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From Aesthetics to Pedagogy and Back: Rethinking the Works of Theodor Adorno

Abstract

In this article I argue that Theodor Adorno’s most timely and important contributions to contemporary politics are captured in his writings on pedagogy, education, and school reform. His work on education cannot be read separately from an engagement with either his philosophy or his aesthetics but rather as the nodal point through which the latter two become socially transformative. Here I chart the internal relations among philosophy, aesthetics, and education through their shared rejection of fascist resentment. While Adorno’s aesthetics map out the psychology of fascism as the antagonist of democratic virtues, it is through pedagogy that fascist social violence, amnesia, and racism are to be combated.

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