Critical Inquiry Critical Inquiry

Critical Inquiry Visiting Professor: Catherine Malabou

Since 2003, the Critical Inquiry Visiting Professorship has been held by some of the world’s most renowned scholars. The CI Professor is in residence at the University of Chicago for an academic quarter, where he or she teaches a graduate seminar and offers two public lectures. Previous visitors have included Jacques Rancière, Julia Kristeva, Ian Hacking, Fredric Jameson, Samuel Delany, N. Katherine Hayles, Raymond Bellour, Saidiya Hartman, and Wendy Hui Kyong Chun. This year, we are proud to welcome Catherine Malabou.

Catherine Malabou is a professor in the philosophy department at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University and of European languages and literatures and comparative literature at University of California, Irvine. She is the author of Ontology of the Accident: An Essay on Destructive Plasticity (2012) and Before Tomorrow: Epigenesis and Rationality (2016), and most recently, Morphing Intelligence: From IQ Measurement to Artificial Brains (2019).


Winter Seminar: Philosophy and Anarchy [ENGL 60220]

2/1 to 3/3: Tues. and Thurs., 9:30am–12:20pm

In contemporary Western philosophy, deconstructive gestures of metaphysics have been presented by prominent thinkers such as Levinas, Derrida, Schürmann, Foucault, Agamben, and Rancière as liberating “anarchic” ways of thinking. The possibility of questioning and acting beyond the “arkhè”—that is beyond the principle (commandment and beginning at the same time)—has opened new perspectives in ontology, ethics, and politics. Levinas, for example, characterizes the relation to the Other in terms of “an-archic responsibility.” Surprisingly, however, philosophical concepts of anarchy have always been strictly distinguished from those of political anarchism. On their end, thinkers and activists like Proudhon, Bakunin, and Kropotkin never presented themselves as philosophers. The two traditions (metaphysical and political) have never merged and still continue to ignore each other in their most contemporary versions. Philosophers advocate for an anarchy without anarchism, and anarchists for an anarchism without philosophy. To what extent and why should we envisage a reconciliation of both trends? What are the signs, in the current global political situation, justifying a new interrogation of anarchy? The class meets twice a week through February and the first week of March.

Please email us at for more information about registering for the Winter 2022 class.



Public Lectures


Public Lecture 1: TBA

Description TBA.

Friday, 11 February, 6pm CST


Public Lecture 2: TBA

Description TBA.

Friday, 25 February, 6pm CST



Past holders of the CI Professorship are:

Fredric Jameson 2003-2004

Julia Kristeva 2004-2005

Stanley Cavell 2005-2006

Slavoj Žižek 2006-2007

Ian Hacking 2007-2008

Jacques Rancière 2008-2009

Joan Copjec 2009-2010

Leo Bersani 2011-2012

Peter Galison 2012-2013

Samuel R. Delany 2013-2014

Raymond Bellour 2015-2016

N. Katherine Hayles 2016-2017

Saidiya Hartman 2017-2018

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun 2019-2020