News Archive: 2023


The Program in Critical Theory will support three Designated Emphasis students’ dissertation projects in 2023–2024. Maria Fatima-Santos and Zachary Hicks will receive semester-long Critical Theory Dissertation Fellowships. Nejat Kedir will receive a Critical Theory Research Grant.

Support for this year’s awardees is generously provided by the Magistretti Graduate Fellowship Fund through the Division of Arts and Humanities, the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the generosity of friends and colleagues.

Maria-Fátima Santos is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology. She is interested in the following research topics: social theory, political sociology, law/legal professionals, punishment and inequality, race and ethnicity, work, global/transnational sociology, and Latin America. Read more about Maria-Fátima’s work on her academic website here.

Zachary Hicks is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Zachary’s research interests include literature and culture of the early Soviet period, intersections of literature and visual media, critical theory, Marxism, philosophies of materialism, and aesthetics.

Nejat Kedir is a doctoral candidate in the Department of African American Studies. Nejat’s areas of interest are 19th, and 20th century Continental Philosophy, African Diasporic Literature, African American Literature, Black Feminist Science Studies, Black Feminism, and Posthumanism.

The Program in Critical Theory Dissertation Fellowship

Application Deadline:
Friday, April 28, 2023

The Critical Theory Dissertation Fellowship is awarded to UC Berkeley Critical Theory Designated Emphasis (DE) graduate students with records of achievement and promising dissertation projects. The fellowships support students writing their dissertations, providing full fee remission (where required) and a full stipend, usually for a semester.

Applications for the 2023-2024 Critical Theory Dissertation Fellowship are due Friday, April 28, 2023 by 4 pm. Eligible students must be enrolled in the Critical Theory DE and not receive significant (non-teaching) financial support from their home departments during the period of the award. Applicants must have completed their Qualifying Exams and have an approved dissertation prospectus.

Application Guidelines

Applicants must submit a cover letter, a 2-3 page abstract of the dissertation, an academic CV, and a letter from the dissertation adviser evaluating the project’s promise. Applicants planning on having the prospectus approved by the end of May 2024 should explain this in the application cover letter and should have the dissertation director, in their letter, evaluate the draft or proposed prospectus and the likelihood of its approval.

Applicants should specify in the cover letter whether they would prefer to have the award in the fall or spring semester.

Completed applications, including all supporting materials, must be received by Friday, April 28, 2023, at 4 pm. 

Please submit applications to

Deadline for applications: April 28, 2023 by 4 pm
Award Announced: May 2023
Award Period: July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024
Award Amount: Varies according to the applicant pool and funds available.

The Dissertation Fellowship is open to Critical Theory students in UC Berkeley Departments including African American Studies, Anthropology, Berkeley Law, Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Cultures, English, Ethnic Studies, Film & Media, French, Gender & Women’s Studies, German, Geography, History, History of Art, Italian, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Rhetoric, School of Education, School of Public Health, Slavic Languages and Cultures, Social Welfare, Sociology, South & Southeast Asian Studies, Spanish & Portuguese, and Theater, Dance and Performance Studies.


Wednesday, February 22, 5:30-7 pm
330 Wheeler, UC Berkeley

Join The Program in Critical Theory’s faculty and students for a panel discussion and Q&A about the Designated Emphasis (DE) in Critical Theory. All UC Berkeley PhD students interested in applying to the DE are invited to attend.

Serving nearly 100 graduate students from the humanities, social sciences, and arts, the DE enables graduate students already enrolled in UC Berkeley PhD programs to obtain certification of a Designated Emphasis specialization in Critical Theory. The DE offers courses on the nineteenth-century notion of critique—including the historically distinct modalities of Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Marx, and others; on the Frankfurt School and other twentieth-century currents of critical theory and philosophy; and on contemporary forms and modes of critical theory, including critical race theory, postcolonialist theory, feminist critique, gender studies and queer theory, and the diverse approaches to critique arising with and after structuralism and poststructuralism. The DE emphasizes the centrality of theoretical critique in the examination of contemporary values, of the power relations that constrain and enable political, social, cultural, and economic life, and of the modes of justification that legitimate historical and cultural inquiry and sociopolitical analysis.

Applications to the DE in Critical Theory are due Friday, March 17, by 4 pm. All students enrolled in PhD programs at UC Berkeley who have not already taken the QE are eligible to apply. To learn more about the application process and access application forms, please visit:

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