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.


ECT 2013-14 Psychoanalysis

The UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory invites applications to its Winter and Spring 2014 core graduate seminar.

Winter Quarter will be entitled “Psychoanalysis, Structure, Economy” and will be taught by Professor Eleanor Kaufman on Tuesdays, 3:00 – 6:00. This quarter of the seminar focuses on critical theory at the juncture of psychoanalysis, structuralism, and Marxism, which arguably reached its pinnacle in the 1960s and 1970s, in the work of Lacan, Althusser, and Deleuze, among others, but continues in significant albeit altered fashion in thinkers such as Jameson and Žižek. In addition to the above, we will read work by Baudrillard, Lyotard, Kristeva, Badiou, Copjec, and Rancière if time permits. As a working heuristic, the logic of structure and economy will be contrasted with more pervasive recent turns to the political.

Spring Quarter will be entitled “Psychoanalysis as Anti-Philosophy” and will be taught by Professor Kenneth Reinhard on Thursdays, 3:00 – 6:00. In this quarter of the seminar we will consider Lacan’s claim that psychoanalysis is “anti-philosophy,” beginning by examining Freud’s relationship to philosophy, especially Nietzsche (including Derrida’s account of that relationship). We will spend most of our time reading Lacan in terms of his relationship to Descartes, Kant, Hegel, and other philosophers, as well as contemporary philosophical critiques of psychoanalysis by Derrida, Deleuze, and others. Our discussion will be framed by Badiou’s account of “anti-philosophy” and his 1994-95 seminar on Lacan.

Visitors to the seminar will include Bernard Stiegler, Eric Santner, and Joan Copjec. Alain Badiou will join us for a series of lectures during the first week of December.

Graduate students in all Ph.D. and MFA programs at UCLA are invited to apply to the seminar, and the ECT graduate certificate program. More information on the program is available here. To apply, please write a one page statement describing your interests and experience in critical theory. Please include your name, email, departmental affiliation, and year in graduate school. Applications should be sent by November 15 to Michelle Anderson, 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 .


Please join us for the

ECT Symposium – Spring 2013

Julia Sushytska (University of Redland)
“At the Limits of Logos: On Antigone’s Melancholia”
Tues. May 7, 5:00 Humanities 348

Martin Puchner (Harvard)
“The Drama of Ideas: Socrates and Modern Drama”
Wed. May 22, 5:00 Humanities 348

Robert Watson (UCLA)
“Why Cognitive Overload Necessitates Culture, and Cultural Evolution Necessitates the Arts and Humanities”?
Tues. May 28, 5:00 Humanities 348

Bryan Reynolds (UC Irvine) & the Transversal Theater Company present Fractalicious!
Thurs. May 30, 5:00 Royce 314 **(note time change)**
Transversal Theater Company



Alain Badiou’s UCLA Regents’ Lectures for 2013 have been postponed for medical reasons.  New dates for the 2013-14 academic year will be announced soon.


ECT Seminar   Theory and Theater       Spring 2013


1. April 4                  NO SEMINAR


2. April 11    (Humanities 193) Shakespeare and Modernity   Special Guest Speaker: Drew Daniel (with a response by Aaron Kunin)

Shakespeare, Timon of Athens                                  


3. April 18   Walter Benjamin, The Origin of the German Tragic Drama


4. April 25  Alain Badiou, “Rhapsody for the Theater”; The Incident at Antioch

5. May 2    Contemporary Theater and Theory: Special Guest Speaker: Yuval Sharon

Ranciere, Brecht (TBA), Kleist, “On the Marionette Theater”

Tues. May 7    ECT Symposium: Julia Sushytska on Antigone

6. May 9   Beckett’s Endgame   Special Guest Speaker: Martin Harries

  Beckett, Endgame, Adorno, “Trying to Understand Endgame”; Michael Fried, “Art and Objecthood”; Stanley Cavell, “Ending the Waiting Game: A Reading of Beckett’s Endgame

7. May 16                  

Chinese Opera   Special Guest Speaker: Daphne Pi-Wei Lei

Chi Chun-hsiang, “The Orphan of Chao” (Six Yuan plays); Daphne Lei, Operatic China: Staging Chinese Identity across the Pacific, Intro and Ch. 1, Ch. 5; Daphne Lei, “Interruption, Intervention, Interculturalism: Robert Wilson’s HIT Productions in Taiwan”; Antonin Artaud, “Oriental and Occidental Theater”; Ariane Mnouchkine, “The Theatre Is Oriental”; Bertold Brecht, “Alienation Effect in Chinese Acting”

May 22  ECT Symposium: Martin Puchner, “The Drama of Ideas: Socrates and Modern Drama”

8. May 23  Wittgenstein's Dramatic Theory of Language Special Guest Speaker: Martin Puchner

Tom Stoppard, Dogg’s Hamlet; Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, paragraphs 1-33

May 28     ECT Symposium: Robert Watson, “Why Cognitive Overload Necessitates Culture, and Cultural Evolution Necessitates the Arts and Humanities”?

9. May 30 (Royce 314)  Special Guest Speaker and Performance: Bryan Reynolds, Fractalicious!

Bryan Reynolds, Transversal Subjects: From Montaigne to Deleuze after Derrida (selections); Bryan Reynolds, Performing Transversally: Reimagining Shakespeare and the Critical Future (selections)

10. June 6                   TBD


Incident Antioch

Alain Badiou’s play, The Incident at Antioch, is now available in a French-English edition from Columbia University Press. You can receive a 30% discount if you go to the CUP website, and use this promo code: INCBAD

The Incident at Antioch