Critical Theory Reading Group

@JCU Critical Theory Reading Group

Critical theory reading group: Contemporary theory in a depoliticising world

critical theory

Australia, like all neoliberal democracies, struggles with depoliticisation. This seminar pushes back against the tendency for the terms of the political to be policed away, and seeks to identify the many forms that the political takes, and the ways that contemporary theory can reveal possibilities for action.

The seminar provides a forum for staff and students to discuss contemporary social theory, or old social theory applied to contemporary social questions. The purpose of the seminar is not to present the polished fruits of research but to foster critical debate and to work through ideas you find worthwhile in an open-ended fashion.

The reading group will meet 12-1pm on the first Tuesday of each month during semesters, and is open to all staff and post-graduate students (or to whomever else may be interested) on the Townsville campus.

I will send out the reading and a short blurb about the topic two weeks before each session.

If you would like to be on our mailing list please email me at:

6 September


Bourdieu. P. 2003. Firing back: Against the tyranny of the market 2. London: Verso. Ch. 2: The invisible hand of the powerful. Ch. 3: Against depoliticization. Pp. 26-52

4 October


Wendy Brown. 2015. Undoing the demos: Neoliberalism’s stealth revolution. New York: Zone Books. Ch. 1: Undoing democracy: Neoliberalism’s remaking of state and subject. Pp. 17-45.

1 November


Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thevenot. On justification: Economies of worth. Ch 1, pp. 25-42