2024 Director's Welcome


I had the honor of being named the new director of Cornell University’s School of Criticism and Theory earlier this year. SCT is approaching its 50th anniversary and the mission is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago. Attending the 2023 end-of-summer banquet, it was thrilling to see so many young scholars committed to carrying on the practice of deep engagement with complex and nuanced theory. And with a history of inviting scholars from around the world, SCT continues to be at the forefront of decentering authoritative knowledge traditions.

SCT offers students an opportunity to rigorously immerse themselves in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Our program affords students a pause in their otherwise hectic lives to engage in dynamic conversations with scholars from a diversity of intellectual traditions. The 2024 program also has an arc for students who are interested in using the summer as an opportunity to workshop a dissertation chapter or journal article.  

As usual, for 2024 SCT is organized around four seminars led by renowned senior scholars. The scholars this summer come from the fields of Literature, Philosophy, Anthropology, and Environmental Studies. The seminars will focus on critical topics related to the environment, epistemology, race, property, futurism, politics, and the body.

In addition to the 6-week seminars, SCT is introducing workshops in poetry, narrative non-fiction, and analytical writing led by two dynamic writer/scholars.  Capping our seminars will be a conference highlighting the original work of some of the students and faculty.
I cannot express enough how much I am looking forward to SCT 2024!

Carolyn Rouse
Ritter Professor of Anthropology
Princeton University

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Carolyn Rouse