Mission Statement

The Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT) was created in 2004 by faculty members from the departments of Anthropology, English, History and Political Science. Now in our tenth year, we continue to promote comparative, interdisciplinary discussion of social and political practices in the contemporary world, with an emphasis on critical theory.  In addition to research-related projects, our core agenda is organized around the initiative Theorizing the Present, which addresses such pressing questions as:

  • How can we best understand the interrelations between global processes and the local contexts of political action?
  • To what extent do established notions of globalization, empire, nationalism, ethics, publics and aesthetics help us conceptualize newly emergent political forms (such as e-movements) and ones continuous with the past (such as left- and right-wing populisms and youth mobilization)?
  • Why have new political forms emerged when and where they have, and what explains the marked variation to be found among contemporary movements?