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Christian Van Houten

Critical Theory

Monson, MA
Critical Theory
Study Abroad:
Clermont-Ferrand, France
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
Mint Chocolate Chip
Best Adjective to Describe You:

In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
It relates to everything you do.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
The Critical Theory Colloquium during my sophomore year introduced me to Critical Theory – defined loosely as conjoining theory and practice on the fulcrum of society – which intensified my interest in philosophy and art, all of which are mutually constitutive.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
The concentration really stresses diversity in its course offerings. So take a variety of courses, because it will constellate, broaden the scope of, your primary endeavor, whether that’s art or philosophy or otherwise.

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
Critical Theory is the impetus for my interests and prospective activities in art. I’ve also developed a much sharper lens toward the social world by which I am defined.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
Amor fati.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
Postmodern Critical Theory. It’s so very intertwining. It culminates at ideology only through first investigating the subject – with existentialism, phenomenology, and psychoanalysis. Key themes discussed in the course are of language, the body, and desire.

What is your SIP?
I’m exploring art and aesthetics, primarily through the medium of music.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I’m thinking I’ll go into graduate studies in music/art after some time away from school.

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