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Rocío Zambrana

Rocío Zambrana profile picture
  • Affiliation: faculty
  • Title: Associate Professor of Philosophy
  • Additional Title: Director of Graduate Studies
  • Office: 242 Susan Campbell Hall
  • Office Hours: T 2-4
  • Affiliated Departments: Comparative Literature Department, Latin American Studies
  • Interests: Continental Philosophy, esp. Hegel, Marx, Frankfurt School Critical Theory; Decolonial Thought and Decolonial Feminisms
  • Curriculum Vitae


My work examines conceptions of critique in Hegel, Marx, Frankfurt School Critical Theory, Decolonial Thought and Decolonial Feminisms.

My first book, Hegel’s Theory of Intelligibility, offers an interpretation of the Science of Logic in light of revisionist readings of Hegel. Revisionists have argued that Hegel carries the legacy of Kant’s idealism forward albeit in a new direction. My book transforms this interpretive tradition by distilling the theory of normativity elaborated in the Logic and pursuing the implications of Hegel’s signature treatment of negativity for this theory of normativity. The book thereby clarifies crucial features of Hegel’s theory of intelligibility previously thought to be entirely absent from the argument of the Logic—normative precariousness and normative ambivalence. Hegel's Theory of Intelligibility was published by The Univeristy of Chicago Press in November, 2015.

My second book, Colonial Debts: The Case of Puerto Rico, develops the notion of "neoliberal coloniality" in light of the debt crisis in Puerto Rico. Debt functions not only as an apparatus of capture and predation, intensifying a neoliberalism reconfigured by the financial crisis. It also functions as a form of coloniality, deepening race/gender/class hierarchies that mark populations as dispensable. The book explores the critical and political strictures of neoliberal coloniality through an engagement with critical theory, decolonial thought, and Puerto Rican social and political criticism. Centering material praxis, the book considers modes of historical reckoning that have the potential to interrupt the work of coloniality. It also examines challenges to the intelligibility of such modes of subversive interruption. A draft of Colonial Debts is complete. 

An interview in Spanish with REC-Latinoamérica, "Negatividad, deuda, y colonialidad," provides a good overview of my trajectory. 



Hegel’s Theory of Intelligibility (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2015).  Review by Paul Redding (University of Sydney) for Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.                                                            

Edited Volumes

Marx for Marxism, and Beyond, in "From the Archives," Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal

Expression in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century German Philosophy, special issue of Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 27:2 (2006).    

Selected Book Chapters

Colonial Debts," in Una proposición modesta: Puerto Rico a prueba, iniciativa de Allora & Calzadilla, ed. Sara Nadal-Melisó (Barcelona: Fundació Antoni Tàpies, 2018).

"What’s Critical About Critical Theory? – Redux,” From Alienation to Forms of Life: The Critical Theory of Rahel Jaeggi, ed. Eduardo Mendieta and Amy Allen (Penn State Series in Critical Theory, 2018).

"Boundary, Ambivalence, Jaibería, or, How to Appropriate Hegel," Creolizing Hegel, ed. Michael Monahan (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).

"Dialectics as Resistance: Hegel, Benjamin, Adorno," Hegel and Resistance, ed. Bart Zantvoort (Bloomsbury Press, 2017).

“Hegel, History, and Race,” The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Race, ed. Naomi Zack (Oxford University Press, 2016).

“Subjectivity, According to Hegel,” The Oxford Handbook of Hegel, ed. Dean Moyar (Oxford University Press, 2016).

“Normative Ambivalence and the Future of Critical Theory: Adorno & Horkheimer, Castro-Gómez, Quijano on Rationality, Modernity, Totality,” in Critical Theory and the Challenge of Praxis, ed. Stefano Giachetti Ludovisi (London: Ashgate, 2015).

Selected Articles

Pasarse Políticamente – Interrupting Neoliberal Temporalities in Puerto Rico,” Collective Temporalities and the Construction of the Future, ed. María del Rosario Acosta and Gustavo Quintero, special issue of diacritics (2019).

“Actuality in Hegel and Marx,” Hegel Bulletin 39:1 (2018).

"Dialectics of Progress," Philosophy Today (2018).

Logics of Power, Logics of Violence (According to Hegel),” in Law and Violence, ed. María del Rosario Acosta, special issue of New Centennial Review 14:2 (2014).

"Paradoxes of Neoliberalism and the Tasks of Critical Theory," Critical Horizons 14:1 (2013).

"Kant's Hyperbolic Formalism," Idealistic Studies 42:1 (2012).

"Hegel's Legacy," in "Continental Philosophy: What and Where Will It Be?" ed. Ted Toadvine, special issue of The Southern Journal of Philosophy 50:2 (2012); translated by Martha Patiño as "El legado de Hegel," Revista Universitas Philosophicas 59 (2012). 

"Hegel's Logic of Finitude," Continental Philosophy Review 45:2 (2012).

Hegel’s Hyperbolic Formalism,” Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 61 (2010).


My teaching interests are in German Idealism, Marxism and Marxist Feminisms, Critical Theory, Decolonial Thought and Decolonial Feminisms, and Women of Color Feminisms. 

Past and future graduate seminars include: Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit; Freedom in Kant and Post-Kanian Idealism; Marx; 20th Century Marxism; Kant's Critique of Pure Reason; Immanence and Transcendence in Frankfurt School Critical Theory; Critique and Capitalism: The Frankfurt School; Adorno & Benjamin; Walter Benjamin; Marxist Feminism; Women of Color Feminisms; Toward a Decolonial Critical Theory; On Debt.

Past and future undergraduate seminars include: Recognition, Self, Society; Critical Theory; Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit; Marx; Kant's Critique of Pure Reason; History of 19th Century Philosophy; Marxist Feminism; Women of Color Feminisms; Toward a Decolonial Critical Theory; On Debt.


Immanent Critique: New Directions - an international conference on notions of critique and social justice in Critical Theory today. 19-20 April 2013, Knight Library Browsing Room.

Course Links

Winter 2019
PHIL 343 Critical Theory: On Debt

Spring 2019
PHIL 312 History of Philosophy: 19th Century
PHIL 453/553 19th-Century Philosophers: Hegel

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