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 Robert Zwarg Explored the Afterlife of Critical Theory in America 

Submitted by Eric W. Fraunholz on Wed, 07/09/2014 - 08:52

On Monday, 7 July 2014, about 20 guests gathered to listen to a lecture by
Robert Zwarg on the Afterlife of Critical Theory in America.

Mr. Zwarg started his talk with a piece from the Vice Magazine, which
illustrated how in an American context, the term critical theory lumps
together any theory or philosophy from the early 20th century on.

His talk then tried to disentangle the complexity of the issue by first
illustrating the distinct theoretical basis of the Critical Theory (i.e.,
the Frankfort School) and how it needed to be separated from, for instance,
postmodern philosophy.

Mr Zwarg then explained how Critical Theory gained momentum in the US in
the late 1960s and transformed into a distinct category of American leftist
thought until it lost significance again in the 1990s. Since then it has been
living on self-referentially in the class rooms of universities.

The talk addressed a history of transatlantic exchange that has not
received much attention in a scholarly discourse yet. It also showed that
the topic needs to be investigated much further in order to understand the
whole complexity of Critical Theory in America.

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