2022-23 Edition

Critical Theory, Graduate Emphasis


Rei Terada, Director
4100 Humanities Gateway

An emphasis in Critical Theory, under the supervision of the Committee on Critical Theory, is available for doctoral students in all departments at UCI. Ph.D. students accepted into the emphasis complete the emphasis in addition to the degree requirements of their home graduate program. Students who complete the emphasis will receive a letter signed by the Dean and by the Director of Critical Theory testifying that they have completed the Critical Theory Emphasis. Critical theory at UCI is understood in the broad sense as the study of the assumptions, problems, and commitments of the various discourses in the humanities. The faculty regards critical theory as a key element of the study of any humanistic discipline.

For admission to the emphasis, students should have completed or currently be enrolled in one HUMAN 270 or HUMAN 260 course. The application consists of a statement and a letter of recommendation from any UCI faculty. The application should normally be submitted in the first to fifth quarter of graduate study.


(1) a three-quarter Critical Theory Workshop, conducted preferably by a team of instructors, conceived as a reading group, and developed with the input of all participants, where significant texts are discussed and analyzed in class. No term papers are required, and the course is graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only. Students receive credit for this course only in the spring quarter. For the first two quarters, the course is 0 units with IP grading; (2) three HUMAN 270 courses offered under the supervision of the Committee. At least three such courses will be offered each quarter; (3) participation in two mini-seminars (six–eight hours) offered by visiting scholars (and sponsored by the Committee) on the visiting scholar’s ongoing research; and (4) a dissertation that reflects the students’ preparation in critical theory; alternatively, a research paper written under the guidance of one or more of the Emphasis faculty and submitted to the Director.