- Alvin H. Rosenfeld
- Course Description
Days and Times: Please contact instructor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Critical Theory has its origins in thinkers associated with the Frankfurt School, most prominently Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer. Their multifaceted work on modern antisemitism during a time when Jews were exterminated in Europe has influenced the study of antisemitism substantially. In addition, their work on coded and “secondary” antisemitism in democracies after the Holocaust, is still relevant and might help to better understand the social, psychological, and political origins of antisemitism, racism, and hate speech, today.
We will start with reading the “Dialectic of enlightenment” and compare this to Hannah Arendt’s “The origins of totalitarianism.” Secondary literature and texts by contemporary authors building on critical theory by the Frankfurt School (see reading list below) will help us to advance our understanding of antisemitism within a framework of Critical Theory.
- Adorno, Theodor W; Max Horkheimer. Dialectic of Enlightenment (London: Verso Books, 2016).
- Arendt, Hannah. The Origins of Totalitarianism (London Penguin Classics, 2017).
- Fine, Robert and Philip Spencer. Antisemitism of the Left. On the return of the Jewish question (Manchester University Press 2017).
- Jacobs, Jack. The Frankfurt School, Jewish Lives, and Antisemitism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014).
- Lars Rensmann, Lars. The Politics of Unreason: The Frankfurt School and the Origins of Modern Antisemitism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2017).
- Fischer, Lars. “Theodor W. Adorno, Gershom Scholem, and the ‘German-Jewish Dialogue.’” In: Zutot 14 (2017), pp. 1-9.
- Jacobs, Jack, ed. Jews and Leftist Politics. Judaism, Israel, Antisemitism, and Gender (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017)
- Seymour, David M. “New Europe,” Holocaust Memory, and Antisemitism.” In: Charles Asher Small, ed. Global Antisemitism: a Crisis of Modernity. Vol. I. Conceptual Approaches (New York: ISGAP 2013), pp. 21-28.
- Stoegner, Karin and Johannes Hoepoltseder. “Nationalism and Antisemitism in the Postnational Constellation: Thoughts on Horkheimer, Adorno, and Habermas.” In: Charles Asher Small, ed. Global Antisemitism: a Crisis of Modernity. Vol. I. Conceptual Approaches (New York: ISGAP 2013), pp. 121-134.
- Stoller, Robin. “Modern Capitalist Society, Competing Nation States, Antisemitism and Hatred of the Jewish State.” In: Charles Asher Small, ed. Global Antisemitism: a Crisis of Modernity. Vol. I. Conceptual Approaches (New York: ISGAP 2013), pp. 135-140.