This course is designed for students in need of a solid background in Marxism, critical theories, and postmodernist approaches. We reflect on the intersections and differences between a Marxist and a theological critique of capitalism. Students compare the “Frankfurt School” (Horkheimer/Adorno) with Antonio Gramsci’s theory of hegemony. We study major theories of ideology, subjection, and habitus (Althusser, Stuart Hall, Pierre Bourdieu) and use these theories to discuss symptoms of a current hegemonic crisis of neoliberalism. We get acquainted with some key concepts of postmodernism (Foucault’s “microphysics of power,” Derrida’s “deconstruction,” feminist debates on gender and sex) and of postcolonialism. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the discussed approaches in respect to textual interpretation, social analysis, and political strategy? How can we grasp the intersections of different ways of oppression (e.g. race, class, gender, sexual orientation) and overcome the fragmentations of social movements?
- Professor: Jan Rehmann