The Frankfurt School -- Kersten




The works of Karl Marx were progressive and fitting for the 19th century, but the themes and concepts were unfitting for the 20th century. (Members of?) The Frankfurt School, famous for critical theory, revised many for Karl Marx’s concepts and made them more suitable for the rapid paced 20th century (was it mostly the pace that was the problem?). The early theorist__ of the Frankfurt School, such as Antonio Gramsci (was he "in" FS?), Walter Benjamin, and early Max Horkheimer (these could be links to wikipedia pages), all focused closely in Marx’s footsteps observing (?) politics and the economy. After Nazism over powered Germany, the Frankfurt school fled to safety in America. While in America their views and topics of their publications shifted towards popular culture. America in this time was progressive within the film, radio and broadcasting culture; the Frankfurt school thrived in this change of society, making it easy to dissect. The publications from this time vary from subject, but the basic context is far easier to comprehend than the earlier politically charged publications. The sudden shift in perspective in American can be to blame for severe scrutiny they would have received, but in what ways is the Frankfurt School different in America then the Frankfurt school in Germany?

In Germany, the Institut für Sozialforschung was founded in 1923 as an adjunct of the University of Frankfurt. It was the first Marxist oriented social research institute. In 1935 it too moved to escape Nazism with it scholars resettling in New York at Columbia. It was re-established in Frankfurt in 1953. The tradition in which these scholars work has come to be called "the Frankfurt School" and "Critical Theory," though neither phrase can be pinned down to indicate a specific position or framework. Figures associated with the Frankfurt School include Max Horkheimer, Theodor W. Adorno, Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcus, Walter Benjamin. The most influential contemporary "member" of the Frankfurt School is Jürgen Habermas. Has written widely about capitalism, democracy, law, and contemporary politics focusing on the possibility of critical rational discourse. Nice bit of background on critical theory influences of Frankfurt School HERE

Frankfurt School Sampler Bibliography

Lukács, Georg. 1922. "The Irrational Chasm Between Subject and Object" (206-208)
Horkheimer, Max. 1932. "Notes on Science and the Crisis" (208-212)
Fromm, Erich. 1929. "Psychoanalysis and Sociology" (222-223)
Benjamin, Walter. 1936. "Art, War, and Fascism" (259-261)
Gramsci Intellectuals and Hegemony Antonio Gramsci, Intellectuals and Hegemony (263-265)
Althusser, Louis. 1968-9. "Ideology and the Ideological State Apparatuses, Doubts and Reservations" (321-324)
Horkheimer, Max and Theodor Adorno. 1944. "The Culture Industry as Deception" (325-329)
Habermas, Jürgen. 1968. "Emancipatory Knowledge" (386-7)
Habermas, Jürgen. 1970. "Social Analysis and Communicative Competence" (387-9)
Marcuse, Herbert. 1964. "Repressive Desublimation" (436-439)
VIDEO: Paul Fry Lecture on "The Frankfurt School of Critical Theory" in Introduction to Literary Theory at Yale.

Mills Library

Dahms, Harry F. 2008. Current Perspectives in Social Theory , Volume 25 : No Social Science without Critical Theory. Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. (Ebrary HM480 — .N6 2008eb)
Gottfried, Paul. 2005. Strange Death of Marxism : The European Left in the New Millennium. University of Missouri Press. (Ebrary HX238.5 — .G68 2005eb)
Claussen, Detlev and Rodney Livingstone. 2008. Theodor W. Adorno : One Last Genius. Harvard University Press. (Ebrary B3199.A34 — C5813 2008eb]
See introduction in Kellner, Douglas (ed.). 1998. Collected Papers of Herbert Marcuse : Technology, War and Fascism, Volume 1. Routledge. (Ebrary B945 — .M298 v. 1 1998eb)
Wiggershaus, Rolf. 1994. The Frankfurt School : its history, theories, and political significance. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press. 301.01 W655f 1994.
Tar, Zoltán. 1977. The Frankfurt school : the critical theories of Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno. New York : Wiley 301 T176f.
Geuss, Raymond. 1981. The idea of a critical theory : Habermas and the Frankfurt school. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press. 301 H114g 1981.
Jay, Martin. 1973. The dialectical imagination; a history of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923-1950. Boston, Little, Brown 300.7 J42d.
Feenberg, Andrew. 1986. Lukacs, Marx, and the sources of critical theory. New York : Oxford University Press. 335.4 F295L
Held, David. 1980. Introduction to critical theory : Horkheimer to Habermas Berkeley. University of California Press. 301 H474i.

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