The new library exhibit, Through Discerning Eyes: the Origin and Impact of Critical Theory at UCI, opened in the Langson lobby last week on Thursday April 9th.
Through Discerning Eyes explores the development of UC Irvine’s Critical Theory Emphasis program from its roots in the School of Humanities’ department of Comparative Literature and English, to its current focus on interdisciplinary study. It also highlights the impact that UCI’s critical theory faculty have on the state of theory internationally, and the program’s continued success today as a degree emphasis for UCI graduate students.
The exhibit showcases the personal papers of many famous thinkers, such as Jacques Derrida and J. Hillis Miller, housed in UCI Libraries Special Collections and Archives’ Critical Theory Archive. Also on display will be several other documents from both the Critical Theory Archive and University Archives in recognition of UCI’s 50th Anniversary.
On Thursday evening following opening remarks by University Librarian, Lorelei Tanji, Dr. George Van Den Abbeele, Dean of the School of Humanities, presented an eloquent history of theory and UCI’s unique place in the development of literary and critical thought. To close his presentation, Dean Van Den Abbeele took comments from faculty, emeriti, staff, and students, many of whom shared their own memories and experiences with the Critical Theory Emphasis and Institute. Some audience members also shared their vision for the future of critical theory and the study of theory at UCI.
During the School of Humanities’ and UCI Libraries’ First Annual Critical Theory Institute Conference, participants in the opening Friday in Langson Library will have the opportunity to tour the exhibit with curators Alexandra Bisio and Matthew Roberts, as well as the Critical Theory Archive.
Through Discerning Eyes will be on display in the Muriel Ansley Reynolds Gallery through August 2015.