Frankfurt School Critical Theory is a famously rich yet challenging body of work. These transdisciplinary thinkers have been a foundational influence on social ecology, which has drawn on their penetrating analyses of a wide array of topics including capitalism, fascism, modernity, reason, science and technology, nature, pop culture, mass media, aesthetics, the left, and more. This online seminar will introduce the core concepts, thinkers, and texts of the tradition. Participants will read foundational texts including Horkheimer and Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment, Adorno’s Negative Dialectics, Herbert Marcuse’s One Dimensional Man, exploring their continued relevance for contemporary political and theoretical questions related to capitalism, imperialism, modernity, culture, race, gender, colonialism, and more.

The seminar starts February 11, meeting on Tuesdays from 12-1:30 pm ET through March 25 ($80). Also available as a self directed course ($40).

To enroll or for more info, write us at

Course Overview

Unit 1, February 11:      Peter Staudenmaier – What is Critical Theory?

Unit 2, February 18:     Peter Staudenmaier –  Dialectic of Enlightenment

Unit 3, February 25:     Sebastian Tränkle – Adorno’s Negative Dialectics

Unit 4, March 3:             Robert Zwarg – Marcuse, Aesthetics, and the New Left

Unit 5, March 10:          Barbara Umrath – Gender and Critical Theory

Unit 6, March 17:          Marcel Stoetzler – The Radicality of Critical Theory

Unit 7, March 25:          Kolja Linder – Marx, Colonialism and Eurocentrism