The snake that cannot shed its skin perishes. So too with those minds which are prevented from changing their views: they cease to be minds.-- Friedrich Nietzsche
Louis Althusser-- A life long member of the French Communist Party, Althusser initiated the "structuralist" revolution in Marxism and critiqued the Hegelian Marxism of Lukacs and others. Famous in media studies for his seminal essay on ideology and the ideological state apparatus.
Alain Badiou-- French philosopher influenced by Lacan and Althusser who is an outspoken critic of postmodern scepticism and irrationalism.
Murry Bookchin-- Anarchist, environmentalist critic, prolific writer and founder of "social ecology".
Pierre Bourdieu-- Texts by and about the French sociologist and critic. Includes link to a comprehensive bibliography.
Judith Butler-- Feminist theorist who argues that gender is "a performance" and whose sometimes impenetrable prose has won awards for "bad writing". Her most recent work has focused on the law and legal theory.
Noam Chomsky Archive-- Linguist, media critic, anarcho-socialist and staunch opponent of U.S. imperialism. Arguably the most important American intellectual of the late-20th century. Many articles and interviews archived here.
Simone De Beauvoir-- Author of Second Sex, activist, existentialist, and feminist.
Feminist Theory-- Links to articles and bibliographies about a variety of feminist thinkers and theories past and present.
The Frankfurt School (T.W. Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin, Jurgen Habermas et. al.)-- Douglas Kellner's site about the Frankfurt School of critical theory and its legacy.
Nancy Fraser-- Critical theorist whose work demonstrates the centrality of gender to an adequate theory of power in contemporary societies.
Sigmund Freud-- Founder of psychoanalysis. Nuff said.
Michel Foucault-- Genealogist, philosopher and discourse analyst who changed the way we think about madness, sexuality, the body and power.
Paul Goodman-- 60s social critic and author of the canonical Growing Up Absurd. Dwelt on the shortcomings of modern, technological society.
Antonio Gramsci-- Marxist thinker whose theory of hegemony remains indispensable for an adequate analysis of contemporary politics and culture.
Jurgen Habermas-- Links, interviews and writings by and about the most important of the "second generation" Frankfurt School thinkers. Habermas is most known in this country for his book on the emergence of the bourgeois public sphere, The Structural Transformation of the Bourgeois Public Sphere.
Stuart Hall-- Cultural studies giant whose writings on race, hegemony, representation, identity and ideology are still very useful.
History of Mass Communication Research Online Bibliography-- Lots of material here about the leading figures in Mass Communication theory. Worth a look.
CLR James-- Page devoted to the great Trinidadian political theorist, historian of the Haitian revolution, cricket player and cultural critic.
Douglas Kellner-- Frankfurt School disciple who has written on subjects ranging from philosophy to media to the stolen election of 2000. His site is loaded with essays and useful links.
Kiss of the Panopticon-- A simple, easy-to-understand introductory guide to critical theory and critical theorists. Very helpful for the beginning student.
Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe-- Political theorists (indebted to Foucault and social constructionism) whose book Hegemony and Socialist Strategy critiques orthodox Marxism and attempts to repudiate the centrality of the working class to the struggle for socialism.
Christopher Lasch-- American cultural critic and apostate disciple of Freud and the Frankfurt School, Lasch's work combines a populist critique of corporate capitalism and the "therapeutic state" with old-fashioned cultural conservatism. Often wrong (for example, about feminism) but always interesting.
Herbert Marcuse-- Author of One Dimensional Man and Eros and Civilization and a guru of the New Left. One of the few members of the Frankfurt School who was politically engaged.
Robert McChesney-- One of the leading critics of the big media in the U.S., McChesney is editor of The Monthly Review, author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy and founder of the media reform group Free Press.
Marshall McLuhan-- The media theorist responsible for the slogan "The medium is the message."
The Marx-Engels Archive--A treasure trove of material on Marx and Marxism. Includes key-word searchable, electronic, on-line version of the collected works of Marx and Engels as well as links to several works by other important Marxists ( Lenin, Trotsky, Lukacs, etc.). Incredibly useful resource.
Marx Myths and Legends. -- A much needed site that sets out to debunk the hundreds of myths and legends perpetrated about Marx and his theories by his bourgeois enemies (and , quite often, by his friends as well). Essential reading.
C Wright Mills-- Hero of the American New Left and sociologist of the power elite.
Lewis Mumford-- Urban planner, philosopher, historian of technology and architectural critic. Author of the brilliant, if eccentric, Technics and Civilization.
Antonio Negri (and Michael Hardt)-- Proponents of an anti-dialectical, poststructuralist brand of "autonomous Marxism" that celebrates anarchist, counter-cultural resistance to capitalism (and denigrates unions and the industrial working class). Their poorly written, citation heavy book Empire was hailed by the corporate media as a Communist Manifesto for the 21st Century. Needless to say, I have my doubts about their theories but welcome their insistence that resistance to neoliberalism and capitalist rule is indeed possible.
Friedrich Nietzsche-- The existentialist philosopher who unmasked Christian morality as an expression of "the slave mentality". Links to on-line versions of his writings in both English and German.
Edward Said-- Author of Orientalism, champion of Palestinian self-determination and astute critic of Western culture's cherished myths about Arabs and the Middle East.
Herbert Schiller--Pioneered the political-economic analysis of media.
Semiotics and Structuralism (Roland Barthes, Umberto Eco, Julia Kristeva etc.) -- Everything you ever wanted to know about signs and sign-systems but were afraid to ask.
The Situationist International (I)--The French post-Surrealist Marxists who first identified late-capitalist society as "the society of the spectacle."
The Situationist International (II)--More S.I.
Theory.org.uk (Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Queer Theory and more).-- Introduction to a group of theorists who diagnosed the social construction of gender, sexuality and just about everything else. The place to go if you want to buy a Foucault action figure.
Slavoj Zizek-- Post-Lacanian leftist theorist whose engaging writings on film, popular culture, religion and Lenin have created a stir in and out of the academy. Now a columnist for In These Times.