Doctoral Student Field Report: From the School of Criticism and Theory

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This past summer, Josh Rome, a fourth-year English PhD student, attended the School of Criticism and Theory (SCT) at Cornell University. Josh participated in a six-week seminar on “Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory.” His time at SCT afforded him the chance to expand and refine his inquiry into Adorno’s aesthetic thought, which has proven particularly useful to Josh as he works on his dissertation, “Discursive Interventions: Ordinary Language Engagements in Postwar and Contemporary American Poetry.”

The SCT provides an unparalleled opportunity for students interested in intensive study in critical theory. Fordham GSAS sponsors one graduate student each summer, covering the SCT tuition and offering a cost-of-living stipend. The SCT holds four seminars each summer, each of which meets twice a week –– past seminars have focused on topics such as “Reading the Social World: Observation, Description, Interpretation,” “Intersubjective Acts: Psychoanalysis and Politics,” and “Genealogies of Memory and Perception: Literature and Photography.” In addition, the SCT hosts mini-seminars and guest lecturers throughout the session. Recent guest lectures include Homi Bhabha on “Statelessness and Death,” and Amanda Anderson on “Political Psychology: Theory and Doxa.”

In Josh’s experience, however, the intellectual life of the SCT extends far beyond the classroom or lecture hall. Students from various disciplines converge from around the world for the summer session, providing an invaluable opportunity for lively conversations among an array of fields and methodologies. Josh describes the experience as “more than just networking. It’s an ongoing conversation for six weeks about a field in which you’re deeply invested –– and this happens not just at the seminar table, but at picnics and social gatherings. It’s an experience you don’t get often.”

For more information about the STC’s upcoming 2019 session, including a list of seminars, mini-seminars, guest lecturers, and application requirements, please visit:

And click here for more information about Fordham’s Graduate English programs.

By John Miele