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 of groups A & B:

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.
Required course forms can be found here


2015-16 Course Timetable

Fall 2015

Course Title Time & Location Instructor Group
9513 Heidegger

SH 2348

Stephen G. Lofts
9644 The Pharmakon of Nature: Philosophy, Speculation and the Life Sciences Tuesday
SH 2348
Tilottama Rajan
9657 On Exile Wednesday
SH 2348
Sharon Sliwinski C
9630 Theories of Mind and Soul: Plato to Hume Wednesday
SH 2348
Mary Helen McMurran

Winter 2016

Course Title Time & Location Instructor Group
9631 Politics of Exhausting Human Rights
SH 2348
Mark Franke
9639 Psychos and Schizos: Deleuze and Psychoanalysis Tuesday
SH 2348
John Vanderheide
9660 A Useless Exile: The Promise of Aesthetics Wednesday
SH 2348
Allan Pero
9673 Autonomism, Communisation, Accelerationism
SH 2348
Nick Dyer Witheford
9502 Boredom Thursday
SH 2348
Michael Gardiner

Pre-Approved External Course Offerings*

Title Instructor

ANTH 9217A Topics in Anthropology and Embodiment: Contagion, Plague and Public Health

Fall term: Monday 2:30-5:30pm

Regna Darnell

CL 9614A An Erosophy of Culture

Fall term: Wednesday 2:30-5:30pm, AHB 3B04

Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu

SOC 9110 Consumption and the Social Body

Fall term: Wednesday 9:30-12:30, SSC 5427

Scott Schaffer

WS 9456B Indigenous Gender and Sexuality Studies

Winter term: Thursday 9:30-12:30pm (location TBA)

Pauline Wakeham

*Students may take up to two graduate courses in other programs concerned with theory and criticism, provided that they are relevant to the program of study. 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