PhD Orals List in Theory

The PhD Oral Examination in Theory

Students should read a total of 40 works. Each numbered item (sometimes consisting of several essays) counts as one “work.” Choose 20 works from Part I, and 20 from one or two of the subfields listed in Part II. Examiners will be looking not only for your mastery of individual texts but also for how you make sense of them as a group—for ways they cohere or not, for how they develop or diverge from one another. Please note that authors, but not works, may appear more than once on your final list of 40.


Part I. Choose 20 works from the list below. In making their selections, students should aim for a list with some historical range. They should also make sure to include those works clearly pertaining to the subfield or fields selected in Part II. For example, if your subfields are Marxist Theory and Psychoanalytic Theory, lay the groundwork for these by choosing works by G. W. F. Hegel, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and Jacques Lacan from the Part I list.

Part II. Select 20 additional works from one or two of the nine subfields listed below. It is up to you whether you choose all 20 works from a single subfield, choose most works from one subfield but flavor it with selections from another, or choose approximately 10 works from each of two subfields. If there is more than one subfield represented on your list, you may want to consider whether and how their intersection constitutes a third field—Queer Film Theory, for example, or Postcolonial Gender Studies. In seeking approval for your list, please consult the appropriate faculty member; in most cases, approval from a single faculty member will suffice.


Foundations of Contemporary Theory

Updated 2/2018

Choose twenty works from the foundational list, being careful to balance historical texts (aim for about five before 1900) and the modern works of theory that are in conversation with them. The use of “or” within an entry signifies that each alternative text, excerpt, or entire work counts as one of the twenty choices. Where single or multiple essays are listed, it may be possible to make a substitution with the approval of the faculty member.

  1. Plato: from the DialoguesSymposiumPhaedrus and/or Ion; selections from the Republic: Books II and III, 376C-412B, 414b-415d, Book X
  2. Aristotle: Poetics, selections from the Metaphysics (Books 7, 9, 13), Rhetoric (Book1)
  3. Horace, Epistle to the Pisos
  4. St. Augustine: On Christian Doctrine
  5. Philip Sydney, An Apology for Poetry
  6. Immanuel Kant: Observations On the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime or “Reflections on the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment” from the Critique of Judgment; OR selections from The Conflict of the Faculties and from Critique of Practical Reason in TheKant Reader
  7. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: “Essay on the Origin of Language” or “The Social Contract” or The Confessions , Part I (“The First Part”)
  8. G. W. F. Hegel: The Philosophy of Spirit, Section 1, Part C, 440-468; from the Phenomenology of Mind, Section B, Part A, 178-261; from Phenomenology of Spirit, Section VI, part A, “Antigone”; or Philosophy of Aesthetics: Lectures on the Fine Arts, Books I, II, III, V
  9. Soren Kierkegaard: Fear and Trembling or “The Sacrifice of Isaac”
  10. Karl Marx: The German Ideology; The Communist Manifesto (with F. Engels); Capital (Book 1); or “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis-Napoleon” and Preface to The Grundrisse (note: only the preface exists)
  11. Friedrich Engels: The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State
  12. Friedrich Nietzsche: The Genealogy of Morals, “The Birth of Tragedy,” or Beyond Good and Evil, “The Uses and Abuses of History”
  13. Virginia Woolf: A Room of One’s Own
  14. W.E.B. DuBois: Souls of Black Folk
  15. William James, Pragmatism or Varieties of Religious Experience
  16. Sigmund Freud: Essays: “The Uncanny,” “Repetition,” “Mourning and Melancholia,” “Three Essays in Sexuality,” “On Narcissism”
  17. S. Freud: Civilization and its Discontents or Moses and Monotheism
  18. Ferdinand de Saussure: Course in General Linguistics
  19. The Russian Formalists, edited Lemon and Reis (essays by Victor Shklovsky, “Art as Technique”; K. Voloshinov et al)
  20. T W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer, The Dialectic of Enlightenment
  21. Roman Jakobson: “Linguistics and Poetics,” “Metaphor and Metonymy”
  22. Claude Levi-Strauss: The Raw and the Cooked or “Writing and Power” in Tristes Tropiques
  23. Ludwig Wittgenstein: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus or Philosophical Investigations
  24. Walter Benjamin: Illuminations or Reflections
  25. Martin Heidegger: PoetryLanguage, Truth (or “Origin of the Work of Art” alone)
  26. M.M. Bakhtin: The Dialogic Imagination or Speech Genres
  27. Roland Barthes, Mythologies or The Pleasure of the Text
  28. Maurice Merleau-Ponty: at least four essays from The Merleau-Ponty Reader
  29. Jacques Derrida: Of Grammatology or all of the following: “Structure, Sign and Play in the Human Sciences,” “Differance,” “Plato’s Pharmacy,” “The Law of Genre.” “White Mythology”
  30. Michel Foucault:  The Archaeology of Knowledge or Discipline and Punish or The History of Sexuality Vol 1. ;
  31. Paul de Man: “Blindness and Insight,” “Grammar and Rhetoric,” “Allegories of Reading,” “The Resistance to Theory” (in Aesthetic Ideology)
  32. Jacques Lacan: from Ecrits (“Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious,” “The Mirror Stage,” “Female Sexuality”)
  33. Louis Althusser: “Ideology and the Ideological State Apparatus”
  34. Gilles Deleuze: with F. Guattari, Anti-Oedipus or A Thousand Plateaus or Kafka: Towards a Minority Literature
  35. Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Masks or The Wretched of the Earth
  36. Julia Kristeva: Powers of Horror
  37. Jean Baudrillard: The Mirror of Production or “Simulation”
  38. Edward Said: Orientalism or “The World, the Text, the Critic,” “Traveling Theory,” “Abededarium Culturae” (in The Said Reader)
  39. Judith Butler: Gender Trouble or Bodies that Matter
  40. Pierre Bourdieu: Distinction or The Rules of Art
  41. Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity
  42. Jean-Francois Lyotard: The Postmodern Condition or The Differend
  43. Slavoj Zizek: The Sublime Object of Ideology or On Belief or Looking Awry
  44. Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern or An Inquiry into Modes of Existence
  45. Caroline Levine, Forms


