100 Years Later: The Frankfurt School and the Now — a Symposium

Goethe-Institut New York
30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003

The Frankfurt Institute for Social Research is 100 years old. Yet its guiding question—of “the connection between the economic life of society, the psychical development of individuals, and the changes in the realm of culture”—remains as urgent as ever. How, on the 100th anniversary of the Institute’s founding, can we understand the meaning(s), methods, challenges, and insights of Frankfurt School “Critical Theory”? And to what extent, 100 years later, can it help us make sense of the problems of a present that’s at once radically different from the world of 1923 and, as a moment likewise in capitalist modernity, fundamentally similar?

Join us, Friday and Saturday, July 14th and 15th, as Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, Goethe-Institut New York, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, and n+1 magazine take the occasion of the Frankfurt School’s centennial anniversary to ask, across a two-day symposium: What does Critical Theory look like 100 years on—and what does it do? The event begins, Friday, July 14th, at 6:30pm, with an opening panel dedicated to exploring what’s perhaps our primary question: What is Critical Theory? The symposium continues, Saturday, July 15th, at 11am, with panels on the topics of “The Frankfurt School and Contemporary Culture”; “Critical Theory from Below: Race, Gender and the Frankfurt School”; and, turning our eyes to the future,  “Critical Theory for the 21st Century.” Between panels, BISR faculty will lead learning sessions on Max Horkheimer’s essay “Traditional and Critical Theory,” and the complicated relationship between the Frankfurt School and psychoanalysis. 

Participants include guests Seyla Benhabib, Moira Weigel, Jodi Dean, William Paris, Adam Shatz, Fumi Okiji, Nathan Duford, Aaron Benanav, Kate Wagner, Paul North, Eduardo Mendieta, and BISR faculty Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Samantha Hill, Rebecca Ariel Porte, Barnaby Raine, Isi Litke, Nathan Shields, Michael Stevenson, and Loren Dent.

The Frankfurt School and the Now will take place at Goethe-Institut New York (30 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003). A complete program schedule and list of participants is available here. The event is free to attend (and will also stream live to the BISR Facebook page). Please RSVP below.

Event Schedule

Friday, 6:30pm (Friday)/10:30am (Saturday)
July 14 — July 15, 2023


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