Advertisement

Teaching Cultural Studies in the Undergraduate Curriculum: From the Abstract to the Concrete, and Back Again

  • Sean Johnson AndrewsEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Now that almost half a century has passed since the first moment of the academic institutionalization of the field of cultural studies in the Centre of Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University in 1964, cultural studies is a more established, even “global,” intellectual phenomenon and practice in the academy. But while it is increasingly common to encounter cultural studies at the graduate level, the status and place of cultural studies at the undergraduate level remains, with few exceptions, largely uncertain. One notable exception is the relatively successful undergraduate program in cultural studies where the present author teaches. This chapter is a chronicle and contexualization of the curriculum of that program. The author discusses the challenges and merits of teaching cultural studies and critical theory in the context of a largely media and arts school in Chicago in an age of economic uncertainty and ballooning student debt. The aim is to generate and stimulate a productive conversation about the institutional, theoretical, and pedagogical challenges and rewards of such a project: cultural studies in the undergraduate curriculum.

References

  1. Arum, R., & Roksa, J. (2011). Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Barker, C. (2011). Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice (4th ed.). Los Angeles/London: SAGE Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
  3. Bloom, A. (2012). Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students. (Reissue ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  4. Bratta, P. M. (2009). Flag Display Post-9/11: A Discourse on American Nationalism. The Journal of American Culture, 32(3), 232–243.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1542-734X.2009.00713.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. du Gay, P., et al. (2013). Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of the Sony Walkman (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
  6. Fraser, N. (1990). Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy. Social Text, 25/26, 56–80.  https://doi.org/10.2307/466240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fraser, N. (2013a). A Triple Movement?. New Left Review. (II), 81, 119–132.Google Scholar
  8. Fraser, N. (2013b). Fortunes of Feminism: From State-Managed Capitalism to Neoliberal Crisis (1st ed.). Brooklyn: Verso.Google Scholar
  9. Gelernter, J. (2016). The Liberal Fantasy of Cultural Appropriation, National Review. Available at https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/02/cultural-appropriation-leftists-rewrite-history/. Accessed 18 Sept 2018.
  10. Hall, S. (1990). The Emergence of Cultural Studies and the Crisis of the Humanities. October, 53, 11–23.  https://doi.org/10.2307/778912.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hall, S. (2016). Cultural Studies 1983: A Theoretical History. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hartman, A. (2018). The Culture Wars Are Dead, The Baffler. Available at https://thebaffler.com/outbursts/culture-wars-are-dead-hartman. Accessed 18 Sept 2018.
  13. Johnson, R. (1986). What Is Cultural Studies Anyway? Social Text, 16, 38–80.  https://doi.org/10.2307/466285.
  14. Johnson, R., Chambers, D., Raghuram, P., & Tincknell, E. (2004). The Practice of Cultural Studies (1st ed.). London/Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
  15. Kamenetz, A. (2010). DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education. White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing.Google Scholar
  16. Lane, C. M. (2011). A Company of One: Insecurity, Independence, and the New World of White Collar Unemployment. Ithaca: ILR Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lloyd, R. D. (2010). Neo-Bohemia: Art and Commerce in the Postindustrial City (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McRobbie, A. (2005). The Uses of Cultural Studies: A Textbook (1st ed.). London/Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
  19. McRobbie, A. (2016). Be Creative: Making a Living in the New Culture Industries (1st ed.). Cambridge/Malden: Polity.Google Scholar
  20. Mouffe, C., & Errejón, Í. (2016). Podemos: In the Name of the People. London: Lawrence & Wishart Ltd.Google Scholar
  21. Nagle, A. (2017). Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4Chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right. Winchester/Washington, DC: Zero Books.Google Scholar
  22. Rose, G. (2016). Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to Researching with Visual Materials (4th ed.). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
  23. Ross, A. (2003). No-Collar: The Humane Workplace and Its Hidden Costs. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  24. Ryan, M. (2010). Cultural Studies: A Practical Introduction by Michael Ryan. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  25. Sardar, Z. (2010). Introducing Cultural Studies: A Graphic Guide. (Reprint ed.). London: Icon Books.Google Scholar
  26. Saukko, P. (2003). Doing Research in Cultural Studies: An Introduction to Classical and New Methodological Approaches (1st ed.). London/Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
  27. Shirky, C. (2013). Your Massively Open Offline College Is Broken, The Awl. Available at https://web.archive.org/web/20130207202132/http://www.theawl.com/2013/02/how-to-save-college
  28. Tokumitsu, M. (2014). In the Name of Love, Jacobin.com. Available at https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/01/in-the-name-of-love/. Accessed 27 Mar 2016.
  29. Tokumitsu, M. (2015). Do What You Love: And Other Lies About Success and Happiness. New York: Regan Arts.Google Scholar
  30. Turner, G. (2002). British Cultural Studies (3rd ed.). London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Humanities, History, and Social SciencesColumbia College ChicagoChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations