Cultures of Critique (PhD Program)
Leuphana University of Lüneburg
The cultural sciences research training group “Cultures of Critique” undertakes a productive revision of the preconditions, roles and validity claims of critique. On the one hand, new technologies and distribution channels have given rise to a welter of unexpected critical and quasi-critical practices. On the other hand, the very theoretical foundations of critique have come under massive pressure – and so, it seems, has the modern project of critique as a whole. What may be regarded as an act of critique and which agents, expectations and criteria take part, is currently subject to basic negotiation.
The research training group conceives critique as a praxis that is always already culturally situated, at the same time that its efficacy rides on comprehensive claims to validity and authority. The phenomena under critique are inseparably interwoven with the forms and media used to represent them. Representation thus appears as the focal point in which widely divergent forms of critique and their heterogeneous cultures lend themselves to comparative discussion. Building on studies of diverse concrete critical practices, the Research Training Group seeks to remap the interaction between critique and culture in the history of modernity up to the present and employ the tools of cultural studies to frame a well founded and timely conception of critique.