Learn about our excellent faculty and students and explore events affiliated with the program below: 


April 17, 2024

Duke University Press

Sharad Chari, co-director of the Program in Critical Theory and associate professor of geography, has published Apartheid Remains (Duke University Press, 2024). In Apartheid Remains, Chari explores how people handle the remains of segregation and apartheid in South Africa as witnessed through portals in an industrial-residential landscape in the Indian Ocean city of Durban.

March 25, 2024

We are proud to announce that Zeus Leonardo, professor of education and an affiliated faculty member in the Critical Theory Designated Emphasis, received the senior scholar award from the Critical Examination of Race, Ethnicity, Class, and Gender special interest group (SIG) within the American Educational Research Association (AREA).

March 19, 2024

We are honored to announce that Poulomi Saha, co-director of the Program in Critical Theory and associate professor of English, has received the 2023 American Cultures Excellence in Teaching Award. The American Cultures Excellence in Teaching Award is intended to recognize individual faculty members ’ exemplary teaching in the American Cultures curriculum at the University of California, Berkeley.

March 18, 2024

We are proud to announce that Jonathan Pérez, graduate student in the Program in Critical Theory, has been invited to attend Ternary Positionality: Relationality, Decoloniality, and Interpretation, the spring 2024 Seminar in Experimental Critical Theory (SECT), hosted by the Program in Experimental Critical Theory at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Pérez has received the competitive 

February 16, 2024

Please join us as Peter Gordon presents "Two Ideas of Dialectic: Hegel and Adorno," a lecture.

Thursday, March 14, 2024 | 5 - 7 PM
3335 Dwinelle Hall, Berkeley, CA

January 26, 2024

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

Thursday, February 15, 2024 | 5:30 - 7 PM

330 Wheeler Hall

January 17, 2024

Please join us as Adom Getachew presents the second seminar in the Series in Black / Africana Critical Theory, "'The Present as History': Walter Rodney and the Search for Usable African Pasts."

Monday, February 12, 2024 | 4 - 6 PM
3401 Dwinelle Hall, Berkeley, CA

January 8, 2024

Please join us for "Fascism: An Eternal Recurrence?", an evening panel discussion on modern fascism.

Thursday, February 1, 2024 | 5 - 7 PM
370 Dwinelle Hall, Berkeley, CA

November 29, 2023

Poulomi Saha, Associate Professor of English and Co-Director of the Program in Critical Theory will join KQED Forum host Alexis Madrigal tomorrow, 11/30 at 9am PST, to discuss our current cultural obsession with cults and what it says about American society.

November 2, 2023

Dr. Richard Tran is a scholar of queer studies in the Asian context. His first book, Queer Vietnam: A History of Gender Transgression in the early Twentieth-Century, 1920-1945, is forthcoming with Stanford University Press. He is presently working on another project tracing the idea of the “human” in Vietnam from the French colonial period to the middle of the twentieth-century. He is an executive board member and treasurer of the Vietnam Studies Group of the Association for Asian Studies.

The Program in Critical Theory is pleased to announce that Nivedita Menon will visit UC Berkeley during the fall 2023 semester. Please join us the week of November 16 to hear Menon speak at a variety of events on Berkeley’s campus.

Congratulations to assistant professors Fumi Okiji (Rhetoric) and Nathaniel Wolfson (Spanish and Portuguese) on being named 2023 Hellman Fellows(link is external)!

Big Think

This quote and the problem it describes drives The Entanglement by Alva Noë, a new book on art, philosophy, and what it means to be human. Almost as far back as we want to go in the story of humanity, there is art standing in a central, pivotal location. The question that Noë, a philosopher at the University of California-Berkeley, wants to understand is simple: Why? Why is art so central to our development that we cannot tell the story of humanity without it?

Berkeley News

The prominent critic of Vladimir Putin had devoted his decade-plus academic life in Moscow and St. Petersburg to researching his country’s embrace of authoritarianism. He regularly lectured his students on the rise of oppressors in Russia and around the world.

November 1, 2023

Division of Arts & Humanities

To start us out, how did you first come to study classics and comp lit? And are there any interests you enjoy outside of academia that you see informing your studies? 

Division of Arts & Humanities

The Division of Arts & Humanities at UC Berkeley is pleased to announce Professor Poulomi Saha as the new co-director of the Critical Theory program(link is external) at UC Berkeley, effective July 1, 2023.

October 12, 2023

Pedro Rolon is a PhD student in Comparative Literature and a Critical Theory DE Student who focused on a set of readings in the fields of Caribbean Studies, Black Studies, and Eco Poetics as well as engaging in the practice of experimental modes of critical writing.

Rolon received a Summer Research Grant from the Center for Interdisciplinary Critical Inquiry within the Division of Arts & Humanities as part of the Mellon Foundation New Strategies for the Humanities grant.

June 22, 2023

Division of Arts & Humanities

The Division of Arts & Humanities at UC Berkeley is pleased to announce Professor Stephen Best as the new director of the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC Berkeley, effective July 1, 2022. 

Stephen is professor in the department of English, holds a courtesy appointment in the department of Film and Media, and is a member of the Critical Theory designated emphasis.

November 2, 2022


15 November 2022 -

Please note that the scheduled November 15 event with Robin Greeley, “Red Square Impossible Pink: Neoliberalism and Perception in the Art of Melanie Smith,” has been postponed until the spring 2023 semester.