wednesdays, 2:00 – 5:00)

Spring Quarter taught by Professor Kenneth Reinhard (Thursdays, 5:00 – 8:00)

The first part of the course (Winter Quarter) will explore religion in conjunction with key moments and thinkers in the history of Western philosophy, from the Classical to the Modern period.  This will generally take the form of textual pairings in which a given theme is traced over a large historical arc.  Themes treated may include time and eternity, confession, heresy, apostasy, Gnosis, and possibly mysticism.  Thinkers considered may include Aristotle, Augustine, Ibn 'Arabi, Aquinas, Spinoza, Kant, Corbin, Weil, Derrida, Kristeva, and Agamben. 

The second part of the course (Spring Quarter) will examine various aspects of the relationships of monotheism to philosophy and politics, in particular, the persistence and continuing value of religious tropes such as creation, revelation, and redemption in secular and “post-secular” thought.  Readings may include Descartes, Pascal, Malebranche, Kant, Hegel, Schelling, Nietzsche, Durkheim, Heidegger, Taubes, Arendt, Schmitt, Rosenzweig, Benjamin and their contemporary commentators. 

To apply to the Graduate Certificate Program in ECT and the core seminar, please send an account (no more than two pages) of your experience with and interests in critical theory and why the ECT seminar and especially this year's theme would be relevant for your course of study, along with your name, department, year in program, and email address to Jessika Herrera, Student Affairs Officer for the Department of Comparative Literature: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Students in Ph.D. and MFA programs in any department at UCLA are eligible for the ECT graduate certificate.  Applications are due by Friday, Dec. 9th.




ECT Seminar, winter and spring 2016

Philosophy, Art, Politics

Spring Quarter

1. March 31                Marxism, Philosophy, Art I: Georg Lukács

Georg Lukács, History and Class Consciousness, “The Phenomenon of Reification”; “Aesthetic Culture”;

Slavoj Zizek, “Georg Lukács as the philosopher of Leninism”;

                                    Judith Butler, “Introduction” to Lukács’ Soul and Form.

2. April 7                    Marxism, Philosophy, Art II: Bertolt Brecht

Brecht, “Against Georg Lukács”; Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic: “The Modern Theater is the Epic Theater” (33-43), “Theater for Pleasure or Theater for Instruction” (69-76), “Alienation Effects in Chinese Acting” (91-100), “On Gestic Music” (104-107);

                                    Mother Courage and Her Children;

                                    Theater of War (video) John Walter, 2008.


3. April 14                  Guest Speaker, Davide Panagia: Walter Benjamin

Edgar Allan Poe, “The Man of the Crowd”

Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological

Reproducibility: Version 2”; “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility: Version 3” (skim); “The Formula in Which the Dialectical Structure of Film Finds Expression”;

Miriam Hansen, “Room-for-Play: Benjamin's Gamble with Cinema”


Charles Baudelaire, The Painter of Modern Life

Rae Beth Gordon, “From Charcot to Charlot: Unconscious Imitation and

Spectatorship In French Cabaret and Early Cinema.”

4. April 21                   Guest Speaker, William Marotti: Art and Politics in Japan’s 1960s

William Marotti, “The Art of the Everyday, as Crisis: Objects, Installations, Weapons, and the Origin of Politics”; “Japan 1968: The Performance of Violence and the Theater of Protest”; “Proletarian Who Possessed Objects: the 1960s Politics of Akasegawa Genpei”; “The Untimely Timeliness of Nakajima Yoshio”; “The Lives and Afterlives of Art and Politics in the 1960s, from Anpo/Anpan to Bigakkō.”

5. April 28                  Guest Speaker, Kristin Ross: The Paris Commune

   (Royce 306)             Kristin Ross, Communal Luxury

6. Tues, May 3            Guest Speaker, Judith Butler: Philosophy Becoming Worldly

                                    Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte

                                    Marx, “Toward a Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing”          


7. May 12                   Guest Speaker, Bruno Bosteels: The Mexican Commune

                                    Bruno Bosteels, “The Mexican Commune”;

                                    Marx, “Pre-Capitalist Economic Formations” (from Grundrisse);

                                    Marx, “The Civil War in France.”

8. May 19                   Guest Speaker, Jodi Dean: Not An Alternative - The Natural History Museum

                                    Jodi Dean, “The Anamorphic Politics of Climate Change”

                                    Andrea Fraser, “From the Critique of Institutions to Institutional Critique”

                                    Not An Alternative, “The Radical Subject of the Post-Apocalyptic Generation.”

Tues. May 24              ECT Symposium: Jodi Dean, “Crowds and Party”

9. May 26                   Guest Speaker, Davide Panagia: Rancière, Art, and Politics

Jacques Rancière: Aisthesis (Read whatever and however much you can – though discussion will focus on the Prelude and Chapters 1,6, 11, 14);

Panagia/Rancière: “Dissenting Words: A Conversation with Jacques Rancière”;

Jacques Rancière: Ten Theses on Politics.


