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The Frankfurt School and the paradoxical idea of progress

This seminar will address the idea of progress in History through a careful and close reading of texts from Adorno and Horkheimer. Does progress really exist beyond minor reformist tendencies or is it a major symptom of the dialectic of enlightenment that dialectical positivity comes to a standstill? Can we rethink a new principle of hope that can build movement politics against the cynicism and pessimism of the present?

(12–2pm): an eight week course -$15 per session or $100 for all eight sessions.


Adorno, Theodor. “Progress” in Critical Models, pp. 143–160 (Columbia University Press, 2005 edition).

Adorno, Theodor. “On Subject and Object” in Critical Models, pp. 245–258 ( Columbia University Press , 2005 edition).

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction “ in Illuminations, edited with Introduction by Hannah Arendt and trans. By Harry Zohn pp.217–251 (Schocken Books, 1969).

Marcuse, Herbert. Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud , including a political preface 1966 ( Beacon paperback , 1974).

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