cultural studies

Valerie Scatamburlo valeries at YorkU.CA
Tue Aug 15 01:46:18 MDT 1995

On Aug 13,  3:15pm, Jon Beasley-Murray wrote:
> Subject: cultural studies
> I've always been surprised by the under-representation of cultural
> studies on this list.

Well I'm certain;y happy to see that others have observed this tendency.

> I see that there are easy criticisms to be made of much of the excess
> that cultural studies has spurred--myriad dissertations on how radical
> Madonna is, say.  But there are such excesses in any field, and much of
> cultural studies, historically and also now, seems to me to be serious,
> useful attempts to analyze "everyday life," consumer culture, popular
> history, and so on.

> >From the Frankfurt School through Gramsci, via Williams, Thompson, Hall,
> Hobsbawm, the Birmingham School, Eagleton, and now the US
> efflorescence.... cultural studies seems to provide resources for
> thinking through topics that have appeared on the list such as
> subjectivity, identity politics, the role of the State.  So, why not?  My
> only guess is that cultural studies has become the marxist pariah,

Certain strands of cultural studies deserve to be the fodder of Marxist
pariah; however, there are strands of cultural studies which offer very
important insights into contemporary cultural and political life.  I  am
happy to see that someone acknowledges these insights - the task before us
now is to initiate such discussions - discussions in which we take the
insights of cultural studies seriously.

> claiming the radical ground for itself from English departments (though
> this is the case mostly for the US, not the UK) while forgetting both a)
> politics exterior to the academy and b) even real interdisciplinary work in
> the academy.

Not all strands of  cultural studies have forsaken a politics exterior to the
academy and many have advocated transdisciplinary work (please note that an
important distinction should be made between interdisciplinary and
transdisciplinary work - the two are fundametally different - politically and
pedagogically speaking )

 	 I personally would like to thank Jon for raising this issue and if
there is a hostility to cultural studies among the "Marxists" on this list  -
I think that in itself would be fodder for discussion.   After all, there is
something known as Marxist cultural studies!!!!

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