Choose 20 works from one or two of the following nine lists:


Updated 2/2018

  1. Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, “The Culture Industry”
  2. Guy De Bord, Society of the Spectacle
  3. Richard Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy
  4. Raymond Williams, Culture and Society 1780-1950
  5. Paul Willis, Learning to Labor: How Working-Class Kids Get Working-Class Jobs
  6. Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste
  7. Stuart Hall. “Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms” AND “Notes on Deconstructing “The Popular”
  8. Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style
  9. Ien Ang, Watching Dallas: Soap Opera and the Melodramatic Imagination
  10. Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life
  11. Angie McRobbie, Feminism and Youth Culture
  12. Peter Stallybrass and Allon White, The Politics and Poetics of Transgression
  13. Michael Denning, Mechanic Accents: Dime Novels and Working-Class Culture
  14. Janice Radway, Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy and Popular Literature OR A Feeling for Books: The Book of the Month Club, Literary Taste and Middle-Class Desire
  15. Andrew Ross, No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture
  16. Meaghan Morris, “Banality in Cultural Studies”
  17. Henry Jenkins: Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture
  18. Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson and Paula Treichler, Cultural Studies
  19. Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness
  20. Jackie Stacey, Stargazing: Hollywood Cinema and Female Spectatorship
  21. Kobena Mercer, Welcome to the Jungle: New Positions in Black Cultural Studies
  22. John Frow, Cultural Studies and Cultural Value
  23. Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism
  24. Sianne Ngai, Our Aesthetic Categories



Updated 2/2018

Note: This list assumes that Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, Friedrich Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, and Judith Butler, Gender Trouble are selected for Section I.  In choosing 20 works from this list, count three individually listed articles as one work (e.g., Hartmann, Young, and Crenshaw).

