All News

April 11, 2024

The Center for Interdisciplinary Critical Inquiry is pleased to relaunch the exchange program between University of California, Berkeley and Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. This joint program supports innovative international collaborations between UC Berkeley and LMU in the Arts and Humanities. We facilitate academic exchange of faculty members, graduate students, and postdocs through visiting professorships, conferences, and workshops.

March 27, 2024

The Center for Interdisciplinary Critical Inquiry is pleased to announce that select recordings of its annual symposium, Demos Anxiety: "Great Replacement" Theory and Democracy, are now available. To view all recordings of the symposium, find the curated playlist.

March 22, 2024

Berkeley News
In Berkeley Talks episode 193, science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson discusses climate change, politics and the need for "angry optimism." Listen to Kim Stanley Robinson in conversation with Katherine Snyder and Daniel Aldana Cohen. CICI was a co-sponsor of this event as part of our Environmental Arts and Humanities Initiative.

March 4, 2024

The Center for Interdisciplinary Critical Inquiry offers summer research grants of up to $5,000 for interdisciplinary, interdivisional, creative and/or collaborative projects on urgent contemporary issues such as climate change, authoritarianism, race, borders and migration. Students working across divisional lines such as arts and humanities, social sciences, art practice, digital humanities and law are especially encouraged to apply.

February 29, 2024

On Thursday, February 1, 2024, the Center for Interdisciplinary Critical Inquiry, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Program in Critical Theory co-presented Fascism: An Eternal Recurrence?, a panel conversation centered on the question: "What is fascism today?". Panelists included Dylan Riley (Sociology, UC Berkeley), Alexei Yurchak (Anthropology, UC Berkeley), Blanca Missé (French, SFSU), and Ilya Budraitskis (Critical Theory, UCB), with moderation by Aglaya Glebova, (European Modern Art, UC Berkeley).

February 28, 2024

Debarati Sanyal, faculty director at the UC Berkeley Center for Interdisciplinary Critical Inquiry, UC Berkeley, and Imran Khan, executive director of the Science of Psychedelics, also at UC Berkeley, speak with Forbes contributor Andrew DeAngelo about "Psychedelics in Society and Culture," a collaborative effort between the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard University to, as Khan puts it, "delve into new areas of essential psychedelic inquiry."

February 16, 2024

On Wednesday, January 24, 2024, Kim Stanley Robinson, award-winning author of 22 novels and numerous short stories, visited Berkeley to discuss his fiction with a focus on Ministry for the Future (2020).

November 15, 2023

UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics

On November 15, the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard University announced a new, collaborative initiative that will expand psychedelic research across the arts, humanities and social sciences.

November 6, 2023

The Division of Arts & Humanities UC Berkeley

The Center for Interdisciplinary Critical Inquiry (CICI), in collaboration with the Division of Arts and Humanities, invites you to discover a sample of the innovative, cross-disciplinary graduate and undergraduate research projects supported by our first Summer Research Grant. 

October 25, 2023

Russian social science professors Ilya Matveev and Ilya Budraitskis, renowned for their expertise on authoritarianism, fled their country after Russia invaded Ukraine. A faculty and staff coalition helped give them a safe harbor at UC Berkeley.

Read more here about the tireless work and collaboration that went into welcoming Budraitskis and Matveev to the Program in Critical Theory as faculty members.

October 16, 2023

On September 10, 2023 the Environmental Arts and Humanities Initiative (EAHI) hosted a very special movie screening of Taming the Garden (2021) directed by Salomé Jashi.

October 13, 2023

The Program in Critical Theory is pleased to announce that Nivedita Menon will visit UC Berkeley during the fall 2023 semester. Please join us the week of November 12 to hear Menon speak at a variety of events on Berkeley’s campus.

September 1, 2023

Tuesday, October 17 | 5 PM - 7 PM
Geballe Room, Townsend Center, UC Berkeley

August 30, 2023

Dear CICI community,

We are delighted to announce our annual symposium, Demos Anxiety: “Great Replacement” Theory and Democracy. The event will take place on October 20, 2023, in the Maude Fife Room at UC Berkeley.

July 6, 2023

Friday, October 6, 2023 | 10 am – 5 pm
3335 Dwinelle Hall

The study of elements (air, water, and land) is at the center of intersecting discourses (posthuman and anticolonial) in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Climate change and the COVID pandemic have made it urgent to address the ways in which these elements might inform our analyses of bio- and necropolitics, while helping us imagine alternative relationalities.

April 6, 2023

Thank you for your interest in the 2023 CICI Summer Research Grants. The application period is now closed. Please continue to check our website to learn of other future funding opportunities.

The Center for Interdisciplinary Critical Inquiry is pleased to announce the 2023 CICI Summer Research Grants. These grants are available to both undergraduate and graduate students who have at least one semester remaining.

