CRAM is an open network for people working across the various disciplines of critical studies today, based at the University of Melbourne. CRAM is dedicated to supporting collaboration between researchers in the humanities, economics, architecture and design, law, and the arts, and to fostering the strong collective interest in critical thought in Melbourne.
Our current activities include weekly reading groups and seminar series, supervising and mentoring graduate and early-career researchers, hosting interdisciplinary symposia, and undertaking collaborative research projects.
Header image: Nick Selenitsch, “&”, (2), Pigment pen on paper, 83 x 63cm (framed), 2018, Courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
We acknowledge the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung Peoples of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the unceded land on which the University stands, and pay respect to Elders past, present, and emerging.
Justin Clemens (Arts)
Justin Clemens is an Associate Professor in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. He has published extensively on psychoanalysis, contemporary European philosophy, poetry, and contemporary Australian art and literature.
Joe Hughes (Arts)
Joe Hughes is a Senior Lecturer in English and Theatre Studies at the University of Melbourne. He has written widely on post-war French thought and the history of the novel.
Jessica Marian (Arts)
Jessica Marian is a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Culture and Communication contributing to the ARC Discovery Project “Journals in Theory: Practices of Academic Judgement”. She recently completed her PhD on the genre of the review in post-war French philosophy and has published in New Literary History and Australian Literary Studies. She is co-editor of Parrhesia: A Journal of Critical Philosophy.
Elliot Patsoura (Arts)
Elliot Patsoura is a subject coordinator and tutor in English and Theatre Studies. His research interests include the literature, science, and philosophy of the Romantic Era, the long history and imminent futures of geoengineering, and twentieth-century continental philosophy. His research has appeared in Angelaki, New Literary History,and Parrhesia, and he is currently completing a monograph on the use and misuse of analogy throughout European modernity.
Lucy Benjamin (Melbourne School of Design)
Lucy Benjamin is a postdoctoral research fellow in architectural philosophy at the Melbourne School of Design. She has a PhD in comparative literature from the University of London. Her current research explores practices and conditions of repair broadly construed and she has previously written on feminist ethics and Hannah Arendt.
Bertrand Bourgeois (Arts)
Bertrand Bourgeois is a Senior Lecturer in French Studies in the School of Languages and Linguistics. He is a specialist of Nineteenth and Twentieth Century French Literature and Visual Culture.
Danny Butt (VCA)
Dr Danny Butt is Senior Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Practice and Graduate Research Convenor for Design and Production at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. His book Artistic Research in the Future Academy was published by Intellect/University of Chicago Press in 2017. He is on the Editorial Board of the Journal for Artistic Research; is co-convenor of the Asia Pacific Artistic Research Network and works with the art collective Local Time.
Kristian Camilleri (Arts)
Kristian Camilleri is a lecturer in the History and Philosophy of Science program in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies. His research interests include the interplay between culture, philosophy and physics in the first half of the twentieth century, the structure of thought experiments in science, and the changing role of ‘popular science’ in the scientific culture of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Cristóbal Escobar (Arts)
Cristóbal Escobar is a Lecturer in Screen Studies at the University of Melbourne. His research interests centre on film-philosophy, political aesthetics, and Latin American cinemas. He is the head of international film programming at the Festival Internacional de Documentales de Santiago (FIDOCS) and co-founder of the Screening Ideas program.
Hélène Frichot (Melbourne School of Design)
Hélène Frichot is an architectural theorist and philosopher, writer and critic, and Professor of Architecture and Philosophy in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia. She is Guest Professor and the former Director of Critical Studies in Architecture, as well as Professor of Critical Studies and Gender Theory, in the School of Architecture, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) Stockholm, Sweden, where she was based between 2012-2019.
Ben Gook (Arts)
Ben Gook is a Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne. He works on areas including psychoanalysis, film, contemporary German history and culture, and is currently researching negative affects in capitalism (disaffection and alienation).