  1. Gayle Rubin, “The Traffic in Women” (1975)
  2. Sue Thornham, ed., Feminist Film Theory (5 essays, including Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” [1975])
  3. Kelly Oliver, ed., French Feminism Reader (5 essays, including Hélène Cixous, “The Laugh of the Medusa” [1976] or Luce Irigaray, “This Sex Which is Not One” [1980])
  4. Elaine Showalter, ed., The New Feminist Criticism (5 essays, including Barbara Smith, “Toward a Black Feminist Criticism” [1978] and Lillian S. Robinson, “Treason Our Text: Feminist Challenges to the Literary Canon” [1983])
  5. Heidi Hartmann, “The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism: Toward a More Progressive Union” (1979)
  6. Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination (1979)
  7. Adrienne Rich, Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose, 1979-1985 (3 essays, including “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” [1980])
  8. Iris Marion Young, “Throwing Like a Girl: A Phenomenology of Feminine Body Comportment, Motility, and Spatiality” (1980)
  9. Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, eds., This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981)
  10. Jane Gallop, The Daughter’s Seduction (1982) or Around 1981: Academic Feminist Literary Theory (1992)
  11. Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (1984)
  12. Janice Radway, Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature (1984)
  13. Carole S. Vance, ed., Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality (3 essays) (1984)
  14. Donna J. Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (3 essays, including “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century” [1984] and “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective” [1988])
  15. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism” (1985) and “Can the Subaltern Speak?” (1988)
  16. Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity (3 essays, including “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses” [1986])
  17. Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987)
  18. Hazel Carby, Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist (1987)
  19. Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color” (1991)
  20. Judith Butler, Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex” (1993) or Undoing Gender (2004)
  21. Terry Castle, The Apparitional Lesbian: Female Homosexuality and Modern Culture (1993)
  22. Elizabeth Grosz, Volatile Bodies: Towards a Corporeal Feminism (1994)
  23. Deborah McDowell, “The Changing Same”: Black Women’s Literature, Criticism, and Theory (1995)
  24. Ann McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in Colonial Context (1995)
  25. Rita Felski, The Gender of Modernity (1995) or Doing Time: Feminist Theory and Postmodern Culture (2000) or Literature After Feminism (2003)
  26. Elizabeth Abel, ed., Female Subjects in Black and White: Race, Psychoanalysis, Feminism (3 essays) (1997)
  27. Susan Stanford Friedman, Mappings: Feminism and the Cultural Geographies of Encounter (1998)
  28. Kim Q. Hall, ed., Feminist Disability Studies (3 essays, including Rosemarie Garland Thomson, "Integrating Disability, Transforming Feminist Theory" [2002])
  29. Stacy Alaimo and Susan Hekman, eds., Material Feminisms (3 essays) (2008)
  30. Hillary Chute, Graphic Women: Life Narratives and Contemporary Comics (2010)
  31. Sara Ahmed, The Promise of Happiness (2010) or Living a Feminist Life (2017)
  32. David Herman, James Phelan, et al. eds., Narrative Theory: Core Concepts & Critical Debates, all sections by Robyn Warhol (2012)
  33. Cameron Awkward-Rich, “Trans, Feminism: Or, Reading like a Depressed Transsexual” (2017)



