September 13-15: Institute for Social Research hosts International Conference “Futuring Critical Theory”

To mark its 100th anniversary, the IfS Institute for Social Research is organizing an international conference, titled „Futuring Critical Theory“, which will take place on Goethe University Frankfurt’s Westend Campus from September 13-15, 2023. The conference sets out to determine where Critical Theory stands, and to reorient it in light of the existential challenges of our times.

Several of the supposed certainties of Frankfurt School Critical Theory have in part been fundamentally challenged in the course of recent academic and political debates on, for example, post- and de-colonialism, queer feminism, as well as new materialism. Specifically, there are two fronts where the theory has been put to the test: On the one hand, the explanatory power of an approach that in its interpretation of crises has so far neither focused on the global interconnectedness of social phenomena nor on the material dimension of social reproduction has been called into question. On the other hand, it is debatable whether classical Critical Theory’s normative tools are still appropriate for theorizing contemporary social relations.

The „Futuring Critical Theory“ conference marking IfS’ centennial will be the place where the process of developing a new research program for the Institute comes to a preliminary conclusion, and the results presented to a broader public for the first time. The three conference days are divided into four sections: I Dissecting Critical Theory; II Globalizing Critical Theory; III Materializing Critical Theory; IV Recomposing Critical Theory.

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