Joeri Mol (Business & Economics)
Joeri Mol is a Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies and Co-Director of the Cluster for the study of Organisation Society and Markets (COSM) at the University of Melbourne. He researches markets—both inside and outside organisation and is particularly interested in processes of financialisation and evaluation and how price and value are brought into an often-uneasy relationship.
Birgit Lang (Arts)
Birgit Lang is a Professor in German in the School of Languages and Linguistics. She has published widely on psychoanalysis, the history of sexuality, the history and theory of translation, and the cultural history of German and Austrian refugees from National Socialism.
Sundhya Pahuja (Melbourne Law School)
Sundhya Pahuja is the Director of the Laureate Research Program in Global Corporations and International Law, Director of Melbourne Law School's Institute for International Law and the Humanities (IILAH), and the Director of Studies for the master’s programs in International Law, and Law and Development. She is currently Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge. Sundhya’s research focuses on the history, theory, and practice of international law in historical context. She has a particular interest in international law and the relationship between global North and South countries
Elizabeth Presa (VCA)
Elizabeth Presa is an artist who teaches critical art theory and sculpture at the VCA, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music. From 2003-2018 she was the Head of the VCA’s Centre for Ideas, an interdisciplinary centre focusing on the critical engagement between the visual and performing Arts and Philosophy. Elizabeth’s sculpture practice experiments with environmentally sustainable materials and processes including ancient casting and moulding and construction techniques.
Lisa Radford (VCA)
Lisa Radford is an artist, writer and Lecturer in Art, Painting at the Victorian College of the Arts. Her work explores the shared socio-political space between images, place and people. Conversation and collaboration form the fundamental basis of her processes and methodology as means for creating iterative and generative texts, exhibitions and seminars that span a range of media including painting, publishing, performance and installation.
Juliet Rogers (Arts)
Dr Juliet Rogers is an Associate Professor in Criminology in the School of Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She has published extensively in the areas of political, legal, and postcolonial theory, using psychoanalysis as a tool for interrogating the subject's relation to prohibition and sovereignty.
One of the defining features of the tradition of critical studies is its interdisciplinary scope: its themes, methods, and arguments transformed disciplines as wide-ranging as architecture, legal studies, literary history, commerce, musicology, neuroscience, art history, computer science, and Indigenous studies over the past forty years, as scholars in these fields reflected on their own conditions and practices. Critique itself however has no disciplinary home – most people working in the tradition are based in programs whose defining objects of reflection lie elsewhere.
With the rise of conspiracy theories as a political reality and mode of entertainment, with the reappearance of virulent nationalisms, with the failure of governments and other large institutions to respond to the immediacy of climate change, there have been wide and public calls for a new critical culture. What would a mode of critique adequate to these problems look like, and how might they best circulate inside and outside the academy? CRAM brings together researchers and practitioners from across the University to address these problems and aims to facilitate a substantive engagement with the very concept of critique, its legacy, its uses, and its future.
Journals in Theory – Justin Clemens, Claire Colebrook, Tom Ford, Joe Hughes, Jessica Marian
ARC Discovery Project (DP220103633), Journals in Theory: Practices of Academic Judgment’
This project aims to examine the way key journals transformed the discipline of literary studies from 1946 to now. It expects to generate new knowledge of how editorial practices of academic judgement institutionalised and legitimated new modes of reading, thinking, and writing. Based on archival research on journals including Critical Inquiry, Tel Quel, and The Australian Journal of Cultural Studies, the project’s outcomes will show how, in bringing together new intellectual passions, governance structures and imagined readerships, journals bestowed on critical its current working definition. Expected benefits include a better account of the relationship between conceptual innovation and institutional mechanisms for research integrity.