10. June 2                   Guest Speaker, Jason Smith: Guy Debord and The Situationists

                                    Reading TBA

Winter Quarter

1. Jan. 7                      Introduction: Philosophy, Art, and Politics           

                                   Alain Badiou, “Art and Philosophy”;

                                   Jacques Rancière, “The Paradoxes of Political Art”              

2. Jan. 14                    Plato

                                    Plato, The Republic (Books I-III; VI-VII; X)

                                    Badiou, Hypertranslation of Plato’s Republic (selections)

3. Jan. 21                    Plato, cont.; Aristotle, Poetics, Politics (selections)

                                    Rancière, “From Archipolitics to Metapolitics”

Badiou, “What is a Poem? Or, Philosophy and Poetry at the point of the Unnameable”

4. Jan. 28                    Guest Speaker, Page duBois: “Swarms and the Democratic Insect”

                                    Aristophanes, Wasps

                                    Page duBois, “The Democratic Insect: Productive Swarms”

                                    Achille Mbembe, “Necropolitics”

5. Feb. 4                     Kant              

Kant, Critique of Pure Reason (selections); Critique of Judgment (selections)

Tues. Feb. 9                 ECT Symposium: Joseph Cohen, “The History of Philosophy and Anti-Judaism” (co-sponsored by the CJS and Comparative Literature)

Suggested reading:

Kant: Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason;

Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morality.


Thurs. Feb. 11           Guest Lecture: Joseph Cohen, “The ‘Unthinkable’ in Heidegger’s

History of Being: Judaism and the Black Notebooks

                                    (co-sponsored by the CJS and Comparative Literature)

6. Tues. Feb. 16          Kant

                                    Kant, Critique of Judgment, cont.

                                    Hannah Arendt, Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy (selections)

7. Feb. 18                   Guest Speaker, Jason Smith on Hegel’s Aesthetics        

Hegel, Lectures on Aesthetics (selections)  

8. Feb. 25                   Guest Speaker, T.J. Clark: "Heaven on Earth"

Bruegel's Land of Cockaigne, Giotto's Dream of Joachim, Poussin's Sacrament of Marriage, and Veronese's Allegories of Love, Picasso's UNESCO Mural, the Fall of Icarus

Reading TBA

9. March 3                  Guest speaker, Patrick Coleman on Rousseau

Rousseau, “Letter to D’Alembert on the Theatre”

Other reading TBA                                        


10. March 10              Guest Speaker, John McCumber on Nietzsche

                                    Nietzsche, “On Truth add Lies in a Non-Moral Sense”; 

“The Greek State” and “Homer’s Contest”;

Will to Power Book II Sections 3 and 4



 Badiou Plato Republic

The video of Alain Badiou's talk on Dec. 1 at UCLA, "Concerning the Dominant Ideologies of the Contemporar World,"

is available here.

The video of Alain Badiou's talk on Dec. 3 at UCLA, “Cinema and Philosophy: What’s the status of Badiou’s ‘Life of Plato’ film?,"

is available here





ECT 2015-16      Philosophy, Art, and Politics


The question of the relationship of art and politics dates at least from Plato’s famous critique of poetry and expulsion of the poets in the Republic, an act which seems to place philosophy, in its concern for justice and the good of the polis, in a fundamentally antagonistic relationship with art.  And beginning with Aristotle, philosophy has often taken on the role of defending art and asserting its potential for personal, social, and political value.  If, as Alfred North Whitehead claimed, all of philosophy is a history of footnotes to Plato, we should not be surprised that philosophers have continued to argue about the complex connections and disjunctions between aesthetics and politics ever since.  The modern articulation of this vexed relationship emerges with Kant, Hegel, the German Romantics, and Nietzsche; the issue was central to 20th century thinkers such as Heidegger, Benjamin, Adorno, and Arendt; and the relation of art and politics continues to be a key problem more recently for thinkers and political philosophers such as Dubord, Rancière, and Badiou. Artists, of course, have also long addressed the question of the relationship of their activity and products to the political – and their responses take a variety of forms, from art objects and performances to manifestos and critical essays. 

Guest seminar leaders will include Davide Panagia (UCLA), Page duBois (UC San Diego), Jason Smith (Art Center College of Design), Judith Butler (UC Berkeley), Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith) and others TBA.

Alain Badiou will speak for ECT on Nov. 30 (“Identity and Universality: A Contradiction?” at ACCD, Pasadena), Dec. 1 (“Concerning the Dominant Ideologies of the Contemporary World” at UCLA) and Dec. 3 (“Cinema and Philosophy: What’s the status of Badiou’s ‘Life of Plato’ film?” at UCLA). Kristin Ross (NYU) and Harry Harootunian (Columbia) will speak in the spring.

 This two quarter seminar is the core course of the UCLA graduate certificate program in Experimental Critical Theory. The ECT program is meant to galvanize, coordinate, and expand research and teaching in critical theory across departments and disciplines at UCLA. The Program offers the Graduate Certificate in Experimental Critical Theory, which is open to graduate students enrolled in a Ph.D. or MFA program in any participating department at UCLA. Information on the program can be found at http://ect.humnet.ucla.edu/



  • «
  •  Start 
  •  Prev 
  •  1 
  •  2 
  •  3 
  •  4 
  •  5 
  •  6 
  •  7 
  •  8 
  •  9 
  •  10 
  •  Next 
  •  End 
  • »