Thursday, July 14, 2011

call for essays/ Marxism and Cultural Studies

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 5,000-7,000 words including notes

Send proposals and essays to Joan Hawkins, editor and Jen Heusel, editorial assistant

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.