Interior of the A.D. White House

About Us

Since its inception in 1976, the School of Criticism and Theory has been devoted to intensive intellectual inquiry and the vigorous exchange of ideas, cultivating a space where courageous discussion and innovative academic exploration can thrive.

To this end, the SCT brings together a diverse group of scholars from around the world, addressing an ever-expanding arrangement of cultural, political and social movements, theoretical axes and intersecting debates across the humanities and social sciences. From inter-disciplinary scholarship that enables new knowledge, to collaborative conversation that yields new questions, the SCT strives to respond to the complex and urgent struggles of our times with intellectual rigor and resilience.

Crucial to the SCT’s mission is a commitment to contemporary paradigms and emergent streams of thought, a mission brought to life by our participants who not only share in our expressed values, but also break ground with unforeseen ideas and provocative points of discussion. We advocate for the freedom of all participants to engage in and contribute towards this vital and shared arena of conversation—making tangible and lived—a more open, expansive and critically nuanced understanding of our worlds.

Statement of Values

Gathering together in a spirit of critical collaboration and comradery, The School of Criticism and Theory, hosted at Cornell University, recognizes the right of all individuals at every organizational level to an inclusive, and equitable learning environment. We endorse an engagement with each other that is thoughtful, attentive and absolutely free from hostility, prejudice, harassment or discrimination in any form and on any basis.