Most people understand the kritik to be made of three elementary parts: A link, an impact, and an alternative. However, beyond this, there often isn’t a lot of explanation about how the K functions besides as an indictment of some assumptions made on the part of the affirmative. In the 2 weeks session, we’ll go a lot deeper into the theory of what a kritik is and how it needs to be run.
In the case of the different parts of a criticism, we’ll look at what links mean about the affirmative and how different kinds of kritik links mean different things. We’ll not only explain the various kinds of kritik links, but how those links change the nature of the kritik. In this way, we’ll come to understand kritik links as changing how even the same sort of kritik can be run in very different ways. In terms of the impacts, we’ll be looking at various different ways to do impact calculus and how kritik impacts can compete with the affirmative at different scales—either on the same level of the plan or advocacy or beyond it. Finally, we’ll go in depth about what alternatives are. What, for example, makes the kritik any different from a critical counterplan? Parsing out the distinctions between a counterplan advocacy and an alternative will allow students not only to explore various different types of alternatives, but explore how kritiks are not just counter-advocacies, but different ideas about the purpose and method of debate as well as different theories of change. Exploring these parts in depth will allow students to not only master the kritiks they are familiar with, but explore and develop critical literature in order to construct their own kritiks and deploy the same literature base in a variety of different ways.
Beyond this, we’ll be taking a student-centered learning approach to different kritiks. Some students will want to learn the capitalism kritik and others will want to hear about Afropessimism and settler colonial theory while others will want to learn the intricate philosophy of Gilles Deleuze or Jean Baudrillard. Whether your interests are Nietzsche or queer theory, we’ll allow students to decide what kritiks they’re interested in so that they get the most out of their work, ensuring that everything they learn is translatable to the upcoming debate year.
Finally, for those less interested in the kritik, we’ll learn how to answer kritiks not only be exploring common answers to kritiks, but by examining how to answer the kritik on its own terms. In this way, we hope to reveal the kritik/policy divide to be largely artificially created and make sure that no matter your preferred debating style that you can deploy the tricks of kritiks to beat your opponents.
We can’t wait to see you this summer!