The Designated Emphasis (DE) in Critical Theory permits interested graduate students already enrolled in UC Berkeley PhD programs to specialize in critical theory and to obtain certification of this specialization while pursuing the doctoral degree in their home departments. (The program in Critical Theory is not an independent degree-granting program.) Students admitted to the program's DE and who complete its requirements will receive a parenthetical notation to that effect on their doctoral degrees.
Critical Theory is typically associated with the work of the Frankfurt School; that ongoing tradition of theory figures significantly in the DE curriculum. However, Berkeley's program in Critical Theory broadens and extends the meaning of critical theory to include nineteenth-century philosophers of critique, as well as contemporary critical theoretical work on politics, economics, art and culture, religion, nationalism, postnationalism, and various kinds of identity formation. Above all, Critical Theory at UC Berkeley emphasizes the centrality of theoretical critique to the examination of contemporary values; the powers that organize political, social, cultural, and economic life; and modes of justification and legitimization for cultural inquiry and sociopolitical analysis.
There is no undergraduate program in Critical Theory.
Critical Theory: Designated Emphasis (DE)
The Program in Critical Theory
440 Stephens Hall