Aesthetics and the Critique of Political Theology

The project Aesthetics and the Critique of Political Theology examines works of art and modes of aesthetic reflection as vehicles for critique of political theology and draws connections among European political-theological traditions, the critical work of Frankfurt and twentieth-century French and Italian thinkers, and Latin American aesthetic practices and political upheavals.

In addition to fostering faculty and graduate student exchanges, the new cooperation is developing bilingual graduate and undergraduate courses on political theology in Latin American and European contexts that will be offered as part of Northwestern's Critical Theory Certificate Program.


Peter Fenves is Professor of German, Comparative Literary Studies, Jewish Studies and Critical Theory at NU. He has published widely on critical theory and political theory, including his monograph, The Messianic Reduction: Walter Benjamin and the Shape of Time (Stanford University Press, 2010).


Eduardo Sabrovsky is Professor at the Instituto de Humanidades, Universidad Diego Portales, Chile. His research and teaching focus on political theology and Chilean politics. His publications include De lo extraordinario: Nominalismo y Modernidad, which examines the political-theological problem of “the exception,” and Chile, tiempos interesantes, an analysis of the current Chilean situation.  

The group works closely together with the Mellon project Circulating Anarchisms and Marxisms in the Andes at Northwestern and the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima, and the Mellon project "Technologies of Critique" led by Paul North at Yale and Willy Thayer at the Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación, Chile.

Complementary workshops, lectures, seminars, and roundtables are organized and offered in conjunction with:

Background Reading:

Sabrovsky, Eduardo. “Philosophy in Latin America: Some Introductory Remarks.” Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 45, no. 1 (2014): 1-11.


  • The translation of Professor Sabrovsky’s book, De lo extraordinario, is underway. Javier Burdman, doctoral candidate in Political Science at Northwestern, is undertaking the translation.

  • March 20-24, 2017 | Santiago, Chile:
    Professor Fenves visited the Instituto de Humanidades at Universidad Diego Portales (UDP) in Chile to initiate the Mellon collaboration with Professor Sabrovsky.

Professor Fenves at UDP