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Upcoming summer school


The 2023 London Critical Theory Summer School will take place from 26 June to 7 July. It will once again run on Birkbeck's campus in central London, but may revert to either a hybrid model or a full-scale online programme if the world health situation and travel-related restrictions globally require us to do so.

We are delighted to confirm that a truly exceptional list of tutors has agreed to take part in the 2023 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 need for such thinking has dramatically increased in the past years which witnessed the advent of a number of leaders across the world - Trump, Bolsonaro, Johnson, Modi, Erdoğan, Orbàn - and the resurgence of right populism to devastating global effect. While Trump and Bolsonaro and Johnson have been electorally defeated - though Trump is seeking the Republican nomination to run for President in 1924 - the combined effect has been devastating; massively exacerbating global inequality, inhumane asylum policies and increasingly licensed ethno-nationalism, racism and misogyny alongside the forms of historical forgetting which they appear to demand. All this was aggravated by a global pandemic which has presented new challenges to our ability to live and our capacity for critical thought, as we reflect on the meanings, and possibility, of justice and equality in a world of pandemic and climate catastrophe.

We invite students to immerse themselves in two weeks of discussion and debate in the company of our leading tutors. In 2023, we are delighted to welcome Kojo Koram and Eyal Weizman, alongside our returning speakers, Etienne Balibar, Costas Douzinas, Stephen Frosh, Esther Leslie, Sarah Nuttall, Jacqueline Rose and Slavoj Žižek. This year, we are also delighted to welcome Felwine Sarr and the return of Sisonke Msimang, an important young scholar, as part of our strengthening connections to the WISER institute at the University of Witswaterand in Johannesberg.


  • Etienne Balibar, Emeritus Professor at Paris X Nanterre and Anniversary Chair of Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, London.
  • Costas Douzinas 
  • Stephen Frosh
  • Dr Kojo Koram, Senior Lecturer, Department of Law, Birkbeck, University of London.
  • Laura Mulvey, Professor of Filme Studies, Department of Film Studies, Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies, Birkbeck, University of London.
  • Esther Leslie 
  • Sarah Nuttall, Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies and Director of the Wits Institute for Social and Economy Research, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
  • Jacqueline Rose 
  • Slavoj Žižek 
  • Sisonke Msimang, author of Always Another Country: A memoir of exile and home (2017) and The Resurrection of Winnie Mandela (2018). Currently a fellow at the WISER Institute, at the University of the Witswatersrand.
  • Eyal Weizman, Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London and founder of Forensic Architecture.


  • Etienne Balibar, 'In the War: Cosmopolitics as Internationalism'
  • Jodi Dean, 'The Subject Supposed to Care'
  • Costas Douzinas, 'Cosmopolitanism, Just War, International Law and Utopia'
  • Stephen Frosh, 'Exclusions'
  • Esther Leslie, 'Seeing and Seeming, Focus and Defocus: On Today's Technologies'   
  • Achille Mbembe, 'Critique and Institutions in Post-Deconstruction Age'
  • Sarah Nuttal, 'Your History with Me: Penny Siopis' Short Films (1997-2021)
  • Jacqueline Rose, 'Critical Thinking in a Time of War'
  • Slavoj Žižek, 'Freedom or Liberty?'
  • Sisonke Msimang, 'The Surge Next Time: Surviving Nationalism and Xenophobia in a Time of Covid'

Please note, we will continue to monitor the situation with the global pandemic carefully. If the situation deteriorates we reserve the right to revert to either a hybrid Summer School or an online Summer School for 2023 with a reduced fee. 

The application process for the 2023 Summer School (in-person programme) has now closed and the deadline for applying was 20 January 2023.



The 2023 LCTSS virtual programme 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 programme comprises up to two hours of teaching in each day of the Summer School, which will allow you to attend the full lecture provided by each of our speakers and participate in the conversation via chat. This will give you the opportunity to meet and discuss with the faculty and to take time to talk around the subjects with your peers. There will be time for social interactions as well as preferential access to the two weekly public facing sessions of the full Summer School. 

The application process for the 2023 LCTSS virtual programme has now closed and the deadline for applying was 20 January 2023.