Fall/Winter Timetable

POL2007H1F L0101

Undergraduate Course Code: POL446H1F L0101

20th-Century Political Thought


According to Max Horkheimer, the distinguishing characteristic of critical theory is its emphasis on human emancipation. This course provides an overview of some of the key works in critical theory. We will read classic texts associated with the Frankfurt school (Benjamin, Adorno, Horkheimer) as well as more contemporary theorists influenced by this approach (Habermas, Honneth, Fraser). We will discuss the following topics: the relationship between history, social science and normative theory; the critical potential of popular culture and aesthetics; and the legacy of Marxism.

Format and Requirements

Students will be required to write five seminar papers analyzing the required readings. This course is primarily discussion oriented but the instructor will provide a general introduction to each of the major thinkers on the syllabus.