LSP Walter Benjamin (Spring 2017)

Dr Meade McCloughan

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) is one of the most fascinating intellectual figures of the twentieth century. Philosopher, literary critic, journalist, historian and creative writer, his writings have attracted the interest of Marxists, theologians, urbanists and artists, just to mention a few. The course will take a chronological and textual approach, starting with Benjamin’s writings from the mid/late 1920s and ending with his final text from 1940. The course will seek to situate and understand Benjamin’s ideas in relation to two main poles: (i) the Marxism he espoused from the mid-1920s onwards; (ii) the theological ideas which he brought with him from his earlier writings. One particular focus will be Benjamin’s ‘Arcades Project’ – his huge and unfinished investigation into the emergence of high capitalist modernity in nineteenth-century Paris.

The following texts will be considered in close detail:

All texts will be provided electronically.

9th June 2016