Updated 2/2018

  1. Sergei Eisenstein, Film Form: Essays in Film Theory
  2. Siegfried Kracauer, From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film
  3. Béla Balázs, Theory of the Film: Character and Growth of a New Art
  4. Andre Bazin, What is Cinema? Vol. 1
  5. Cahiers du Cinéma, “John Ford’s Young Mr. Lincoln”; Andrew Sarris, “Notes on the Auteur Theory in 1962”; Peter Wollen, “The Autuer Theory,” from Signs and Meaning in the Cinema
  6. Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man
  7. Christian Metz, The Imaginary Signifier: Psychoanalysis and Cinema
  8. Laura Mulvey, Visual and Other Pleasures
  9. Stan Brakhage, Metaphors on Vision
  10. Philip Rosen, ed., Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology: A Film Theory Reader (must include Colin MacCabe, “Theory and Film: Principles of Realism and Pleasure”; Kaja Silverman, “Suture”; Jean-Louis Baudry, “Ideological Effects of the Cinematographic Apparatus” and “The Apparatus: Metapsychological Approaches to the Impression of Reality in Cinema”; Mary Ann Doane, “The Voice in the Cinema: The Articulation of Body and Space”; and Jean-Louis Comolli, “Technique and Ideology: Camera, Perspective, Depth of Field”)
  11. Fernando Solanas and Octavio Gettino: “Towards a Third Cinema”; Jim Pines and Paul Willemen, eds., Questions of Third Cinema (must include Teshome H. Gabriel, “Towards a Critical Theory of Third World Films” and “Third Cinema as Guardian of Popular Memory: Towards a Third Aesthetic”; Haile Gerima, “Triangular Cinema, Breaking Toys, and Dinknesh vs Lucy”)
  12. Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 1: The Movement-Image OR Cinema 2: The Time-Image
  13. Tom Gunning, “Narrative Discourse and the Narrator System”; “An Aesthetic of Astonishment: Early Film and the (In)Credulous Spectator”; “The Cinema of Attractions: Early Film, Its Spectator, and the Avant-Garde”
  14. Linda Williams, Hard Core: Power, Pleasure and the “Frenzy” of the Visible; “When the Woman Looks”; “Film Bodies: Gender, Genre, and Excess”
  15. Vivian Sobchack, “The Scene of the Screen: Envisioning Photographic, Cinematic, and Electronic ‘Presence’”; “Inscribing Ethical Space: Ten Propositions on Death, Representation and Documentary”; “Phenomenology and the Film Experience”
  16. David Bordwell, Janet Staiger, and Kristin Thompson, The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960, Parts 1-3
  17. Manthia Diawara, ed., Black American Cinema (must include Manthia Diawara, “Black American Cinema: The New Realism” and “Black Spectatorship: Problems of Identification and Resistance”; Jane Gaines, “Fire and Desire: Race, Melodrama and Oscar Micheaux”; Jacquie Jones, “The Construction of Black Sexuality: Towards Normalizing the Black Cinematic Experience”; and bell hooks, “The Oppositional Gaze: Black Female Spectators”)
  18. Trinh T. Minh-ha, When the Moon Waxes Red: Representation, Gender, and Cultural Politics
  19. Miriam Hansen, Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film; “The Mass Production of the Senses: Classical Cinema as Vernacular Modernism”; “Early Cinema, Late Cinema: Permutations of the Public Sphere”
  20. Bill Nichols, Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary
  21. Richard Dyer, Stars
  22. Michel Chion, Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen
  23. Rick Altman, Film/Genre
  24. Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media
  25. Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide
  26. Jacqueline Stewart, Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity
  27. John Caldwell, Production Culture: Industrial Reflexivity and Critical Practice in Film and Television
  28. Ian Bogost, How to Do Things With Videogames
  29. Hamid Naficy, An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking
  30. Phil Rosen, Change Mummified: Cinema, Historicity, Theory



Updated 2/2018

  1. Karl Marx, 1844 Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts
  2. Karl Marx, German Ideology (1846)
  3. Karl Marx, Capital, selections from volume one (1867)
  4. Lenin, Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism (1917); What Is to Be Done? (1902) 
  5. Stalin: Marxism and the Problems of Linguistics (1950)
  6. Bertolt Brecht, “Organon for the Theater”; Mother Courage; Caucasian Chalk Circle; Threepenny Opera (1928-1943)
  7. Horkheimer and Adorno: Dialectics of Enlightenment (1944)
  8. Arthur Koestler, The God that Failed (1949)
  9. Eric Auerbach, Mimesis (1953)
  10. Georg Lukacs, Narrate or Describe?” and “The Ideology of Modernism”; The Historical Novel, selections (1955)
  11. Arnold Hauser, Social History of Art, any volume, preferably volume four (1962)
  12. Herbert Marcuse, One Dimensional Man (1964)
  13. Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle (1967)
  14. Walter Benjamin, Illuminations  (1969)
  15. Louis Althusser, Ideology and Ideological State Apparatus (1970)
  16. Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks (1971)
  17. Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1972)
  18. Alexander Solzyhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, volume one, (1973)
  19. Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature (1977)
  20. Pierre Macherey, A Theory of Literary Production (1978)
  21. Fredric Jameson, The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act (1982)
  22. Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (1987)
  23. Terry Eagleton, The Ideology of the Aesthetic (1991)
  24. Aijaz Ahmad, In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literature (1994)
  25. Nancy Fraser, “Justice Interruptus”: Critical Reflections on the “Postsocialist Condition” (1997)
  26. Carl Freedman, The Incomplete Projects: Marxism, Modernity and the Politics of Culture (2002)
  27. Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (2014)
  28. Slavok Zizek, Trouble in Paradise: From the End of History to the End of Capitalism (2015)
  29. Steven Shaviro, No Speed Limit: Three Essays on Accelerationism (2015)



