Critical Theory - POL00017M

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  • Department: Politics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Alasia Nuti
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2017-18

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2017-18

Module aims

In this module we will discuss texts by some key thinkers in the tradition of critical theory. We will conceive of 'critical theory' not only in terms of the 'Frankfurt School'. Instead, we will use 'crtitical theory' in its original spirit, that is, broadly as a method that starts from the demands of liberation made by those who are exploited and oppressed so as to envisage new possibilities of resistance and emancipation for the changing historical circumstances. Topics we shall address include: reason, control, power, sex, gender, social reproduction, racial formation, violence, unhappiness, and modernity. We will read selections from the work of Herbert Marcuse, Max Horkheimer, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Nancy Fraser, Silvia Federici, Hannah Arendt, Angela Davis, and Walter Benjamin, among others.

Module learning outcomes

  • To understand some of the central themes in modern European critical political theory.
  • To develop interpretative, analytical, and argumentative abilities, through seminar discussion and a study of key texts.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
4000 word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
4000 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor's feedback and guidance hours.

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than six weeks after submission; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor's regular feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment

Michael Foucault, Discipline and Punish

Judith Butler, Gender Trouble

Walter Benjamin, ‘Theses on the Philosophy of History’

Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.