Featured Event

Critical Conversations

Denver, Colorado

September 21, October 12, November 9, January 17, February 15, March 22, April 19

6:30-8:30 p.m.


4280 Tennyson St.

Denver, CO 80212


Starting in September 2017 and running into 2018 CRI launches a series of  talks entitled Critical Conversations by and with Denver-based writers and public intellectuals on topics connected to their new books, which have been just recently published.

Critical Conversations is a partnership with BookBar, 4280 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212 and will be held once a month on Thursday evenings in September, October, and November.

The first “conversations” will focus on the theme “Taking the Spiritual Temperature Of Our Time”, an exploration of the ways in which contemporary arts and culture as well as politics are both infused with and shaped by the deeper longings of the heart, including inklings of an immaterial realm.

All sessions are from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. .  The fall schedule for Critical Conversations is as follows:

Thursday, September 21.

Carl Raschke.   Author of Force of God,GloboChrist, Fire And Roses, and More. Professor of Religious Studies, University of Denver.  Talk: “Bye, Bye Xanadu: Postmodernism as our 50-Year Spiritual Odyssey From the Hippies To The Millennials”.    Book:  Postmodern Theology: A Biopic, Wipf & Stock, 2017.


“ . . . an extremely readable introduction to ‘Postmodern Theology.’ Raschke critically, generously, and humorously presents the most important antecedents, developments, and consequences of this influential theological movement. It directly confronts thinkers like Caputo, Altizer, and Mark Taylor. Parallel to this Raschke offers a clear and in-depth introduction to Derrida and Deleuze’s philosophies, which not only made postmodern theology possible, but have also shaped the course of contemporary theological and political discourse.” – Kurt Appel, University of Vienna

Thursday, October 12.

Selah Saterstrom.  Author of the novels SlabThe Meat and Spirit Plan, and The Pink Institution. Director of Creative Writing, University of Denver.  Talk:  Title TBA.  Book:  Ideal Suggestions: Essays in Divinatory Poetics.

“Saterstrom’s creative work draws heavily from her life growing up in the Spiritual Church Movement in Natchez, Mississippi. As a university student, she studied Biblical hermeneutics and was influenced by writers such as Stephen Moore (Derrida & Foucault at the Foot of the CrossGod’s Gym).  Her work addresses the tensions and consonances between postmodern hermeneutics and the spiritualist tradition in which she was raised.  While divinatory tactics, such as tarot card reading, keep a fashionable place in New Age culture, Saterstrom’s work with divination comes from a lineage of root workers in the South and runs much deeper than a fad.” – Roger Green

Thursday, November 9.

Tad Delay,  Author of God Is Unconscious.    Talk:  “What Does the Populist Want?: Notes on Ideology, Religion, and Anxiety.” Book:  The Cynic and the Fool.

“While The Cynic and the Fool offers the reader insights that feel timeless, its true power lies in its ability to offer a unique and penetrating analysis of our present age. This is a book that employs the best of psychoanalytic theory to reflect on larger, societal issues. It is a carefully crafted work that will prove invaluable to anyone wanting to wrestle with, and understand, the tumultuous times we live in.” – Peter Rollins

Thursday, January 18.

Luis Leon, Author of La Llorna’s Children.  Talk:  “Disrupting the Mythologies of Machismo.”  Book:  The Political Spirituality of Cesar Chavez: Crossing Religious Borders.

Cesar Chavez (1927-1993), founder of the United Farm Workers and activist for Mexican-American rights, modeled a distinct spirituality for Latino men involving fraternity, self-sacrifice, and respecting women and the LGBT community.The example of his ritual life and spiritual teaching disrupted mythologies of machismo. In his current research, Luis León explores this similar macho disruption among Latino men, particularly within the conversion narratives of those who have converted from Catholicism to Pentecostalism.

Thursday, February 15.

Thomas Nail, Author of Theory of the Border.  Talk:  “Critical Liminology: The Theory of Borders”  Book:  Theory of the Border.

Borders of all kinds define every aspect of social life in the twenty-first century. From the biometric data that divides the smallest aspects of our bodies to the aerial drones that patrol the immense expanse of our domestic and international airspace, we are defined by borders. They can no longer simply be understood as the geographical divisions between nation-states. Rather than viewing borders as the result or outcome of pre-established social entities like states, University of Denver philosopher Thomas Nail reinterprets  history from the perspective of the continual and constitutive movement of the borders that organize and divide society in the first place. Societies and states are the products of bordering, Nail argues, not the other way around.

Thursday, March 22.  Roger Green, Metropolitan State University professor, composer, and musician.  Talk:  “Divinatory Esthetics – Critically Engaging Denver Poets Through Music

Metropolitan State University professor and well-known musician and composer Roger Green will attempt to identify a rehabilitated notion of literature by addressing a recent trend among Denver writers dealing with “divination”.  He will specifically use examples of his work using musical performance and composition to accompany multiple writers: Laird HuntSelah SaterstromEleni Sikelianos, and Anne Waldman, all of whom are associated both with Denver and the independent Minneapolis based publisher, Coffeehouse Press.


Thursday, April. 5.  Sam Provenzano and Christine Gwillim, University of Texas.  Talk: “Transforming Your Neighborhood Into the Magic Kingdom – Whole Community Makeovers Through the Performing Arts”.

Sam Provenzano and Christine Gwillim, advanced degree candidates in theater and dance at the University of Texas (Austin), will discuss how you can take turn a bounded space like a university campus, a museum, or a neighborhood with its shops and houses and turn it into a site for performance art that engages people and has them look at their surroundings in a whole new way.  They are visiting Denver April 5 – 7 as presenters for the program of the Southwest Summit on Creative Placemaking at the University of Denver, sponsored by the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  They will also be presenting at the Appalachian Summit in Charleston, West Virginia later this year.