Critical Management Studies – Justin Clemens, Joe Hughes, Jessica Marian, Elliot Patsoura
Critical theorists have long turned their attention to the question of management. They have investigated the form and function of training manuals, techniques of organising bodies, cultivating minds, guiding interactions, and navigating institutional spaces. We wish to turn this attention to the present, to the particularity and complexity of contemporary institutional forms. This research stream takes up this challenge through the examination of actual experiences of managing and of being managed. We question how management mediates between capital and control, how the rules of management are developed, mediated, and employed, and what the impact of these practices on critical thought is, can be, and needs to be.
Infrastructure of Memory: Archives, Art and the Military Industrial Complex – Lisa Radford, Yhonnie Scarce, Wulan Dirgantoro, David Burns
This project aims to investigate the relationship between Nation States, Nuclear Colonisation, military histories through Art and Architecture in Australia and the South Pacific to critically examine the way memory is recorded, presented, and disseminated asking how Australian Society processes representations of history. Many Artists will contribute to the project as means for examining historical narratives that interrupt those held in official archives to reveal settler and First Nation experiences of the Military Industrial Complex in Australia and abroad. Of enormous national benefit, the project hopes to reveal the complex and diverse experiences of many groups highlighting through comparison, the way art generates a parallel archive of multiplicity. Outcomes will include major exhibitions in Australia and overseas, an ongoing and open archive and proposal for an ante-memorial including source documents.
Laureate Program on Global Corporations and International Law – Sundhya Pahuja
Global corporations pose a growing challenge to democracy. The goal of this research program is to generate a breakthrough in approaches to that challenge by investigating the extent to which international law may contribute to the problem, as well as offer the key to potential solutions. The aims of the project are to examine the role of international law in enabling global corporate power, to identify the ways in which international law and institutions can be reformed to limit that power, and to create the world-leading research program and infrastructure on which a more balanced relationship between states and global corporations can be based. This demands both research into the present, and an historical and theoretically informed approach which traces the relationship between companies, state and plural laws from the early modern period to the present day.
Members of CRAM contribute to a variety of teaching initiatives across the University. Our teaching facilitates collective engagement with critical theories and philosophies to support the development of advanced critical reading, writing, making, and thinking skills.
CRAM members are currently teaching the following subjects:
- Law in Society (CRIM10002)
- The Secret Life of the Body 1 (UNIB10011)
- Critical Debates (ENGL20035)
- Introduction to European Critical Theory (EURO40001)
- Design - Philosophy - Architecture (ABPL90421)
We welcome members of the public who may wish to study with us through the Community Access Program. Please contact a CRAM convenor, or the relevant subject coordinator for further information.
CRAM is associated with a variety of independent reading groups dedicated to intensive study of significant figures, texts and movements in the history of critical philosophy and theory including Auerbach, Badiou, Critical Race Theory, Deleuze, Freud, Hyppolite, Hegel, Lacan, Marx, and Spinoza. Further details here.
|Activity||Date and Time||Contact|
|ECR First Book Writing Group||Fridays 12- email@example.com|
|ECR Grant Development||By firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com|
|Critical Management Seminar Series||First Monday of every firstname.lastname@example.org &|
|Melbourne School of Design Research Seminar Series: Repair in a broken world – design, construct, discard?||Visit the seminar email@example.com|
Parrhesia: A Journal of Critical Philosophy
Established in 2006, Parrhesia is dedicated to publishing the latest work on continental philosophy, along with new translations and interviews with contemporary thinkers. Parrhesia is a part of the Open Humanities Press, an international open access publishing collective whose mission is to make leading works of contemporary critical thought freely available worldwide.
- Kostas Axelos, The Game of the World. Trans. Justin Clemens and Hellmut Monz. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2023.
- Jessica Marian, Elliot Patsoura, and Joseph Hughes, “The Work of Interpretation: Critique and the Review Form, 1947-1967" New Literary History, forthcoming.
- Tom Ford and Justin Clemens, Barron Field in New South Wales: The Poetics of Terra Nullius, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2023.
