September 19, 2020 | Book Launch for Critique & Praxis (Columbia 2020)

We are all mourning the loss of the great Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and extend to her family our deepest condolences.

We learned the terribly sad news of the Justice’s passing on the eve of our planned-bike-protest-as-book-launch for Critique & Praxis. We decided not to ride in protest as we had planned, but rather to partake in the national vigil and memorial for the great Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at federal courthouses across the country.

Many of us, including many from Columbia University, gathered at 7:45PM at Chambers Street and walked together to the vigil at 8PM at the Triumph of the Human Spirit statue in Foley Square, NYC. Others were in DC at the United States Supreme Court.

In peace & solidarity.

The vigil for RBG at the courthouse steps at Foley Square

Foley Square, New York City

United States Supreme Court, Washington DC.



In times past, we celebrated the publication of a book with a book launch and a party—with champagne, tributes, and toasts. But these are not normal times. These times call for critical praxis, not book parties.

In lieu of a book launch for the publication of Critique & Praxis (Columbia 2020), we were going to bike protest together on Saturday, September 19, 2020, but in light of the sudden loss of #RBG and our collective state of sorrow, we decided to vigil together in honor of the great justice and her family.

In solidarity and peace.




Critique & Praxis (Columbia University Press, 2020)

Critical theory has always challenged the division between theory and practice. At its best, it aims to turn contemplation into emancipation, seeking to transform society in pursuit of equality, social justice, and human flourishing. Yet today’s critical theory often seems to engage only in critique. These times of crisis demand more. They demand critical praxis.

Critique & Praxis challenges us to move beyond decades of philosophical detours and to harness critical thought to the need for action. In a time of increasing awareness of economic and social inequality, it calls on us to engage in critical practice to make society more equal and just.

Critique & Praxis advocates for a new path forward that constantly challenges each and every one of us to ask what more we can do to realize a society based on equality and justice. Reflecting on decades of activism, social-justice litigation, and political engagement, and years of critical theory and philosophical work, Critique & Praxis charts a vision for political action and social transformation. Instead of posing the question, “What is to be done?” we must now turn back onto ourselves and ask, and answer, “What more am I to do?”

Comments about Critique & Praxis

“A relentlessly honest and learned exploration of how critical theory can turn again to the task of changing the world. Learning from above but assiduously from below, the activist legal scholar Harcourt utilizes illusion and value, makes theory and practice collide, and asks: ‘What more am I to do?’ Required reading.”—Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, author of Can the subaltern speak?

“Harcourt’s pragmatic and comprehensive dissection of philosophy and the quest for social justice is timely, provocative, and critically needed in this moment of global uncertainty, endless conflict, and pervasive inequality.”—Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption