Radical Theory: Sheffield Amnesty, Sheffield Assist, Sheffield Greens

Recently, School of English students from the Level 2 module, Radical Theory, had guests from Sheffield Amnesty (Alex Jagger), Sheffield Assist (Lucy Foster and Robert Spooner), and the Sheffield Greens (Natalie Bennet) to talk to them about possibilities for charitable and political activism within and outside the university. These guests reflected on their past experience of volunteering and political work, and advised groups of students on their project work.

The premise of Radical Theory is the necessity to re-interpret the university as a site for philosophical speculation and theory-based intervention.

Run collectively, the course addresses, to use Walter Benjamin’s terms, the catastrophe of the status quo, and is structured around three aims, which are:

1) to address ‘moments’ of crisis such as, for example, climate change; the neoliberal, market-driven higher education system; the state of exception; the myth of the human;

2) to theorize these crises;

3) to explore the relationship between theory and practice: in particular to explore theorized agency as enabling political activism.

As such, we were very happy to welcome guests from outside the university towards the end of the module to help students reflect on what they have learned.

— Katherine Ebury
— Fabienne Collignon
— John Miller

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