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Frankfurt School Critical Theory

GRST 254
Fall 2011
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: COL 264
Certificates: Social, Cultural and Critical Theory, Social, Cultural and Critical Theory

In the humanities and social sciences, the term "critical theory" remains closely associated with its origins in the Institute of Social Research, better known as the Frankfurt School. Beginning in 1930, scholars affiliated with the Frankfurt School (e.g., Adorno, Benjamin, Horkheimer, Marcuse) sought to replace "traditional" with what they called "critical" theory. By this they meant a theory that would uncover the hidden cultural and psychological mechanisms of capitalist society, a theory that would negate society in its existent form, thus opening up possibilities for imagining a different social order.

This course provides a survey of critical theory, beginning with its roots in the 19th century (e.g., Kant, Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche), and will then focus on some of the Frankfurt School's major works that address a diverse array of intellectual and political concerns, from the critique of state capitalism, industrial society, and instrumental reason to commentaries on mass culture, high art, fascism, and psychoanalysis. A truly interdisciplinary institution, the Frankfurt School studied economics, sociology, philosophy, literature, art, psychology, politics, and history. This introduction to the programmatic statements and eclectic reflections of various scholars will highlight the diverse historical influences, collaborative efforts, and internecine debates that shaped the intellectual tradition across continents and generations.

Essential Capabilities: Intercultural Literacy, Interpretation
Interpretation: This course will help students acquire the tools and vocabulary for understanding conceptually challenging texts and arguments.

Intercultural Literacy: This course explores the permutations of the German intellectual tradition as it seeks to critically account for essentially modernist, capitalist, and global phenomena like mass culture and ever-increasing commodity fetishism.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA GRST, SBS GRST
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)(GRST-MN)(GRST)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUN-30-2022
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