Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism

Theory Sessions

The Theory Sessions, a student initiative, serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas to promote interdisciplinary research in theory at the Centre and across campus. Students and faculty present their papers and engage in spirited discussions, with contributions from interested Centre scholars as well as faculty and students from other fields and disciplines at Western. Topics have included cannibalism, camp, vaginas, anarchism, bioeconomics, and photography.

Our next session is Friday, March 28th with Jaime R. Brenes Reyes

March 28 poster

Stop There: It’s a Short Story.

Maybe the world is not meant to end up in a beautiful book, but it certainly comes to a halt while reading. So, with the protagonist of Julio Cortázar’s short story “The Continuity of Parks” (1956), we will make a few stops while delving into short fiction’s many layers. Through a detailed reading of Cortázar’s story and in the company of his own reflections on the art of storytelling – “Some Aspects of the Short Story” (1963) and “On the Short Story and Its Environs” (1969) – we will attempt to flip the cards of literary theory by considering the implications of arresting ourselves for a short period of time in the fiction of the purposely brief.


Consider volunteering to be a respondent for any Theory Session that interests you.  To respond to a paper it’s not necessary to write a paper of your own; nor do you have to be an expert in the field. All that is asked is that you be willing to raise a problem or offer a comment based on the paper that’s just been given. The speaker will provide you with a copy of the paper a week in advance. To volunteer, e‐mail Peter Schwenger or Grant Dempsey.