This course will investigate critical theory from its Marxist origins to the Frankfurt School and beyond, by surveying its major theorists and their foundational texts, including that of Marx, Horkheimer, Adorno, Benjamin, Fromm, Marcuse, and Habermas. This will be followed by an investigation into the contemporary re-conceptualizations and applications of critical theory in different academic fields and traditions of thought, with special attention on the field of media and communication studies.