Updated 2/2018

  1. Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth or A Dying Colonialism
  2. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Decolonising the Mind
  3. Ranajit Guha and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, eds., Selected Subaltern Studies (at least 5 essays)
  4. Ashis Nandy, The Intimate Enemy
  5. Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin, The Empire Writes Back
  6. Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities
  7. Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic
  8. Partha Chatterjee, The Nation and Its Fragments
  9. Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture
  10. Edward Said, Orientalism
  11. Francis Barker, Peter Hulme, and Margaret Iverson, eds., Colonial Discourse/Postcolonial Theory
  12. Anne McClintock, Imperial Leather
  13. Arjun Appadurai, Modernity at Large
  14. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason
  15. Aihwa Ong, Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality
  16. Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe
  17. Robert J. C. Young, Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction
  18. Achille Mbembe, On the Postcolony
  19. Bernard, Anna and Ziad Elmarsafy. What Postcolonial Theory Doesn’t Say. Routledge, 2015.
  20. Britton, Celia. Edouard Glissant and Postcolonial Theory: Strategies of Language and Resistance. University of Virginia Press, 1999.
  21. Carroll, Patricia King, ed. Ireland and Postcolonial Theory. University of Notre Dame Press, 2003.
  22. Chibbler, Vivek. Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital. Verso, 2013.
  23. Childs, Peter and Patrick Williams. Introduction to Post-Colonial Theory. Routledge, 2014.
  24. Choudhury, Bibhash. Reading Postcolonial Theory: Key texts in context. Routledge, 2016.
  25. Chrisman, Laura and Patrick Williams, eds. Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory: A Reader. Routledge, 2015.
  26. Clark, Steven H. Travel Writing and Empire: Postcolonial Theory in Transit. Zed Books, 1999.
  27. Gandhi, Leela. Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction. Allen & Unwin, 1998.
  28. Go, Julian. Postcolonial Thought and Social Theory. Oxford University Press, 2016
  29. Huddart, David. Postcolonial Theory and Autobiography. Routledge, 2008.
  30. King, Richard. Orientalism and Religion: Post-Colonial Theory, India and "The Mystic East." Routledge, 2013.
  31. Lewis, Reina and Sara Mills, eds. Feminist Postcolonial Theory: A Reader. Routledge, 2013.
  32. Seth, Sanjay. Postcolonial Theory and International Relations: A Critical Introduction. Routledge, 2013.
  33. Sluyter, Andrew. Colonialism and Landscape: Postcolonial Theory and Applications. Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.




  1. Georges Bataille, Visions of Excess (complete)
  2. Martin Heidegger, Basic Writings (selection: “Being and Time: Introduction,” “The Origin of the Work of Art,” “Letter on Humanism,” “The Question Concerning Technology,” “Building Dwelling Thinking,” “What Calls for Thinking?”)
  3. Jacques Lacan, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (complete)
  4. Louis Althusser, “Lenin and Philosophy” and Other Essays (complete)
  5. Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology
  6. Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
  7. Hélène Cixous and Catherine Clément, The Newly-Born Woman
  8. Michel Foucault, The Order of Things (complete)
  9. Michel Foucault, Language, Counter-Memory, Practice (complete)
  10. Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge
  11. Roland Barthes, The Rustle of Language
  12. Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
  13. Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation
  14. Jacques Derrida, “Force of Law: ‘The Mystical Foundation of Authority’”
  15. Gilles Deleuze, Foucault
  16. Jacques Derrida, Acts of Literature (complete)
  17. Michel Foucault, Power: Collected Writings, Vol. 3 (selection: “Truth and Juridical Forms,” “Preface to Anti-Oedipus,” “Truth and Power,” “Governmentality,” “The Subject and Power,” “The Political Technology of Individuals”)
  18. Paul Virilio, Speed and Politics and Pure War
  19. Slavoj Žižek, The Sublime Object of Ideology
  20. Giorgio Agamben, The Coming Community
  21. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, The Spivak Reader (at least 5 essays)
  22. Hélène Cixous, The Hélène Cixous Reader (at least 5 essays)
  23. Alain Badiou, Being and Event
  24. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason
  25. Slavoj Žižek, Tarrying with the Negative



