Center for Discursive Inquiry

The Center for Discursive Inquiry is a Research Center based in the School of Critical Studies at California Institute of the Arts.

The CDI supports a sustained discursive, critical and explorative environment, committed to ambitious long and short term research projects focusing on intersections and dialogues across critical and creative writing, as well as critical inquiry into artistic practices, and other fields of systematic research. It promotes a diversity of topics and forums emerging from the interests and pedagogy of faculty in the School of Critical Studies, advancing rigorous and original work through partnerships between individuals, academic institutions and other non-academic affiliates, locally, nationally and internationally. Activities include, research groups, publications, journals, hosted and collaborative events, as well as CalArts initiated conferences, seminars and curated speaker-series. 

Spring 2019 Event Series

Reading Seminar on Modality, Normativity Intentionality by Robert Brandom,  2001. 

Thursday, March 14

The session will be lead by Daniel Sacilotto, who will introduce the essay and begin our discussion. This meeting is in part designed to further our investigation of Language and Its Possible Worlds, and as a prelude to both Brandom's new book A Spirit of Trust.

You can find the text at the following link:

Daniel Sacilotto is a philosopher and an instructor in the CULB Comparative Literature program. His research focuses on the reconciliation of rationalism with materialism, and the pursuit of revisionary naturalism in the work of Wilfrid Sellars, Alain Badiou, Lorenz Puntel, Jay Rosenberg, and Ray Brassier. He is currently preparing a monograph in which he develops a functionalist theory of cognition and realist theory of knowledge, chiefly inspired by the works of Wilfrid Sellars. His essays include: Puncturing the Circle of Correlation (2017); A Thought Disincarnate: What Does it Mean to Think? (2018); & Realism and Representation: On the Ontological Turn (2012).

Fall 2018 Event Series

Language and its Possible Worlds

Chair: James Wiltgen
Speakers: Amanda Beech, Anna Longo, Daniel Sacilotto, Inigo Wilkins

Thursday, Nov. 8, 4:30 pm
Open to the Institute

This panel discussion brings together four speakers from the fields of philosophy, aesthetics, music and art to discuss some of the mechanisms by which possible worlds could be imagined, constructed and instantiated.

Given the highly coercive and heavily surveilled dynamics of the present moment, the question of construction, what we construct and its orientation to our future is ever present, and perhaps ever more urgent.

More Information

Descriptive text

Elaborating a Computationalist Account of Normative-Linguistic Reason

Reading by Inigo Wilkins

Thursday, Nov. 1, 4:15 pm

Inigo Wilkins took his masters in Sonic Culture at the University of East London, and completed his doctorate in Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths in 2016. The title of his thesis was ‘Irreversible Noise', which is the basis for a forthcoming publication by Urbanomic. He is co-director of the online arts journal and research platform Glass Bead (

The History of Philosophy as a Philosophical Problem

Written by Martial Gueroult
Reading by Anna Longo

Thursday, Oct. 18th

Longo has a Ph.D. in aesthetics from Université Paris 1, where she has been teaching and researching. She is currently working on Deleuze's mathematical differential ontogenesis and Fichte's aesthetics, and is currently editing two books: Retour de l'objet, retour de l'ontologie? (2019), Le paradoxe de la finitude (2019). She has also edited the volumes: La genèse du transcendantal (2017), Breaking the Spell: Speculative realism under discussion (2015), Time without Becoming (2014), and Il Divenire della Conoscenza (2013).

Allography and the Strange Agency of the Objectile


Speaker: Matthew Poole
Respondent: Jeremy Lecomte

Thursday, Sept. 27

Poole is a professor at California State University San Bernardino, where he is also Chair of the Department of Art. His work includes curating exhibitions, producing and collaborating with artists on projects, as well as writing on contemporary art, museology, and digital design. More on his recent work can be found at

Lecomte is a researcher and theoretician working between political philosophy, art, architecture and urban studies. This fall, 2018, he has been invited to lecture at SCI-arc, Los Angeles. He is the co-founder and co-director of Glass Bead, an art journal and research platform dedicated to the relations between art and other domains of thought, and to their political ramifications: (