Reading Groups

Reading groups are an important part of the research-friendly environment fostered by the Theory Centre. Often founded by graduate students, reading groups are one of the means by which Masters and Doctoral students are fully integrated into the research culture of the program. Reading groups focus on the dissemination of new research through meetings and discussion groups, and include:

Kierkegaard reading group

Kierkegaard's central philosophy seeks to understand the challenges in achieving (achievement in the Aristotelian sense) selfhood and inner life through the negotiation of finite life and faith. In undertaking these questions, Kierkegaard profoundly reflects on questions around irony, aesthetics, freedom, anxiety, truth, ethics, and beyond. His incentives are at once philosophical and theological, both criticizing the Hegelian philosophy which dominated his time, and Enlightenment concepts of faith. While Kierkegaard was a highly autobiographical writer, the blurred boundaries between author-text through his use of irony and pseudonyms challenge subscriptions to ideas, allowing space for criticism based both on reason and inward relationships. Despite a writing career cut short by an early death, Kierkegaard left behind a massive body of work, leaving ample space for our reading group to discuss these ideas, approaching works based on communal interest.

For more information contact Ryan Shea at 

The "non-class"

The non-class has gathered by the guidance of Professor Regna Darnell since the fall of 2016, beginning with a group of graduate students from both the Department of Anthropology and the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism, and lately including graduate students from the Department of English and Writing Studies. The non-class is intended as an alternative space for intellectual discussion, distinct from other academic environments such as courses, topic-driven reading groups, seminar series, and so on. What coheres the non-class is a shared interest in exploratory and interdisciplinary conversations that traverse issues of social, civilizational, and ecological justice, the development of decolonial and collaborative research paradigms, the variety of forms and uses of critical theory, and relationships both actual and possible between the humanities, the social sciences, the natural and medical sciences, and extra-academic life.

Participants in the non-class are encouraged not only to allow their own research interests to inflect discussions and freely suggest readings and topics for the meetings, but also to bring their own research interests into direct, potentially transformative relationship with each other's. For more information, contact Grant Dempsey at