- Elliot Patsoura, “Toward a Genealogy of Geoengineering: Erasmus Darwin and the Little Ice Age” in Eighteenth-Century Environmental Humanities, Jeremy Chow (Ed.), Lewisberg: Bucknell University Press, 2023, 23-37.
- Ben Gook, (ed.), Libidinal Economies of Crisis Times: The Psychic Life of Contemporary Capitalism. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2023.
- Ben Gook and Dominiek Hoens. “Alienation.” In The Marx through Lacan Vocabulary: A Compass for Libidinal and Political Economies, Christina Sotot van der Plas, Edgar Miguel Juárez-Salazar, Carlos Gómez Camarena, and David Pávon-Cuéllar (eds.), 1–15. London: Routledge, 2022.
- Elizabeth Presa, ‘Theorem’, Mejia Gallery, Melbourne (October 2022), https://www.mejia.com.au/october2022.
- Gilbert Simondon, Imagination and Invention. Trans. Joe Hughes and Christophe Wall-Romana. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2022.
- Justin Clemens and Joseph Hughes, “Not Nearly Wrong Enough: Epistemontology as an Analogical Re-fusion of Real Abstraction” Cultural Critique 112 (2021): 142-155.
- Joseph Hughes, “Between Heidegger and Blanchot: Death, Transcendence and the Origin of Ideas in Deleuze’s ‘Difference and Repetition’” Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 52:3 (2021): 183-202.
- Justin Clemens, “Space, Place, Materiality in Contemporary Australian Poetry” in New Directions in Contemporary Australian Poetry, Dan Disney and Matthew Hall (eds.). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021, pp. 145-157.
- Lucy Benjamin, “Earthly Births: The Messianism of Natality in the Climate Crisis” Approaching Religion. 10.2 (2020): 73-91.
- Lucy Benjamin, “Relational Ontologies in Cavarero, Butler and Arendt” Philosophy Today. 64.3 (2020): 671-689.
- Justin Clemens, “Morbus Anglicus; or, Pandemic, Panic, Pandaemonium” Crisis & Critique 7.3 (2020): 40-60.
- Danny Butt, How Artistic Research Ends. Melbourne: Surpllus. RUPC #7, 2020
- Joseph Hughes, “Between Heidegger and Blanchot: Death, Transcendence and the Origin of Ideas in Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition” Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology (2020): 1-19.
- Justin Clemens, “Contraversy in the Nursery; or, A Brace of Basterds” Journal of Continental Philosophy 1.2 (2020): 232-243.
- Joseph Hughes, “The greatest deception: fiction, falsity and manifestation in Spinoza’s Metaphysical Thoughts” Intellectual History Review 30:3 (2020): 363-385.
- Danny Butt, “Ethics and the Infrastructure of Artistic Research: Thomas Hirschhorn’s Gramsci Monument” in The Meeting of Aesthetics and Ethics in the Academy: Challenges for Creative Practice Researchers in Higher Education, Kate MacNeill and Barbara Bolt (eds.), London: Routledge, 2019, 25–37.
- Joseph Hughes, “Scenes of Post-War French Thought” Angelaki 24:6 (2019): 22-40.
- Joseph Hughes, “Formal Destruction: The Art of the Fugue in Destroy, She Said” Journal of the Circle for Lacanian Ideology Critique 12 (2019): 42-66.
- Lucy Benjamin, “Reorienting the Gaze: Hearing Sex in Cinema” Mai: Journal of Feminism and Visual Culture 2 (2018).
- Joseph Hughes, “The Cold Quietness of the Stars: Proof, Rhetoric and the Authority of Reason in the Ethics” in Spinoza’s Authority Volume I: Resistance and Power in Ethics, A Kiarina Kordela and Dimitris Vardoulakis (eds.), London/New York: Bloomsbury, 2018, 113-134.
- Danny Butt, Artistic Research in the Future Academy. Bristol/Chicago, Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press, 2017.