Updated 2/2018

  1. Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)
  2. Sigmund Freud, “On Narcissism: An Introduction” (1914); “Mourning and Melancholia” (1917); Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920); Civilization and Its Discontents (1930)
  3. Sigmund Freud, choose three of the five case histories: “Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria” [aka Dora] (1905); “Analysis of a Phobia in a Five Year-Old” [aka Little Hans] (1909); “Notes upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis” [aka Rat Man] (1909), “Psychoanalytic Notes on an Autobiographical Account of a Case of Paranoia” [Schreber] (1911), and “From the History of an Infantile Neurosis” [Wolf Man] (1918)
  4. Melanie Klein, The Selected Melanie Klein (in particular read “Infantile Anxiety Situations Reflected in a Work of Art and in the Creative Impulse” (1929) and “The Importance of Symbol Formation in the Development of the Ego” (1930); Simone de Beauvoir, “The Psychoanalytic Point of View” from The Second Sex (1949)
  5. Donald Winnicott, Playing and Reality (in particular read “Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena” (1953) and “The Use of an Object and Relating Through Identifications” (1969))
  6. Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud, 1955.
  7. Philip Rieff, Freud: The Mind of the Moralist (1959)
  8. Norman O. Brown, Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History (1959)
  9. J.H. Van den Berg, J.H., The Changing Nature of Man (1961)
  10. Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time (1971)
  11. Jacques Lacan, Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (1973)
  12. Juliet Mitchell, Psychoanalysis and Feminism: A Radical Reassessment of Freudian Psychoanalysis (1974)
  13. Jean Laplanche, Life and Death in Psychoanalysis (1976); and with J.B. Pontalis, “Fantasy and the Origins of Sexuality” (1964)
  14. Julia Kristeva, Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art (1977)
  15. Shoshana Felman, ed., Literature and Psychoanalysis: The Question of Reading (1977) (at least 5 essays)
  16. Jacques Lacan, Feminine Sexuality: Jacques Lacan and the Ecole Freudienne, ed. Jacqueline Rose and Juliet Mitchell (1982)
  17. Kaja Silverman, The Subject of Semiotics (1983)
  18. Grunbaum, Adolph, The Foundations of Psychoanalysis: A Philosophical Critique (1984)
  19. Leo Bersani, The Freudian Body (1986)
  20. Jessica Benjamin, The Bonds of Love: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and the Problem of Domination (1988)
  21. Sander Gilman, “Black Bodies, White Bodies: Toward an Iconography of Female Sexuality in Late Nineteenth-Century Art, Medicine, and Literature” (1985) and “Sexology, Psychoanalysis, and Degeneration: From a Theory of Race to a Race to Theory” (1985)
  22. Slavoj Zizek, The Sublime Object of Ideology (1989)
  23. Kaja Silverman, Male Subjectivity at the Margins (1992)
  24. Christopher Bollas, Cracking Up, 1996
  25. Frederick Crews, The Memory Wars: Freud’s Legacy in Dispute, 1995
  26. Claudia Tate, Psychoanalysis and Black Novels: Desire and the Protocols of Race (1998)
  27. Cathy Caruth, Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative, and History (1996)
  28. Anne Cheng, The Melancholy of Race: Psychoanalysis, Assimilation, and Hidden Grief (2000)
  29. Ranjana Khanna, Dark Continents: Psychoanalysis and Colonialism (2003)
  30. Jacqueline Rose, On Not Being Able to Sleep: Psychoanalysis and the Modern World (2003)
  31. Mark Edmundson, The Death of Sigmund Freud: Fascism, Psychoanalysis and the Rise of Fundamentalism (2007)
  32. Adam Phillips, Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life (2013)
  33. Elisabeth Roudinesco, Freud: In His Time and Ours (2016)
  34. Adam Phillips, Becoming Freud (2016)
  35. Slavoj Zizek, Trouble in Paradise: From the End of History to the End of Capitalism (2017)



