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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Critical Theory

Philosophy and Social Critique

We are currently updating our course overview for 2022-2023. The information below might be updated.

three men

Critical theory, in the tradition of the Frankfurt School, aims to develop a philosophical understanding and evaluation of social conflicts in contemporary societies. It engages not only with classic philosophy but also with the social sciences, psychoanalysis and aesthetics. From its start almost a century ago, it has supplied deep insights into the links between knowledge, culture and economy, as well as a distinctive philosophical method. In this summer school we will examine classic questions and contemporary debates in critical theory and their relevance for understanding crisis in present-day societies.

The summer school will feature lectures by distinguished researchers in contemporary critical theory, discussing their ongoing research projects, and roundtable workshops on selected classic texts as well as discussions of student papers. You will get acquainted with the social- philosophical methodology of critical theory and its approaches to politics and culture, specifically its contributions to the study of political and social crisis, power, ideology, mass culture, and aesthetics. Our discussions aim at inspiring new insights with societal relevance. Critical theory’s interdisciplinary engagement with philosophy will allow you to develop new perspectives for your own research.

The summer school aims at generating discussions among researchers at all career stages. Advanced bachelor students are especially encouraged to attend and actively participate in the summer school.

Practical information

Dates 11 - 17 July 2021
Level Advanced bachelor students, (research) master students, PhD students
Fees on-campus*

BA/MA students: € 180

PhD students: € 250

Fees online*

BA/MA students: € 80

PhD students: € 130

Academic coordinator Dr. Titus Stahl

*Due to the ongoing effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it is not yet clear whether the summer school can be taught on location in Groningen or whether it will be conducted in an online format. Naturally, the summer school will only be taught on-campus if this is deemed safe by the Dutch public health authorities and if the vast majority of participants will be able to travel to Groningen for that purpose. When registering, you will be able to indicate whether an on-campus and/or an online option is acceptable for you. We will communicate a final decision about the format of the summer school before offering places to applicants.

In the case that the summer school will be conducted online, we plan to have a highly interactive format that includes one-on-one tutorials with the lecturers that integrate the personal research interests and research projects or participants, small-scale group tutorials and projects, and a variety of interactive formats in which to engage with the material and the lectures, as well as social features that allow for informal interaction.


This summer school is open for advanced bachelor students; (research) master students; PhD students.

The summer school is suitable for students with basic as well as advanced knowledge of Critical Theory, and for PhD students who work in related areas. Advanced bachelor students are especially encouraged to attend and actively participate in the summer school. Prior coursework in continental social philosophy is strongly recommended.
Priority will be given to participants who can show previous education in Critical Theory. Participants will be admitted according to motivation, English writing skills, and study results

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

See the full programme below

Learning outcomes

After this course you will have

  • a wide-ranging insight into the themes of Critical Theory
  • the ability to relate its key questions to your own research
  • enriched your methodological philosophical competence
  • be able to use methods and theories from Critical Theory to apply to current debates

Preparation: 40 hours
Summer School: 35 hours
Presentation: 10 hours

Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 85 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.
Application procedure

To apply, kindly fill out the online application form (NB will open in December 2022) Please note that you will be asked to upload the following documents:

  • CV
  • Letter of motivation
  • One or more topics of essays you wrote,
  • A writing sample (English, 500-1000 words)

The deadline for application is 30 April 2022 (TBC). The selection will take place in the three weeks after the deadline. Notification of acceptance can be expected on May 22.

The Groningen Faculty of Philosophy offers a variety of Master programmes:

  • Master in Philosophy
  • Master in Philosophy and Society
  • Master in Philosophy of a Specific Discipline
  • Master in Philosophy of Education
  • Master in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Research Master in Philosophy

The master programmes are taught in English. Please see the website of our faculty for more information on our Master programmes.

Last modified:19 October 2022 07.55 a.m.