From Trump in the U.S. to Duterte in the Philippines, and the normalisation of state surveillance and the criminalisation of civil liberties, liberal democracy seems on the threshold of new forms of authoritarianism. How much is new and how much is shared with totalitarianisms of the 20th century?
This seminar, chaired by Robin Rodd, is an introduction to some major themes covered by the Frankfurt School of critical theory, and is open to anyone concerned with understanding the fate of democracy in the world today.
The rise of racist nationalism, the demise of liberal democracy and citizen rights, the expulsion of growing numbers of people from the ranks of legitimate life, the cultural and technological legitimation of inequality, and the gloomy subjectivity of ecologically assured destruction hark back to the dark times that gave rise to the Frankfurt School of critical theory, and to Arendt’s appeal to critical thought as our primary defense against the banality of evil. In the context of the entrepreneurial university, meanwhile, thinking (and reading) is increasingly an externality. This seminar aims to foster citizenship through critical thought and discussion of the contemporary moment, and relations among culture, politics and technology. This year’s topic addresses the question ‘what ideas are good to think with in our current dark times’?
Critical theory seeks to identify the contradictions, crisis tendencies and lines of actual or potential conflict in contemporary society, and to demarcate and politicize possibilities for more progressive, socially just, emancipatory and sustainable forms of life.
This seminar is a forum for discussing contemporary politics in relation to critical theory, and a great way for anyone interested in thinking politically to share insights on topical issues.
Critical theory seeks to identify the contradictions, crisis tendencies and lines of actual or potential conflict in contemporary society, and to demarcate and politicise possibilities for more progressive, socially just, emancipatory and sustainable forms of life.
All staff and students welcome. NO RSVP required.
Series Convenor - Robin Rodd by email to firstname.lastname@example.org