LIT271 : Radical Theory

Convener(s): Dr. John Miller


General Information

The premise of this course is the necessity to re-interpret the university as a site for philosophical speculation and theory-based intervention. Run collectively, the course will address, to use Walter Benjamin's terms, the catastrophe of the status quo, and is structured around three aims, which are: 1) to address 'moments' of crisis such as, for example, climate change; the neoliberal, market-driven higher education system; the state of exception; the myth of the human; 2) to theorize these crises, and 3) to explore the relationship between theory and practice: in particular to explore theorized agency as enabling political activism.


This course will be taught by weekly 2-hour workshops that begin by identifying (together, staff and students) some of the most pressing political events or issues to be addressed and which we will then explore by way of theoretical texts. Some of these texts will be set by the course convenors-we will run this module under a collaborative 'convenorship'-which we will discuss during the first stage of the course, during which we will also form groups according to areas of research/intervention selected by the students. The next stage of the course involves independent and group research; each group will be assisted by one of the course convenors-this research will lead into the final stage of the module, in which we investigate the possibilities of resistance and theorized intervention offered by critical theory.


Students will be assessed through a 4,000 word portfolio submission, inclusive of documentary research on a cultural crisis, the key questions raised by this event or issue, and an essay that theorizes this current event.

Contact Details

0114 22220194

Information last changed: Friday 09th of February 2018 :: 01:52:51 PM (GMT)

Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course convener.


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK