Week 3: The British Tradition and its Translation

September 8, 2009


Read Raymond Williams, “Culture is Ordinary” for today. Clifton Atkinson will lead class discussion for this essay, as outlined in course syllabus.

Read also excerpts from Doing Cultural Studies edited by du Gay, Hall, Jane, Mackay, & Negus. Victoriya Baskin will lead class discussion for this essay. This packet should be available in my mailbox, 3rd floor Dekalb, Tomorrow by 6pm. I will email you when they are there.


2 Responses to “Week 3: The British Tradition and its Translation”

  1. Marzena Says:

    In reading the “Cultural Studies” comic strip, I was struck by the idea that Cultural Studies a moral practice (p8). I am not sure I know what is meant by morality in this context and how one can do a “moral evaluation of modern society?” Any thoughts?

  2. sachafrey Says:

    Marzena, this is a great comment! You’ve touched on the “stickiness” of cultural studies itself: that it is at once part of the academy, institutionally bound by its own discourses and a tradition of “disengaged” study, while it attempts at the same time to do the work of what Gramsci calls the “organic intellectual”–that is an intellectual of “the people,” one who is politically “engaged” in their causes. This certainly speaks to the problem of studying culture from the apparently “disengaged” space of academia. How then does morality function in this tension?

    Your comment also points to the problem of claiming “morality,” in the wake of postmodern scholarship and within the context of a “postmodern” world–where claims to single transcendent “truths” are understood as problematic and sometimes even dangerous. This is such a loaded subject, I would love to hear more about what others think. Can we, as Marzena asks, “do cultural studies” in a morally engaged way?

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