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Upcoming summer school


The 2024 London Critical Theory Summer School will take place from 24 June to 5 July. It will once again run on Birkbeck's campus in central London.

We are delighted to confirm that a truly exceptional list of tutors has agreed to take part in the 2024 programme. Attendees will be offered a substantial programme of debates, breakout groups, discussions, live and pre-recorded talks, as well as access to archival resources.

Each Summer School explores the genealogy and reach of critical theory, whilst encouraging intellectual elaboration and reflection. Our aim is to stimulate progressive, dissident being and thinking.

The necessity for such thinking is as critical as ever today. Across the world reactionary and racist governments enshrine inhumane policies in law, and turn their eyes away from climate catastrophe. Over the past years, some right populist politicians have been defeated, others have been elected (Italy, Finland), or are aiming at a second chance in power. The world is faced with increased inequality, inhumane asylum policies, licensed ethno-nationalism, so-called 'culture wars', and vicious misogyny, newly exposed but undefeated. As we write, the Russian assault on Ukraine continues and the conflict in Israel-Palestine has been pitched into new levels of violence. We now exist on the other side of a global pandemic that introduced and extended myriad social and technological changes whose long-term effects remain to be understood. At the same time, we are offered hope by the rise in protest movements, even when met with the increased force of state, and the creativity of cultural and artistic production whose energies and commitment promise a better future. Our summer school offers a place to explore the ramifications of all this and to ask what it means to wield criticism against contemporary oppression while turning our thought towards freedom.

We invite students to immerse themselves in two weeks of discussion and debate in the company of our leading tutors. In 2024, we are delighted to welcome Juliet Jacques, Isaac Julien, Pumla Dineo Gqola and Fumi Okiji, alongside our returning speakers, Costas Douzinas, Stephen Frosh, Kojo Koram, Esther Leslie, Laura Mulvey, Jacqueline Rose and Slavoj Žižek.

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS and provisional topics FOR 2024

  • Costas Douzinas, Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Athens, Greece and Professor of Law at Birkbeck, University of London, a founder of the Birkbeck School of Law and the Department of Law of the University of Cyprus, the founding director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London, the President of the Nikos Poulantzas Institute and a former politician - States of Exception.
  • Stephen Frosh, Fellow of Birkbeck, University of London, Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, an Academic Associate of the British Psychoanalytical Society, a Founding Member of the Association of Psychosocial Studies, an Honorary Member of the Institute of Group Analysis, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and at the University of São Paulo, Brazil.
  • Pumla GqolaProfessor of Literary and Cultural Studies the Nelson Mandela University, South Africa and NMU-DSI-NRF SARChI Chair in African Feminist Imagination. 
  • Juliet Jacques, writer, filmmaker and Visiting Lecturer on the Contemporary Art Practice MA at the Royal College of Arts, London.
  • Isaac Julien, installation artist, filmmaker and Distinguished Professor of the Arts at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • Kojo Koram, Reader in Law at Birkbeck, University of London.
  • Achille Mbembe, professor at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and at the new Innovation Foundation for Democracy - on Critique and Institutions.
  • Laura Mulvey, Professor of Film Studies at Birkbeck, University of London.
  • Esther Leslie, Professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck, University of London and Fellow of the British Academy.
  • Fumi Okiji, Assistant Professor at University of California, Berkeley and Professor at the European Graduate School/EGS - Black Study as Form.
  • Jacqueline Rose, Professor of Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
  • Slavoj Žižek, International Director of Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, visiting professor at New York University and a senior researcher at the University of Ljubljana's Department of Philosophy - Why is the European Legacy Worth Fighting For?


The application process for the 2024 Summer School (in-person programme) has now closed. The deadline for applying was 5 January 2024.

2024 LCTSS VIRTUAL stream


The 2024 LCTSS virtual stream is intended as an educational experience for those of you not sure whether you are ready for the full in person course, if you have concerns about travel or are on a reduced budget.


The virtual stream comprises two hours of delivery in each day of the Summer School, where you can attend remotely the live-streamed lecture of each speaker teaching at the in-person programme, in addition to five moderated break out sessions, where you can take time to work and discuss around the taught subjects with your peers. While we are not able to offer dedicated 1-2-1 exchange of exclusive dialogues with each lecturer, your questions (collected through the chat function) at the Q&A following each lecture will be prioritised.

The 2024 LCTSS virtual stream will also include allocated time for optional social interactions as well as preferential access to the two weekly public facing sessions of the full Summer School, each of these planned on a Friday.

The application process for the 2024 LCTSS virtual programme has now closed.