Research & Interest Groups

Theory Group


The English Theory group is a reading-oriented working group that approaches theory as a collective project. To this end, we aim to read 2-3 long works of theory or philosophy—broadly understood—throughout the calendar year, with smaller texts interspersed throughout. We tend to choose significant texts whose length precludes their inclusion in the graduate seminar. Our longer texts are typically chosen by a group vote, so the current membership of the group determines where our interests go! Past longer texts have included volume one of Marx’s Capital, Hegel’s The Phenomenology of Spirit, and Ricouer’s Time and Narrative.

Typically, the group meets for two hours every two weeks to discuss the reading (currently over zoom), though the schedule is malleable to fit the needs of the current members. The group limits the discussion to the current text, so anyone interested can join at any point without needing familiarity with the group’s previous projects.Thank you!

2020-2021 schedule and announcements:

We hope your summers have been going as well as they could be, given the circumstances. I’m sending out an email inviting you to join the theory reading group as we look at two recent works of literary criticism. On August 14th, we will be meeting to discuss Sianne Ngai’s recent book, Theory of the Gimmick. On August 21st, we will be meeting to discuss Anna Kornbluh’s The Order of Forms.

Both of these meetings will be more free-form than our typical meetings—while the whole book will be fair game for discussion, we will focus on the first hundred pages or so of each text. We have pdfs of both readings for anyone who would like to join.

All of our meetings are at 2.30 on Zoom, and we will post the invite on the day of the event for those interested. Please email me or Mike Opal for access if you are interested!

Dan Malinowski
Mike Opal