The Langson Library exhibit “From Bean to Brew: Coffee and Culture,” has kept us warm these long winter months with delicious facts about the energizing beverage that perks our campus up on foggy California mornings and keeps us going through first quarter finals. In “From Bean to Brew,” we learned that UCI students are part of a long tradition of intellectuals “measuring their lives in coffee spoons” and fueling their synapses with the hallowed brew. Turing from the brain fuel to the brain, this spring we’ll explore the intellectual legacy of one of UCI’s most innovative and influential academic programs, the Critical Theory Emphasis, and its world renown faculty.
Since the late 1960s, the Critical Theory program at the University of California, Irvine has allowed scholars from a broad range of disciplines to think deeply about the theoretical basis of their specialties and challenge the traditional frameworks that surround their fields of study. One of the first programs of its kind, UCI’s Critical Theory Emphasis and its key faculty played a crucial role in the support and development of the study of theory in universities around the world. This exhibit, “Through Discerning Eyes: The Origin and Impact of Critical Theory at UCI,” will explore the development of this program, its peak in the 1990s, its international impact on the state of theory, and its continued success today.
The curators of this exhibit are hard at work going through collections in the University and Critical Theory Archives making selections, designing layouts, and writing text. The exhibit it scheduled to open in early April. Dean of the School of Humanities, Georges van den Abeele, whose research focuses on French and European philosophical literature, critical theory, and aesthetics will present a lecture as part of the exhibit opening on April 9th.