Jul 03 - 07 2023


10:00 - 18:00
Humanities and Social Change Center - Critical Theory Berlin

Critical Theory Summer School: Radical Social Transformation

Classical Critical Theory was characterized by a dichotomy. On the one hand, only fundamental change could overcome the wrongs of existing society. Yet, on the other hand, the social revolution predicted by Marxist thinkers failed to materialize. In our time, multiple crises again intensify the need for social transformation; but in many fields, capitalist societies seem far too slow in their ability to change, despite their inherent dynamic. Against this background, the summer school will explore the drivers of and obstacles to radical social transformation today with a focus on the role of social activism and the material preconditions of change.

The summer school will involve plenary lectures and discussions, reading sessions, small group discussions and panel debates. Only the panel debates will be open to the broader public. We will explore classical approaches, such as Karl Marx’s and Walter Benjamin’s conception of historical change and Herbert Marcuse’s analysis of new revolutionary subjects while also engaging with the work of leading contemporary theorists: Sally Haslanger, Verónica Gago, Gianfranco Casuso and Alex Demirović will participate and discuss their work. On the occasion of Marcuse’s 125th birthday, the public round table with Gago, Demirović, Eva von Redecker, and Rahel Jaeggi on Wednesday evening (July 5th, 2023) will be dedicated to actualizing his quest for alternative revolutionary subjectivities.