For Graduate Students:

March 27, 2023

Please join us for a talk by Laura Zander, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Collaborative Research Centre “Law and Literature” at the University of Muenster. The talk will be moderated by Dr. Devin Zuber (Associate Professor, Graduate Theological Union), with a response from Dr. Munir Jiwa (Associate Professor, and Director of the Center for Islamic Studies, Graduate Theological Union).

Wednesday April 12, 2023, 5 - 6:30 pm

3335 Dwinelle Hall

March 21, 2023

Please join us for Forms of Psychedelic Life: An Interdisciplinary Conference Exploring the Intersections of Aesthetics, Ethics, Religion, and Altered States

April 12-15, 2023

UC Berkeley

Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary

February 23, 2023

Please join us for a talk by Baptiste Morizot, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Aix-Marseille.

Friday March 3, 2023, 1 pm

3335 Dwinelle Hall

Who Makes the Earth Habitable? From a Metaphysics of Production to a Metaphysics of Alliance

February 10, 2023

UC Irvine School of Humanities, Religious Studies

Refuge at Risk: Concepts, Infrastructures, Futures

February 8, 2023

Deadline for submissions: March 31, 2023

Organizers: International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs | Center for Cross-Cultural Studies, Kyung Hee University, South Korea

Co-organizer: Asia Theories Network

Dates: June 9-11, 2023

Venue: Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea

February 1, 2023

Dear CICI community,

We are delighted to announce our inaugural symposium: Borders and Crossings: Contemporary Arts and Techniques of Migration. The event will take place March 10-11, 2023, at the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley.

November 17, 2022

The Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion (DESR) is pleased to announce our spring 2023 courses that count towards the core and elective requirements for the DE. These courses reflect the interdisciplinary breadth of the DESR, with core and elective options in South & Southeast Asian Studies, Comparative Literature/German, History, Public Health, Buddhist Studies, Jewish Studies, Anthropology, and Social Welfare.

September 6, 2022

The Program in Critical Theory will support four Designated Emphasis students’ dissertation projects in 2022–2023. Kevin Stone and Saniya Taher will receive semester-long Critical Theory Dissertation Fellowships, while Phillip Campanile will receive a Critical Theory Completion Grant and Laila Riazi will receive a Critical Theory Research Grant.

September 3, 2022

BCSR was delighted to speak recently with Professor Debarati Sanyal, the new Faculty Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Critical Inquiry (CICI), which supports BCSR. She is Professor of French and affiliated with Critical Theory, The Center for Race and Gender, and European Studies.

September 2, 2022

Ethan Katz was educated at Amherst College (B.A., History & French, 2002) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (M.A., History, 2005; PhD, History, 2009). He is currently Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also is the co-founder and co-director of the Antisemitism Education Initiative. Before coming to Berkeley, he taught for eight years at the University of Cincinnati, and for one year as a visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

September 1, 2022

The Graduate Group in the Study of Religion is thrilled to welcome the latest cohort of the DE in the Study of Religion. The new cohort includes graduate students from Berkeley departments in the humanities. Please join us in welcoming our two new DESR students!

August 30, 2022

In a country that has seen a steep decline in religious practice, what do we consider as sacred? How do we express our spiritual beliefs? And what is replacing traditional places of worship?

Carolyn Chen found the answer to those questions talking to tech workers in the Bay Area. 

August 18, 2022


August 17, 2022

Division of Arts & Humanities

The Division of Arts and Humanities at UC Berkeley is pleased to announce the appointment of Debarati Sanyal(link is external) as director of the Consortium for Interdisciplinary Research(link is external) (CIR) effective July 1, 2022.

July 26, 2022

The Program in Critical Theory is delighted to welcome 12 new students to the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory. The new cohort includes graduate students from Berkeley departments in the social sciences and humanities. These new admits bring the total number of Critical Theory DE students to 101.

June 6, 2022

This Spring, Students in the collaborative research seminar Tres Hornos: Earthen Ovens and Foodways of the Southwest experimented with design and construction techniques to build and use earthen ovens, also known as hornos, using a traditional brick mold process combined with a newly designed inflatable mold.

May 1, 2022

The Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion (BCSR) is pleased to announce a $1,000,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation in support of a 4-year project with the Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative (APARRI). This grant will support APARRI in its mission to advance the interdisciplinary study of Asian Pacific American religions and to ensure the legacy of Asian Pacific Americans within the American religious and racial landscape.

April 1, 2022

The International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs is pleased to announce the publication of the first issue of volume five of Critical Times, published by Duke University Press at

March 4, 2022

Jaeyoon Park is a PhD candidate in Political Science with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory. His dissertation charts the transformation of scholarly and popular discourse on addiction in the United States over the past half-century. Working with texts ranging from scientific articles and diagnostic manuals to 12-step handbooks, it explores how addiction has been reimagined as a normal feature of human experience in our time. In Fall 2022, Jaeyoon joined the political science faculty at Amherst College.

This interview was conducted in Fall 2021.