Published: Aug. 12, 2020

The Center is excited to announce the publication of a symposium titled What Should Critical Legal Theory Become? “Critique” and “critical inquiry” have long been central to legal theory as well as to ideas about a left or radical politics. However, recent years have witnessed a burgeoning reexamination of the methodological and political stakes of those commitments. This Symposium aims to engage these debates by asking about their relevance within legal thought. What is the status of critique within our current historical juncture? Have the many sociopolitical crises confronting us rendered critique feeble and exhausted; or is an excess of critique to blame for what can look like a left paralysis; or alternatively is critique all the more urgent given the contemporary legal-political climate? How do these disputes over the critical dovetail with other efforts to rethink method within different humanities fields as well as law? Insofar as it’s time to move beyond a particular spirit of critique, what alternatives are on the horizon? Should legal theory reclaim specific goals or moments in intellectual history that are typically eschewed (whether the Frankfurt School or things like norms and legality)? Or should critique be better directed to more strategically prescriptive ends?


The symposium will be published in Volume 92 of the Colorado Law Review, and the authors include, Aziza Ahmed, Elizabeth Anker, Anthony Cook, Marianne Constable, Adrienne Davis, Justin Desautels-Stein, Jorge Esquirol, Richard Ford, Peter Gabel, Ben Golder, Peter Goodrich, Aya Gruber, Bernard Harcourt, Chantal Thomas, Chris Tomlins, Leti Volpp, and Mikhail Xifaras.