Critical Theory

Critical theory involves the attempt to better understand power and conflict and to achieve change in or distance from the unexamined beliefs, forces, conventions, ways of thought, institutions, and routines that determine much of human life. Students will develop their ability to question the world in which they live and to formulate theoretically nuanced responses to the problems that define our historical moment.

The minor is an interdisciplinary program of study enabling undergraduates to acquire understanding of critical theory’s many dimensions and fields of application. It fosters dialogue between students with shared interests in such areas as continental philosophy, comparative literature, media and communication, film studies, the social sciences, and political theory, among others. Through the undergraduate-initiated and organized Critical Theory Reading Group, students pursuing the minor benefit from an active undergraduate research culture. The minor is associated with Northwestern’s Critical Theory Cluster, a research network of over 100 faculty and graduates responsible for a vibrant program of interdisciplinary events, workshops, visiting professors, and lectures. The minor is also associated with the undergraduate Paris program in Art, Literature, and Contemporary European Thought.

Program of Study