GERST 3620

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2017-2018.

Shortly after the last election, The New Yorker published an article entitled "The Frankfurt School Knew Trump was Coming." This course examines what the Frankfurt School knew by introducing students to Critical Theory, beginning with its roots in the 19th century (i.e., Kant, Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche) and then focusing on its most prominent manifestation in the 20th century, the Frankfurt School (e.g., Kracauer, Adorno, Benjamin, Horkheimer, Marcuse), particularly in its engagement with politics, society, culture, and literature (e.g. Brecht, Kafka, and Beckett).  Established in 1920s at the Institute for Social Research, the assorted circle of scholars comprising the Frankfurt School played a pivotal role in the intellectual developments of post-war American and European social, political, and aesthetic theory: from analyses of authoritarianism and democracy to commentaries on the entertainment industry, high art, commodity fetishism, and mass society. This introduction to Critical Theory explores both the prescience of these diverse thinkers for today's world ("what they knew") as well as what they perhaps could not anticipate in the 21st century (e.g., developments in technology, economy, political orders), and thus how to critically address these changes today.

When Offered Spring.

Distribution Category (LA-AS)

Comments Taught in English.

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Enrollment Information
Syllabi: 1 available
  •   Choose one seminar and one discussion. Combined with: COML 3541ENGL 3920GOVT 3636

  • 4 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • 17199GERST 3620  SEM 101

  • Taught in English.

  • 17205GERST 3620  DIS 201

  • 17206GERST 3620  DIS 202

  • 18415GERST 3620  DIS 203

  • 18416GERST 3620  DIS 204