Director's Welcome

Welcome to the Institute for Critical Social Inquiry (ICSI) at The New School for Social Research. It is with great pleasure that I announce this coming year’s Summer Seminars and the extraordinary Faculty we shall have with us. As we head into our third year, I continue to be excited by the intensive conversations and intellectual excitement that have become the hallmark of ICSI. Over the next few weeks, our website will feature photos from the 2016 ICSI week and videos of two of the Public Lectures, so keep checking the website for updates and follow us on Twitter and Facebook

For those of you not yet familiar with the format of the ICSI, let me briefly say something about its vision. The Institute is designed to provide scholars with the opportunity to spend a week at the New School’s campus in Greenwich Village, working closely with some of the most distinguished thinkers shaping the course of contemporary social inquiry. Each of these scholars teaches a week-long Master Class on a foundational thinker or topic of contemporary concern. By “Master Class” we intend to signal that the seminars are hands-on and intensive, consisting both of lecture and ongoing exchange. In each seminar, the three-hour morning sessions are devoted to critical reflection on and discussions around the seminar’s topical focus with readings provided in advance. The afternoon workshops on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are devoted to presentations of and critical exchanges around each Fellows current research. On Thursday and Saturday, the entire cohort of Fellows meet jointly for an Open Forum, where they discuss themes that cut across their common concerns and current events and help shape the design of ICSI.

We are delighted to announce our 2017 Faculty: K. Anthony Appiah (Professor of Philosophy and Law, NYU) will convene the seminar The Cosmopolitan Nationalism of W.E.B. Du Bois; David Harvey (Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography, CUNY) will convene the seminar Marx and Capital: The Book, The Concept, the History; and Michael Taussig (Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University) will convene the seminar Thought-Images, Body, and Mimesis in Walter Benjamin.

The Institute is founded on the premise that responding to current and emergent problems requires developing our collective capacities to formulate new and better questions, rather than relying on the application of all too familiar ready-made theories. In the current landscape in which most of us work today, there is seldom the time or the opportunity for in-depth exploration of those modes of inquiry most relevant to our research agendas and developing projects. How often have we all wished we could steal the time from our current writing and teaching obligations to return to a thinker whose style of thinking and whose conceptual insights shaped us at earlier moments and would mean as much or more to know better today? Our themes are mobile and responsive, joining conceptual labor with pressing political concerns in our times, in an effort to understand and act upon better that which is emergent on our collective horizons

The Institute offers a unique and intensive opportunity for Fellows to pursue this charge in one of the three week-long seminars designed to cultivate styles of thinking and conceptual vocabularies that address the disparate sites and unequal conditions in which we live. In the spirit of encouraging a diverse set of attendees from around the world, reduced tuition is available for participants whose universities are not able to provide funds for travel abroad. I particularly encourage students from the Global South to take advantage of this possibility.

I invite you all to review the rest of our website on which you can find descriptions of the seminars, and information about tuition, housing, and scholarships. You can also explore the profiles of the 2016 and 2015 Fellows and Faculty.

I encourage you to take advantage of this unique intellectual opportunity and to contact us with any questions you may have. I look forward to welcoming you in person on June 11, 2017 at our opening reception. As always, I shall be present and actively engaged with fellows and faculty every day throughout the week. I will attend seminars, dine with attendees, hold an open coffee hour on some late afternoons, and be available to arrange informal meetings with groups of attendees and contacts with other scholars in the area. In brief, I will be doing everything I can to make this experience a formative and inspiring one for all. 

Ann Laura Stoler
Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies
The New School for Social Research

Application Information


June 11, 2017 - June 17, 2017


Advanced doctoral students and faculty in the humanities and social sciences are invited to apply to participate as Fellows in one of the three seminars (applicants may only select ONE seminar).

There are 60 available seats (20 per seminar).

If you do not attend the New School for Social Research and have previously been a Fellow at ICSI, you are eligible to apply again; however, we will accept no more than 2 previous Fellows per seminar. 

New School PhD students/candidates who have not previously been Fellows at ICSI are eligible to apply and, if accepted, attend tuition-free; we will accept no more than 2 Fellows per seminar from the New School.

Successful applications will be those that demonstrate a compelling rationale for joining the particular seminar for which the candidate is applying, significant intellectual preparation, and a commitment to critical and creative thought in a collaborative environment. 


Tuition includes the weeklong seminar (including 5 Master Classes and 5 Workshops), one public lecture by each of the three faculty, one communal lunch, and the opening and closing receptions. Tuition does NOT cover travel, housing, or food. Tuition fees for all Fellows are below-cost, thanks to funding from the New School's Board of Trustees and private gifts. Tuition fees are as follows:

Full Tuition
PhD students/candidates, postdoctoral scholars, and contingent faculty: $900
Junior faculty (tenure-track): $1,100
Tenured faculty: $1,500

Reduced Tuition*
Students and faculty: $400

*Priority for reduced-tuition scholarships will be given to applicants from the Global South (Latin America, Asia, Africa, and parts of the Middle East), though in some cases we may consider scholars at institutions in Southern and Eastern Europe, and in very rare cases, scholars at resource-poor institutions in the United States and Canada. Please make sure you fully answer all questions regarding funding in the application below to help us determine your eligibility for scholarships.


All applicants who reside more than 125 miles from New York City will be considered for travel/housing stipends of either $200 or $1,000 to defray the cost of traveling to New York City. If awarded a stipend, Fellows will receive checks upon arrival the week of June 11, 2017.


All participants have the option to be housed in the New School's 13th Street Residence Hall. With easy access to the ICSI seminars, shared double-rooms as well as a limited number of private rooms are available. Please note that private bathrooms with showers are not in the room itself, but are adjacent to the rooms, just down the hall.

The cost for a shared room from June 10-19, 2017 is $500. If you would like a private room, the cost is $635. Check-in will be available as early as one day before the Seminar Week starts (June 10th) and check-out will be available as late as two days after it ends (June 19th). Links to register for housing will be emailed by March 3rd to everyone who has made a tuition deposit.


The online application for the 2017 ICSI Summer Seminar is available here. Applications are due before midnight Eastern Standard Time on December 15, 2016. Applicants will be notified with admissions decisions by the end of January. If accepted, a $100 deposit is due by February 15, 2017, with the balance due by April 15, 2017.

Applications will only be reviewed if ALL of the following steps are completed:

1. Complete the Application Form.
2. When prompted in the application, attach a 2-page statement of purpose that clearly and persuasively outlines your current research project, your training and preparation, and how you will benefit from the particular Master Class you wish to attend as well as the ICSI as a whole.
3. When prompted in the application, attach a current CV.

Statements and CVs MUST be uploaded as Adobe PDF file.