OVERVIEW: The concentration in Interdisciplinary Critical Theory (ICT) is designed to enhance the WHC s curriculum in the humanities and the sciences by creating strategic connections among different disciplines. Critical Theory includes perspectives in aesthetics, visual studies, media studies, cultural studies, studies in multicultural literatures, and studies in science, technology, medicine, and the humanities.
HISTORY: Critical theory stems from philosophical aesthetics or the theory of the arts which, from the time of Plato and Aristotle, has included studies in a range of visual media as well as music and literature. Because it includes broad questions of design, however, aesthetics has also been a significant preoccupation of the sciences. Kant, for example, dedicated the second half of his treatise in the field, The Critique of Judgment, to the study of teleology (by which he meant apparent design ) in living systems. Critical theory took on socially critical dimensions after World War II in the work of the Frankfurt School, which connected the theory of the arts to the social sciences. Building on that legacy, contemporary critical theory provides valuable perspectives to shape interdisciplinary enquiry across the arts and sciences, including: visual formations from the plastic arts to biotechnology; communications from scriptographic to typographic, electronic, analog, and digital media; cultural studies from the perspectives of ethnography, feminist theory, gender theory, and postcolonial theory; multicultural and multiethnic studies in literatures read in terms of various critical frameworks; and emerging perspectives arising at the intersection of the arts and sciences in the fields of technology, medicine, philosophy and the arts. Overall, although critical theory draws on various academic disciplines and interdisciplinary areas, it is ideally transdisciplinary.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Students completing the Interdisciplinary Critical Theory major should have developed their talents in critical observation and thinking regarding a range of contemporary and historical phenomena. Thus they should become versatile thinkers able to approach problems in a variety of traditional disciplines in terms of multiple critical and creative perspectives. Graduates might expect to become informed citizens, public intellectuals, and promising candidates for admission to graduate schools in disciplines across the arts and sciences. Students might consider, for example, taking the content track in Science, Technology, Medicine and the Humanities below in combination with Premedical requirements to complete the Critical Theory concentration in preparation for medical school.
Dr. Wairimu Njambi
Dr. Jacqueline Fewkes
; Dr. Daniel White
Dr. Michael Harrawood
; Dr. Dorotha Lemeh
Dr. William O'Brien