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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2017-18

MALS 318 Cultural Studies

Perhaps because of its capacity to cut across social and political interests and transgress disciplinary boundaries, Cultural Studies has provoked highly contradictory descriptions of its politics and academic location. Cultural Studies has been described as the academic location where the politics of difference -- racial, sexual, economic, transnational -- can combine and be articulated in all of their theoretical complexity. It has also been depicted as an academic containment strategy designed to tame cultural otherness through the universalization of the "idea" of culture and the resistance to theory. In this course we shall analyze the work of scholars -- bell hooks, Douglas Crimp, Janice Radway, Paul Gilroy, Stuart Hall, Homi Bhabha, Andrew Ross, Meaghan Morris, Elsbeth Probyn, Michael Warner, Rey Chow, Cornel west, Kobena Mercer, Judith Butler, among others -- who explicitly reflect upon the importance of conceptualizing and defining this diverse and often contentious enterprise. In addition to examining the social and institutional geneology of the field, we shall deploy disparate methodological practices developed within the field of Cultural Studies to analyze a range of cultural artifices including: film noir, television soap operas, rap music, Hollywood blockbusters, borderlands discourse, whiteness studies and postcolonial theory.


Donald Pease; Patricia McKee