Critical inquiry

Title Critical inquiry
Location Chicago
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Periodicity Quarterly
ISSN 0093-1896
Published Since 1974-
Indexed Holdings 2000-


San Francisco Public Library; The Library of the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona

Periodical's Overview

"Critical Inquiry has published the best critical thought in the arts and humanities since 1974. Combining a commitment to rigorous scholarship with a vital concern for dialogue and debate, the journal presents articles by eminent critics, scholars, and artists on a wide variety of issues central to contemporary criticism and culture.

In CI new ideas and reconsideration of those traditional in criticism and culture are granted a voice. The wide interdisciplinary focus creates surprising juxtapositions and linkages of concepts, offering new grounds for theoretical debate. In CI, authors entertain and challenge while illuminating such issues as improvisations, the life of things, Flaubert, and early modern women's writing. CI comes full circle with the electrically charged debates between contributors and their critics."

Selected Subject Headings

  • Attention
  • Bereavement
  • Ethnocracy
  • Fantasy - social aspects
  • Fetish
  • Frankfurt school of sociology
  • Fraud in science
  • Gift (economy)
  • Language and languages - philosophy
  • Law - philosophy
  • Liberalism - history
  • Mars (planet) - in literature
  • Paradigm (theory of knowledge)
  • Psychoanalysis and social control
  • Riddles in literature
  • Spontaneity (personal trait)
  • Theosophy
  • Thought and thinking in art
  • Winking


Edited by W.J.T. Mitchell, and with an Editorial Board that includes among many others academic luminaries, thinkers and scholars like Homi K. Bhabha, Teresa de Lauretis, Michael Fried, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. or Fredric Jameson, Critical inquiry is an exemplary journal of a contemporary rigorous scholarship. Critical understood in academic terms, but never too removed from reality as to ignore the events that shake the same foundations from where their criticality steams. In-depth articles with a wide range of modernist and postmodernist interests, these are broad, and enticing: from early documentary films usage of abstraction to Simone Weil’s mystical ruminations on attention, and the always present question of the Jewish Holocaust and its remnants, its contemporary involution: itself a sign of criticality in the United States. Philosophical analyses, as well as literary criticism debates also populate their pages, with a respectful interest and thoughtful engagement with non-trade art, with all its social and political implications.

If one were to dwell on their history, one would get the correct impression that the groves of the United States’ academia are still fertile grounds, no matter if these might need to be fertilized with other perspectives, ideological or “critically other.”

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