LIT3062 : Theory/Contingency

Convener(s): Fabienne Collignon


General Information

This course follows on from LIT204 and LIT271 (Radical Theory) and proposes to continue investigating the potential for radical change through critical theory: theory as contingency. Building on previous encounters with critical theory, we will explore the possible but, more so, the impossible, what hasn’t been possible as yet, what might never be possible. We will think failure, interruptions, ruptures, being-between the ‘capacity to be and not to be’ at the same time. We will collectively address these issues, texts, crises, structured around the works of, amongst illimitable others, Benjamin, Agamben, Blanchot, Battaglia.


This course will be taught by weekly 2-hour workshops that begin by identifying (together, staff and students) some of the most pressing political events or issues to be addressed and which we will then explore by way of theoretical texts. Some of these texts will be set by the course convenor, which we will discuss during the first stage of the course, during which we will also form groups according to areas of research/intervention selected by the students. The next stage of the course involves independent and group research; each group will be assisted by the course convenor—this research will lead into the final stage of the module, in which we investigate the possibilities of resistance offered by critical theory.


Students will be assessed through a 4,000 word portfolio submission, comprising a report on a cultural crisis, including key questions raised by this event/issue, as well as an essay that theorizes this current event. This type of assessment will demonstrate the above-mentioned learning outcomes (such as collaborative learning) through, for example, peer-review assessment

Contact Details

0114 222 0242

Information last changed: Monday 10th of August 2015 :: 12:40:26 PM (BST)

Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course convener.


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK