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Cultural Studies

Our group presentation to teach our classmates about the development of cultural studies as a disciplin within English studies.

Theresa Hoffmann

on 28 October 2013

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Transcript of Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies:
Slaying the Hydra

Jean Franco's factors:
the cultural turn in the social sciences
a rising interest in subcultures
the media's influence in everyday life
the perceived elitism of literary studies
the increasing fluidity of boundaries between disciplines.

Defining Cultural Studies
Little agreement among critics of what Cultural Studies is.
Little understanding of the regional variations
But we use them as a teaching tool.
"Cultural Studies" anthology lists a variety of methods used in the discipline, including
textual analysis
phonemic analysis
content analysis.
Defining Cultural Studies
No single theory supporting it.
Intersects many other disciplines: "communication studies, media studies, postcolonial studies, feminist studies, ethnic studies, and urban studies" (Franco).
Cultural Studies in Britain
Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) founded in 1964 in Birmingham.
Organic Intellectuals separating themselves from "elite academia" (Franco).

Some Key Scholars
Richard Hoggart's The Uses of Literacy (1970)
Stuart Hall (acting director of CCCS 1969-79)
Dick Hebdige
The Meaning of Style (1979)
Hiding in the Light: On Images and Things (1988)
Paul Gilroy's There Aint No Black in the Union Jack (1997)
What is Cultural Studies?
Consistencies in Cultural Studies ultimately come from common concerns and methodologies.
Cultural critics are concerned with reproducing culture via "structural determinations."
The method for that is historical materialism.
Defining Cultural Studies
Concerned with subjectivity and power dynamics.
Focused on how human subjects are made.
In part political.
Seeks to bring about progressive change.
One of the few consistent features of the movement.
Paul Smith believes that not having a defined methodology undermines the discipline.
Post Modernism and Cultural Studies
Both seen as a tendency as opposed to a theory.
Not being asked about a single subject of thought, but what a number of people are thinking.
Brann: "an incredulity toward metanarratives."
Cultural Studies IS the postmodern discipline.
Have similar views of art.
Andy Warhol
Cultural Studies and Everyday Life
John Fiske argues: no distancing art from everyday life.
Materiality of popular culture correlated with "economic materiality" and oppression.
Hard for academics to study culture because art and everyday life are inseparable.
Fiske places an emphasis on personal space
Conflicts with the larger social space.
American Cultural Studies
Foundational Theory and History
The Issue of Individual Identity
Global Americanization

Foundational Theory and History
Mass Culture:
Dwight McDonald :
"A Theory of Mass Culture" (1957)

New Journalism:
Tom Wofle, Hunter S. Thompson
Joan Didion, Susan Sontag

Global Americanization and Identity:

Imperialist Force or Democratic Ideal?

John Harley:
"Cultural Exceptionalism: Freedom, Imperialism, Power, America." (2000)

The Issue of Individual Identity:

Gender, Race and Ethnicity:
Individuality, Representation and Agency in the shadow of Mass Culture.

Lawrence Grossberg - "Identity and Cultural Studies: Is That All There Is?" (1996)
Latin American Cultural Studies:
History and National Identity
Cultural Imperialism
Cultural Hybridity
History and National Identity:
Populsim and National Cultural Autonomy

Globalization and Post-modernism:
Carlos Monsivais
"Mexican Postcards"
Cultural Imperialism:
Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart: "How to Read Donald Duck" (1972)
Cultural Hybridity:
Nestor Garcia Canclini:
Transforming Modernity: Popular Culture in Mexico
Hybrid Cultures (1990)
Full transcript