Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism


Courses at the Centre are taught by both Core and Non-core faculty at Western, as well emeritus faculty and visiting lecturers.  With some exceptions, courses are limited to no more than 12 students. Master's students are required to fulfill a “breadth requirement” by taking at least one half course from each group:

Group A: aesthetics, philosophy, psychoanalysis, language theory
Group B: social, cultural and political theory
Group C: topical focus covering a variety of theorists from the above areas, as well as 19th-century, modern, and contemporary theory

More information about course requirements can be found here.


NEW 2015-16 Course Timetable

Fall 2015

Course Title Time & Location Instructor Group

SH 2348

Stephen G. Lofts
The Pharmakon of Nature: Philosophy, Speculation and the Life Sciences Tuesday
SH 2348
Tilottama Rajan
On Exile Wednesday
SH 2348
Sharon Sliwinski C
Theories of Mind and Soul: Plato to Hume Wednesday
(cross-listed w/ Comp Lit 9613)
Mary Helen McMurran

Winter 2016

Course Title Time & Location Instructor Group
Politics of Exhausting Human Rights
SH 2348
Mark Franke
Psychos and Schizos: Deleuze and Psychoanalysis Tuesday
SH 2348
John Vanderheide
A Useless Exile: The Promise of Aesthetics Wednesday
SH 2348
Allan Pero
Autonomism, Communisation, Accelerationism
SH 2348
Nick Dyer Witheford
Boredom Thursday
SH 2348
Michael Gardiner

Pre-Approved External Course Offerings*

Title Instructor
Regna Darnell
An Erosophy of Culture Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu
Consumption and the Social Body Scott Schaffer
Precarity: Reading Risk and Responsibility in the Shadow of Neoliberalism Pauline Wakeham

*Graduate courses in other programs concerned with theory and criticism may be approved, with the permission of the Director and Graduate Studies Committee (GSC). Students may take up to two such half courses, provided that they are relevant to the program of study. Students should submit a formal request, including the course syllabus, outlining how the course is relevant to their research at the Theory Centre, no later than the start of term (September 1/January 1).  In order to ensure a place in the course, students must also submit a Course Outside Home Program form.

Historical course offerings:


9227B Franz Boas and his World - Regna Darnell [B]

9533A Levinas - Steve Lofts [C]

9622B Hauntings: Matter and Spirit in Contemporary Critical Theory - Christopher Keep [A]

9624A The Social, the Ethical, and the Global - Scott Schaffer [B]

9626A Dreaming and Thinking - Sharon Sliwinski [A]

9637A Questioning Aesthetics - Julian J. Haladyn [A]

9638B Philosophies of Nature - Joshua Schuster [A]

9648A Langue, out on parole - Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu [A]

9649B What is Enlightenment? - Kevin Mooney [A]

9650A On the Contemporary Possibility of Political Interiority - Antonio Calcagno [B]

9658B Metamorphoses of the Letter - Laurence de Looze [C]


9226A Beyond Incommensurability across Cultures and Languages - Regna Darnell [B]

9504A Anxiety - Jan Plug [A]

9507B "Charged by an Asymptomatic Curve": The Spaces of Love and the Event - Allan Pero [A]

9513A Heidegger - Stephen G. Lofts [C]

9578A the Concept of Utopia - Michael Gardiner [B]

9609B War on Terror - Nandita Biswas Mellamphy [B]

9625A Eighteenth-Century Philosophy and Literature - Mary Helen McMurran [C]

9627B Adorno and Critical Theory - Kevin Mooney [C]

9634A Sovereign Laws of Movement, Politics, Life - Mark Franke [B]

9635B Letter, Trace, Archive: Freud, Lacan, and Derrida on the Signifier in Psychoanalysis - Matthew Rowlinson [C]

9636B The Aesthetic Idea - John Vanderheide [A]


9503Y The Unfinished Project of Deconstruction - Tilottama Rajan [A]

9607A Brecht in World Cinema - Tobias Nagl [C]

9225A From Standpoint to Community - Regna Darnell [B]

9619A Chiaroscuro: the lights of theory - Calin Mihailescu [A]

9621A Gilles Deleuze - Joshua Schuster [C]

9623A Bodies, Power, Sex and Species - Matthew Rowlinson [C]

9626B Dreaming and Thinking - Sharon Sliwinski [B]

9630B Enlightenment Theories of Mind, Soul, Spirit - Mary Helen McMurran [B]

9624B The Social, The Ethical, and the Global - Scott Schaffer [B]

9503Y The Unfinished Project of Deconstruction - Tilottama Rajan [A]

9622B Hauntings: Spirit and Matter in Contemporary Critical Theory - Christopher Keep [A]

9633B Communist Hypotheses for the 21st Century - Mireya Folch Serra [B]


9513 - Heidegger: From Being and Time to poetically dwelling in the fourfold, Prof. Stephen Lofts

9613 - Death and Desire in Western Philosophy, Prof. Leonard Stan

9614 - Idealism and the Margins of Philosophy: (Inter)Disciplinarity in Kant, Hegel, Schelling, Prof. Tilottama Rajan

9615 - Right to Be Political in Motion, Prof. Mark Franke

9616 - Information Societies and Their Promises of ‘Development’, Prof. Ajit Pyati

9617 - Theorizing Indigeneity / Indigenizing Theory, Prof. Pauline Wakeham

9593 - Enlightenment and Contemporary Cosmopolitanisms, Prof. Mary Helen McMurran

9605 - Redemption Has No Inside: Aesthetics, Politics and The Real, Prof. Allan Pero

9614 - Idealism and the Margins of Philosophy: (Inter)Disciplinarity in Kant, Hegel, Schelling, Prof. Tilottama Rajan

9618 - Advanced Theory: Face-to-Facedness and the Construction of Community, Prof. Regna Darnell

9620 - Bakhtin and Social Thought, Prof. Michael Gardiner


9202 - A Discourse of Violence, Narratives of Trauma, Prof. Regna Darnell

9597 - Theories of Spatial and Dialogical Memory, Prof. Mireya Folch Serra

9606 - Archive, Prof. Tony Purdy

9607 - Brecht in World Cinema, Prof. Tobias Nagl

9608 - Posthuman, all too post, Prof. Calin Mihailescu

9609 - The Globalization of Terror: Life as Insecurity, Prof. Nandita Biswas Mellamphy

9610 - Queer Theory and its Aftermaths, Prof. Wendy Pearson

9611 - Representing the Human, Prof. Sharon Sliwinski

9612 - Theatres of Operation: Conflagrations of Contemporary Theory and Criticism, Dan Mellamphy

9628 - Allegory, Prof. Elias Polizoes

9675 - The Psychoanalysis of Philosophy, Prof. Joel Faflak