The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.

— AUDRE Lorde


The Standing Seminar in Critical Theory (SSCT) aims to build a permanent, transdisciplinary and inter-institutional space for critical thought across the South West Doctoral Training Partnership institutions. We want to explore critical theories and radical epistemologies, including those born out of both the Frankfurt School and the heterodox Marxist tradition, critical feminist theory and decolonial theory, along with others arising from our own research projects.

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Social Sciences are facing a deep crisis. The neoliberal university is in dispair. While resistance struggles continue and expand outside academia, critical thought is shrinking, deradicalised or sidelined. We must not only bring back critical theory back but also discuss what kind of critical theory is needed today. We must interrogate concepts, methodologies and epistemologies used to accompany radical change.

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The community will bring together existing strengths in critical theory across a range of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities in the South West, making a timely intervention into the most acute problems posed by today’s world, and accompanying new practices for a world in crisis. Over the course of 2019-2020 we will run a series of activities across the SWDTP institutions that together explore the conditions, role and horizons of critical theory today. The proposed activities will include reading groups, workshops and mini conferences.

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Dear supporters and collaborators of the SWDTP CCST.

We would like to invite you, along with other supporting staff and students from SWDTP institutions, to attend the SSCT's first General Meeting. The meeting will take place on 18 September from 1-5pm at the University of Bath.

We will fund standard class travel to the meeting. All those who wish to participate should email sps-research-support@bath.ac.uk to register. Lunch will be provided.

We look forward to seeing you in September!


Previous Events


01. 07. 2019

Critical Theory in a closing and violent world

At this round-table, the panellists brought critical theory to bear on a contemporary global panorama in which the legitimation of violence, xenophobia, misogyny and racism takes on new and alarming power.

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12. 02. 2019

A Critical Theory Of Hope

Ana Cecilia Dinerstein explored the limitations of contemporary neo Adornian critiques of society, challenging the view that ‘there cannot be a political practice to fight Barbarism (Bonefeld).

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29. 01. 2016

From Fear to Hope. Shifting Narratives for Art, Social and Human Rights activism

We were delighted to welcome Thomas Coombes, Head of Brand & Deputy Director at Amnesty International , who was joined by Dr Ben Parry (Bath School of Art & Design, Bath Spa)…

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Find all of our events → here.