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Critical Theory Workshop / Atelier de Théorie Critique

Villanova University

The Critical Theory Workshop / Atelier de Théorie Critique is an intensive research program that takes place every July in Paris, France. Founded by Gabriel Rockhill in 2008, the Workshop seeks to provide an international forum for cross-disciplinary and comparative work in critical theory in the least sectarian sense of the term. Participants are exposed to the work of contemporary thinkers and engage with current debates in the Francophone world and beyond.

The Workshop, which takes place at the Sorbonne in central Paris, does not follow the traditional structure of a course or a conference. Instead, it functions as a collaborative platform for the sharing and perfecting of autonomous research projects. It is currently comprised of four interlocking components:

  • “Débats”: invited speakers debate with the director on a common theme or question related to their research.
  • “Rencontres”: intellectuals are invited to participate in public interviews regarding their work to date and their current projects.
  • “Recherches en cours”: invited guests and the director discuss current or recently completed research projects.
  • “Groupes de travail”: the participants present their own research projects in an opening mini-conference, workshop them in consultation with other participants, and then present their final projects in a closing conference.

The overall objective is to bring together a diverse panoply of thinkers from different horizons in order to cultivate productive debates around specific themes and issues, with a particular emphasis on contemporary debates and current events.

Although these activities are oriented toward a graduate level of education, anyone with the requisite background is welcome to apply. One of the goals is to create a relatively egalitarian space of collaboration that cuts across the standard academic distinctions between professors and students. Participants often include very advanced undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, faculty, autodidacts, artists, writers and independent researchers.

The primary language of instruction is English, but some of the activities take place in French with English summary translations.

Contact Information
Gabriel Rockhill, Professor

Villanova University
Villanova University, SAC 108
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA
United States

North America
Western Europe

Academic Program
Certificate (includes emphasis, specialization, or concentration)


Certificate (includes emphasis, specialization, or concentration)

Year Established

Fellowships and Potential Scholarly Affiliations
Critical Theory Workshop / Atelier de Théorie Critique Fellowships