Seven Week K Lab

June 18th – July 31st, 2020

The University of Michigan Kritik lab teaches students to analyze, understand, and deploy arguments from a diverse and challenging array of scholarly subject areas. Students are exposed to challenging, thought-provoking literature, given in-depth lectures on core precepts of critical debate and innovations in critical arguments, offered hundreds of one-on-one opportunities to engage instructors, and assigned dozens of practice rounds and other exercises to translate their new knowledge into practice.

2019 Seven Week Kritik Lab Instructors:

Marquis Ard (University of Michigan)

James Mollison (Purdue University)

Will Morgan (University of Cal Berkeley and Montgomery Bell Academy)

Jazmine Pickens (University of Oklahoma and McQueen High School)

Brian Rubaie (University of Iowa and Greenhill School)

Caitlin Walrath (University of Michigan and Notre Dame High School)

What former students say about the University of Michigan Kritik Lab:

“Participating in the Kritik Lab over the summer at the University of Michigan was a one of a kind experience. Working with some of the great minds in the debate community as well as receiving daily lectures that expanded my knowledge in critical literature was only the start — I was able to not only improve my knowledge in how critical arguments interact with traditional arguments in contest round competition, but I was able to formulate my own arguments, affirmative cases, negative strategies, and more. This lab gave me the ability to truly take my debate talents to the next level.”

Ryan James, McDonogh School (MD), 11/30/2016, Winner of the 2017 Tournament of Champions

“I cannot stress just how instrumental the Kritik Lab was in shaping my understanding of many bodies of Kritik literature and assisting me in perfecting my craft. My Negative arsenal has increased in size vastly, and I can comfortably say that I learned an incredible amount each and every day of camp. If Kritik debate interests you, I’d strongly urge you to sign up. The staff was incredible, and I can guarantee this will be one of the most engaging and informative camp experiences you could find.”

Nishad Neelakandan, McDonogh School (MD), 12/2/2016, Winner of the 2017 Tournament of Champions

“Having attended the 7 Week K Lab, I grew so much intellectually. Focusing on diverse critical literature, the insanely intelligent lab leaders worked to not only teach me how to be a better debater but also a better person. The seven weeks have had a huge toll on how I debate but also how I view the activity. The K Lab not only introduced me to people I value and respect, but a family that I look forward to see at every tournament during the season. The lab also had the chance to speak with scholars like Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, among others, which made the experience all the more worth it. The camp experience itself brought competitive debaters all over the country so the practice, fun, and friendships made Michigan’s debate camp incomparable to any other.”

Josh Jeong, Chattahoochee High School (GA), 12/5/2018

“The quality of the education I received at the Michigan Kritik Lab is unmatched across the nation. I wouldn’t want to spend my summer in any way other than with the extremely understanding and experienced lab leaders I worked with. The diversity of the literature that we engaged with and the skills I gained by interacting with all the talented debaters around me undoubtedly shaped me as a critical thinker. I know every debater, no matter what style, will be able to perfectly find their niche at Michigan.”

Isaac Segal, Stuyvesant High School (NY), 11/7/2017

“Going to the Kritik Lab before my Junior year was one of the best choices that I made. The faculty are hands-down some of the best people to learn from, and were very helpful in helping me work through complex theories and difficult literature. From countless valuable lectures to practice debates against some of the best teams in the country and intense research sessions, the Michigan K lab was invaluable to my success throughout the season. On top of all that, Ann Arbor is also a great place to spend the summer, with plenty to do and the beautiful University of Michigan campus to explore. I could not recommend the Michigan K lab more.”

Leo Saenger, South Eugene High School (OR), 12/2/2016

“My experience with the Kritik Lab was unforgettable and absolutely enlightening. The instructors, who were by all means phenomenal, not only taught us the gist of numerous philosophies, they also made sure that we could communicate those complex concepts in simple, concrete forms (i.e. examples and performances) that judges can digest, weigh, and understand. Through this emphasis on communication as such, it was unveiled to me that knowing things is good, but sharing and transmitting that knowledge to someone else effectively is the mark of excellence. I came away not only with new knowledge about Baudrillard, Bataille, Deleuze, and Race Theory, but additionally, with a comprehensive understanding of how meta-level arguments truly operate in relation to debate as an activity, which has enhanced the specificity, detail, and magnitude of the arguments I now choose to read.”

Elan Wilson, Hendrickson High School (TX), 11/29/2016

Tuition for the 2020 Kritik Lab is $6850 plus a $60 application fee.