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Theodor Adorno

Theodor Adorno




Stream on Marx and the Frankfurt School: New Perspectives and their Contemporary Relevance

May 6-8, 2013

John Felice, Rome Center of Loyola University Chicago

Recent years have seen a flourishing of new perspectives on the contemporary relevance of Karl Marx’s thought. Very little of this thought has been applied to the relationship between Marx and the work of the Frankfurt School. Instead much of the work on Marx and the Frankfurt School is still approached through paradigms such as the Marxist Humanist discourse of alienation or of scholarly interpretations established by Jurgen Habermas, Martin Jay and Gillian Rose. This stream aims to bring together the best contemporary scholarship offering new perspectives on the relationship between Marx and the FrankfurtSchool and to consider the contemporary relevance of this relationship.

Possible topics include:

·      New assessments of the relationship between Marx and major figures from the Frankfurt School including Horkheimer, Adorno, Benjamin, Marcuse, Habermas and Honneth.

·      New assessments of the relationship between Marx and minor figures from the Frankfurt School including: Sohn-Rethel, Kracauer, Kirchheimer, Löwenthal Neumann, Pollack, Wittfogel, Negt, Kluge, Schmidt, Backhaus, Reichelt.

 ·      Comparative accounts of different figures from the Frankfurt School’s interpretation of Marx.

 ·      New assessments of theories central to Marx and thinkers from the Frankfurt School such as critique, society, reification, second nature, natural history, commodification, fetishism, value, money, exchange, equivalence, ideology, domination, class, capital, social reproduction, epistemology, subjectivity etc.

 ·      New assessments of the reception and the influence of the Frankfurt School’s relation to Marx in national and international contexts.

 ·      Importance that the ideas of Marx and the Frankfurt School have for contemporary theories of capital, social domination, subjectivity, the state, epistemology, class, critical pedagogy, emancipatory politics, and issues of crisis, social reproduction, ecological catastrophe etc.

 ·      Criticisms different Marxisms or critical theories might have of thinkers from the FrankfurtSchool.

 ·      Criticisms the thinkers from the FrankfurtSchool might have of Marx and different Marxisms.

 ·      Productive and elective affinities between Marx, figures from the Frankfurt School and other Marxists such as Bataille, Bensaid, Foucault, Open Marxism, Althusser, Heinrich, Kurz, Dieter Wolf, Castoriadis, Illyenkov, Bogdanov, etc.

 ·      Productive and elective affinities between Marx, figures from the Frankfurt School and other Marxist schools such as Autonomism, Political Marxism, Open Marxism, communisation and value-form theory.


If you are interested in presenting a paper or organizing a panel (of up to 5 speakers), please submit a 1-2 page abstract by February 28, 2013 (including name and institutional affiliation). Abstracts should be submitted by email to the stream coordinator Chris O’Kane at

Decisions regarding the program will be made by March 2013.


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Glenn Rikowski’s paper, Critical Pedagogy and the Constitution of Capitalist Society has been published at Heathwood Press as a Monthly Guest Article for September 2012, online at:


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