New Configurations in Critical Theory (937Q3A)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

You explore a wide range of contemporary approaches in critical theory. These approaches have emerged from 20th-century philosophy, literary theory and psychoanalysis, as well as a variety of other disciplines.

Our investigations are loosely mapped to four interrelated topoi—literature, aesthetics, politics, and science—and comprise a number of pressing theoretical issues. These are:

  • affect, biopolitics and 'life'
  • impersonality, animality and the posthuman,
  • the status of conceptual art
  • the earth, political ontology
  • the common and communism
  • new materialisms
  • science and the brain
  • networks and information
  • systems theory and complexity theory.

Possible readings include the works of Deleuze, Guattari, Agamben, Badiou, Rancière, Esposito, Bennett, Malabou, Smithson, or Luhmann.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 278 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.