The Society for Critical Exchange was organized in 1975 by Leroy Searle, James Sosnoski, and Patricia Harkin in order to "encourage cooperative inquiry and research into criticism and theory." The Society was first housed at the University of Washington (1976-81), then Miami University of Ohio (1982-1990), and is presently located at Case Western Reserve University.

It is the only North American scholarly society devoted specifically to theory, and it has been instrumental in the institutionalization of theory in Literary Studies. Since its founding, SCE members, especially young faculty and graduate students in the modern languages, but in other disciplines as well, have benefited from its intensive, interactive colloquia and conferences, its varioius publications, and its electronic discussion group on theory. There are currently approximately 850 members of the Society.

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Since its inauguration, the Society's research projects have been its raison d'etre. They are collaborative and, since the mid-1980s, increasingly interdisciplinary, including in addition to literary scholars a substantial number of scholars from other disciplines such as the Law and Economics. Currently, the SCE has several research projects underway:

Intellectual Property
The New Economic Criticism
Cultures of Writing
Rethinking Introductory Courses in English


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