Call for essays: Culture Theory and Critique special themed issue on Marxism and Cultural Studies (special thanks to Indiana University’s Cultural Studies Program)
Many accounts of the emergence and development of Cultural Studies accord a central place to Marxism, both as a body of knowledge and as an important ideological component of the New Left. The rediscovery of the writings of Antonio Gramsci, George Luckacs, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor Adorno, among others, along with the formation of the Birmingham Centre for Cultural Studies, led to a general renaissance of Marxist theory and cultural analysis, which in turn resulted in ground-breaking studies of working class culture, the political role of new social movements that were not class based, the power of ideology and mass culture in sustaining existing social relations, and critical analyses of state-authoritarianism. As Cultural Studies crossed the Atlantic and gained an institutional foothold in the United States, some have feared that its engagement with Marxism has been diluted through an over emphasis on the subversive potentialities of mass media and consumer capitalism.
Some possible questions to consider:
How do we understand the relationship between the base and superstructure today? Does ideology critique still have an ongoing usefulness? Do globalization and the world recession require new objects of study? To what extent does Marxism provide a utopian impulse for existing social movements? Do iterations of Cultural Studies in South Asia, Africa, Central and Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe retain a commitment to Marxism and how is this work revitalizing the field more broadly? Does the Marxist imperative to historicize challenge current paradigms of cultural analysis such as the “New Formalism”? What exactly does a historical materialist methodology enable? How do we articulate media analyses with questions of political economy, geo-politics, and activism? What is the role of the intellectual and Cultural Studies more generally?
We welcome essays that address any of these issues. The questions are not meant to be proscriptive, however, and we welcome queries about possible article content.
Abstracts (250-500 words) due Sept 15, 2011; final essays need to be submitted for peer review by Oct 31, 2011; length of final essays to be 5,000-7,000 words including notes
Send abstracts and essays to Joan Hawkins, editor and Jen Heusel, editorial assistant to firstname.lastname@example.org
Culture, Theory and Critique is a refereed, interdisciplinary journal for the transformation and development of critical theories in the humanities and social sciences. It aims to critique and reconstruct theories by interfacing them with one another and by relocating them in new sites and conjunctures. Culture, Theory and Critique' approach to theoretical refinement and innovation is one of interaction and hybridisation via recontextualisation and transculturation.