Appel à contributions : « International Summer School Critical Theory », 17-21 juillet 2017, Berlin

Dès 2017, une université d’été annuelle est organisée autour de la théorie critique par l’université Humboldt de Berlin en collaboration avec l’Institut de Francfort pour la recherche sociale. Cette année, les propositions d’intervention doivent être envoyées avant le 15 mars 2017.

Chaque année un thème en lien avec la théorie critique sera abordé. Dans la tradition de l’Ecole de Francfort, des ateliers, séminaires et tables rondes seront proposés. Etudiants et chercheurs pourront échanger autour de textes « classiques » de la théorie critique et de nouvelles perspectives.

Les thèmes suivants sont en préparation :

  • Progress, Regression and Social Change (July 2017)
  • Ideology and Critique (July 2018)
  • Social Unreason: Crises and Pathologies (2019)
  • Critical Theories of Gender (Summer 2020)
  • Social Theory and Political Economy (Summer 2021)



Is there such a thing as moral or social progress? How do we understand phenomena that might be seen as instances of social regression? And how, after all, are we to conceptualize social change?

While some Critical Theorists hold that we need a notion of progressive social change (and its counterpart) in order to understand and evaluate the dynamics of the transformations we undergo, the very notion of progress (as it is entrenched in the self-understanding of western modernity) seems to be ambivalent and is strongly contested.

So, while it is not easy to see how progress – as a certain kind of « learning process » that has played a central role in Critical Theory from its very beginning – could be dispensed with, our understanding of it certainly needs to be reconstructed.

It is not only the normative question in the narrower sense, though, that is at stake here. By asking how we can possibly conceive of social transformations as « change for the better », we are not only addressing the issue of normative standards for evaluation of « the good society ». If we want to rely on immanent rather than freestanding normative standards, we also have to re-investigate our concepts of history and social transformation. That means: we should take seriously the notion that « progress » as well as « regression » are bound up with some account of social change as a result of the erosion of institutions and social practices that have been outlived or de-legitimized. Whether this amounts to an accumulative process, as the terms « regression » and « progress » seem to suggest, is one of a variety of questions that we mean to address at our summer school.

Etudiants diplômés et jeunes chercheurs sont invités à soumettre un texte court (3 à 5 pages) qui présente leur objet de recherche et mette l’accent sur les thèmes ou les questions suivantes :

  • Philosophies of history/dialectics (Hegel/Kant)
  • Theories of revolution and social change (f.i. Historical Materialism)
  • Progress and regression (Benjamin and Adorno, Foucault)
  • Moral and institutional progress (as in Honneth, Anderson, Appiah)
  • Naturalist accounts of progress and accounts of social evolution (f.i. Kitcher, Habermas)

For submissions : 15th March 2017
Please submit your proposal by email to :

Summer school fees :
We do not take fees, but participants have to cover and organize their own travel and accommodation.

Rahel Jaeggi, Eva von Redecker, Isette Schuhmacher (Humboldt University Berlin) in cooperation with the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research and the New School for Social Research (Alice Crary)

Participants (amongst others):
Amy Allen, Jay Bernstein, Hauke Brunkhorst, Axel Honneth, Rahel Jaeggi, Terry Pinkard, Allessandro Pinzani.

Télécharger le programme