Updated 2/2018

  1. Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1 (1976)
  2. Adrienne Rich, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” (1980)
  3. Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider (in entirety) (1984)
  4. Carol S. Vance, Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality (5 essays, of which 1 must be Gayle Rubin, “Thinking Sex”) (1984)
  5. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, the introduction to Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (1985) and “Axiomatic” and “The Beast in the Closet” from The Epistemology of the Closet (1990)
  6. Leo Bersani, “Is the Rectum a Grave?” (1987) and Homos (1996)
  7. Thomas Laqueur, Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud (1990)
  8. Diana Fuss, Inside/Out: Lesbian Theories, Gay Theories (in entirety) (1991)
  9. Monique Wittig, The Straight Mind and Other Essays (in entirety) (1992)
  10. Michael Warner, ed., Fear of a Queer Planet (in entirety) (1993) or The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life (1999)
  11. Terry Castle, The Apparitional Lesbian: Female Homosexuality and Modern Culture (1993)
  12. Teresa de Lauretis, The Practice of Love: Lesbian Sexuality and Perverse Desire (1994)
  13. Lauren Berlant, The Queen of America goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship (1997)
  14. Elizabeth Weed and Naomi Schor, eds., Feminism Meets Queer Theory (at least 5 essays) (1997)
  15. David L. Eng and Alice Y. Hom, eds., Q & A: Queer in Asian America (in entirety) (1998)
  16. Jay Prosser, Second Skins: The Body Narratives of Transsexuality (1998)
  17. Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter (1993) or Undoing Gender (2004)
  18. Jack Halberstam, Female Masculinity (1998) or In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (2005)
  19. José Esteban Muñoz, Disidentifications: Queers Of Color And The Performance Of Politics (1999) or Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (2009)
  20. Douglas Crimp, Melancholia and Moralism: Essays on AIDS and Queer Politics (2002)
  21. Robert McRuer and Abby L. Wilkerson, ed., Desiring Disability 2003: Queer Theory Meets Disability Studies (2003)(at least five essays) (2003)
  22. Ann Cvetkovich, An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Culture (2003)
  23. Lee Edelman, No Future Queer Theory and the Death Drive (2004)
  24. Roderick A. Ferguson, Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique (2004)
  25. E. Patrick Johnson and Mae G. Henderson, Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology (at least 5 essays) (2005)
  26. Sara Ahmed, Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others (2006)
  27. Robert McRuer, Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability (2006)
  28. Jasbir Puar, Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times (2007)
  29. Gayle Salamon, Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality (2010)
  30. David Halperin, One Hundred Years of Homosexuality (1990) or How to Be Gay (selections) (2014)
  31. Juana Maria Rodriquez, Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings (2014)




  1. Houston Baker, Blues, Ideology, and Afro-American Literature: A Vernacular Theory (1984)
  2. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Kwame Anthony Appiah, ed., "Race," Writing, and Difference (1985) (at least 5 essays0
  3. Werner Sollors, Beyond Ethnicity: Consent and Descent in American Culture (1986)
  4. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism (1988)
  5. King-Kok Cheung, "The Woman Warrior versus The Chinaman Pacific: Must a Chinese American Critic Choose between Feminism and Heroism?" (1990); David Palumbo-Liu, “On the Subject of Asian American Studies: Theorizing Asian American Studies” (1995); Susan Koshy, “The Fiction of Asian American Literature” (1996)
  6. Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein, Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities (1992)
  7. Arnold Krupat, Ethnocriticism: Ethnography, History, Literature (1992)
  8. Sau-ling Wong, Reading Asian American Literature: From Necessity to Extravagance (1993)
  9. Donald Pease and Amy Kaplan, eds., Cultures of United States Imperialism (1993) (at least 5 essays)
  10. Michael Omi and Howard Winant, Racial Formation in the U.S.: From the 1960s to the 1990s (1994)
  11. David Roediger, Towards the Abolition of Whiteness: Essays on Race, Politics, and Working Class History (1994)
  12. Eric Lott, Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class (1993)
  13. Kobena Mercer, Welcome to the Jungle: New Positions in Black Cultural Studies (1994)
  14. Walter Benn Michaels, Our America: Nativism, Modernism, and Pluralism (1995)
  15. Deborah McDowell, “The Changing Same”: Black Women’s Literature, Criticism, and Theory (1995)
  16. Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics (1996)
  17. Jose Saldivar, Border Matters: Remapping American Cultural Studies (1997)
  18. Philip Deloria, Playing Indian (1998)
  19. George Lipsitz, The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics (1998)
  20. Hazel Carby, Cultures in Babylon: Black Britain and African America (1999)
  21. Chela Sandoval, “U.S. Third World Feminism: The Theory and Method of Oppositional Consciousness in the Postmodern World”; Methodology of the Oppressed (2000)
  22. Vijay Prashad, Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity (2001)
  23. Hortense Spillers, Black, White, and In Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture (2003)
  24. MariJo Moore, ed., Genocide of the Mind: New Native American Writing (2003) (at least 5 essays)
  25. Brent Hayes Edwards, The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism (2003)