- A. J. Bartlett and Justin Clemens (eds.), What is Education? Edinburgh University Press, 2017.
- Elliot Patsoura and Thomas Sutherland, “Michel Foucault, Friedrich Kittler, and the interminable half-life of ‘so-called man’” Angelaki 22:4 (2017): 49-68.
- Danny Butt, and Rachel O’Reilly, “Infrastructures of Autonomy on the Professional Frontier: ‘Art and the Boycott of/as Art’.” Journal of Aesthetics and Protest 10 (2017): Online.
- Ben Gook, “Australian Postcolonial Trauma and Silences in Samson and Delilah.” In Scars and Wounds: Film and Legacies of Trauma, Nick Hodgin and Amit Thakkar (eds.), Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, 169–94.
- Ben Gook, “Ecstatic Melancholic: Ambivalence, Electronic Music and Social Change around the Fall of the Berlin Wall.” Emotions: History, Culture, Society 1:2 (2017): 11–37.
- Danny Butt, and Local Time, “Colonial Hospitality: Rethinking Curatorial and Artistic Responsibility.” Journal for Artistic Research 10 (May 2016): Online.
- Danny Butt, Scott McQuire, and Nikos Papastergiadis, “Platforms and Public Participation.” Continuum Journal Of Media & Cultural Studies 30:6 (2016): 734–43.
- Danny Butt, “Double-Bound: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization.” RUPC Working Papers Series, no. 1 (2015): 1–14.
- Joseph Hughes, “Ground, Transcendence and Method in Deleuze’s Fichte” in At the Edges of Thought: Deleuze and Post-Kantian Philosophy, C. Lundy and D. Voss (eds.), Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015, 146-167.
- Joseph Hughes, “The Schizoanalysis of Literature: Austen, Behn and the Scene of Desire” in The Schizoanalysis of Literature, Tim Matts and Aidan Tynan (eds.). Edinburgh University Press, 2015, 63-81.
- Jessica Marian, “Styling against Absolute Knowledge in Derrida’s Glas” Parrhesia 24 (2015): 217-238.
- Elliot Patsoura and Thomas Sutherland, “Human-in-the-last-instance? The Concept of ‘Man’ between Foucault and Laruelle” Parrhesia 24 (2015): 285-311.
- Ben Gook, Divided Subjects, Invisible Borders: Re-Unified Germany after 1989. London: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2015.
Monday 4pm - 5:30pmCritical Management Studies Seminar w. Prof Sean ScalmerEvent
All Work, No Play symposiumEvent
Monday 4:15pm - 5:30pmBook Launch - The Power to Assume Form: Cornelius Castoriadis and Regimes of Historicity, Sean McMorrowEvent
The Lessons of Academic English ConferenceEvent
Marxist Work Day 2023Event
Monday 4:15pm - 5:15pmCritical Management Studies Seminar with A/Prof Juliet RogersEvent
Monday 4:15pm - 5:15pmCritical Management Studies Seminar with Dr André DaoEvent
CFP - Marxist Work Day 2023, Call for Papers closes 19 JuneEvent
Tuesday 3pm - 8:30pmPublic Lecture and Poetry Reading with Keston SutherlandEvent
Monday 4pm - 5pmCritical Management Workshop Series with Dr Antonia PontEvent
Monday 3:30pm - 5pmCritical Management Workshop Series with Dr Christopher O’NeillEvent
Book Launch - Barron Field in NSW: The Poetics of Terra Nullius, Tom Ford and Justin ClemensEvent
Grey, VCA 3rd year Critical Art and Theory Exhibition Part IIEvent
Grey, VCA 3rd year Critical Art and Theory Exhibition Part IEvent
On Management SymposiumEvent
Theorem - Elizabeth PresaEvent
You are welcome to contact the convenors of CRAM via email --
Justin Clemens - firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Hughes - email@example.com
Jessica Marian - firstname.lastname@example.org
Elliot Patsoura - email@example.com
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