Why Cultural Studies? is a rallying call for a reinvigoration of the project of cultural studies that provides a critical analysis of its meteoric rise to the academic fore and makes a convincing argument for the pressing need for a renewed investment in, and re-evaluation of, its core ideals. Rodman argues that there are valuable lessons we can learn from cultural studies’ past that have the potential to lead cultural studies to an invigorated and viable future Makes the claim that cultural studies isn’t – and shouldn’t be – solely an academic subject, but open to both academics and non-academics alike Asserts that now more than ever cultural studies has a productive role to play in promoting social justice and building a better world Written by one of the leading figures in the area of cultural studies, and the current Chair of the Association for Cultural Studies
Preface vii Acknowledgments xviii 1 Cultural Studies: What’s the Point? 1 2 Cultural Studies: What It Is 35 3 Cultural Studies: What’s Wrong 67 4 Cultural Studies: What It Was 120 5 Cultural Studies: What Next? 158 Index 199
Gilbert B. Rodman is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota. His publications include Elvis After Elvis: The Posthumous Career of a Living Legend (1996), Race in Cyberspace (2000), and The Race and Media Reader (2014). He is currently the Chair of the Association for Cultural Studies, and the founder/manager of CULTSTUD-L, the longest running international cultural studies listserv in the world.
Why Cultural Studies? is a rallying call for a reinvigoration of the project of cultural studies. Rodman argues that cultural studies practitioners need to focus on the lessons embedded in the project’s past while also reinventing how cultural studies is currently being done, in order to ensure that it has a vibrant and viable future. The book argues in favor of cultural studies as an intellectual and political pursuit, but contends that it is not, and never should be, solely an academic subject. Rather, it is a project that is open to contributions from academics and non-academics alike. Rodman asserts the need for cultural studies to revive its understanding of itself as a politically interventionist project that has an important role to play in promoting social justice and building a better world. Written by one of the leading figures of the project, Why Cultural Studies? is an impassioned polemic that sets out to ensure the future of cultural studies, and that will prove to be a vital and provocative text for cultural studies practitioners of all sorts.
"Why Cultural Studies? pushes us to reclaim the project of cultural studies as, before all else, a political one, committed to changing the world. It is an important intellectual call to arms.” Lawrence Grossberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill “This rousing polemic aims to shake up the familiar stories of cultural studies and suggest new ways of raising questions with which to approach its place in present and future conjunctures. It is engagingly written and will re-invigorate debates both inside and outside the academy.” Ann Gray, University of Lincoln
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