English 491, section 002: Doing Cultural Studies

Seminars: W 1:00-3:00 in Buchanan D306

Prof. Kevin McNeilly
Office: BuTo 401, Phone: 822-4466
e-mail: mcneilly@interchange.ubc.ca
Office Hours, September to December 2004: Mondays, 1:00 to 3:00

Course Description


This seminar will explore the emergence and practice of the interdisciplinary field of Cultural Studies. Stuart Hall has defined Cultural Studies as "applied theory," suggesting that it involves the intervention of a variety of forms of critical theory including Marxism, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, feminism, post-colonial theory in the public or social or political realms. But the forms that such interventions take, as practices, can be variously complex and contradictory. We will attempt to sort through some of these critical approaches, to examine both their theoretical underpinnings and their modes of interaction with culture, which can itself range from the highbrow to the popular, from the avant garde to the everyday. Students will be encouraged to evolve their own projects, and to investigate using the paradigms and models we will study in the seminar their own immersion in and critical relation to their cultures. Attention will be paid to the ways in which cultural studies has evolved from, and also returns to, the "close reading, with a difference" (as the Dutch cultural theorist Mieke Bal has put it) of texts. We will also examine recent theories of visual culture and mass media (including television, film, advertising, and other repositories of the image). And we will focus on a recently re-issued "classic" of British Cultural Studies, Raymond Williams's The Long Revolution, both as a model for the practice of cultural studies at the intersections of the literary and the theoretical and as a case study in the continued relevance of this kind of critical work. The goal of the course will be to enable students to engage, in an informed manner, in the vital practice of cultural analysis.

Seminar Schedule

Seminars are Wednesdays from 1:00 to 3:00 in Buchanan D306
 Click here for a suggested presentation format.

September 8
What is Cultural Studies?
Please have a look, if you can, at "An Introduction to Cultural Studies" in the Barker text, pp. 3-31.

September 15
Literary into Cultural Studies
Please read "The Creative Mind" from Raymond Williams, The Long Revolution, pp. 19-56.
Please read "Dominici, or the Triumph of Literature" by Roland Barthes (During 42-45).
Click here for a set of links at "popcultures.com" on Raymond Williams.
Click here for a page called "What Is Culture?" that surveys, briefly, the topic, with reference to Williams, Matthew Arnold, Clifford Geertz and others.
Click here for a brief bio of and a list of works by Raymond Williams.
Click here for the entry on Williams from The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism.
Click here for a page on Williams (and Max Weber) from "K.I.S.S. of the Panopticon."
Click here for an excerpt on "discussion method in the tutorial class" by Williams.
Click here for "Culture is ordinary: Raymond Williams and cultural materialism" by Phil Edwards.
Click here for the homepage of the Raymond Williams Society.
Click here for an excerpt from an interview with Williams.
Click here for a very useful set of lecture notes, by Tony McNeill, on Roland Barthes's Mythologies. (There are three modules on Barthes's book that follow this one. The "Dominici" essay is mentioned in the second module.)
Click here for the text of "Myth Today" by Roland Barthes.
Click here for a "Reading Cultural Studies," a review of Simon During's Cultural Studies Reader (our textbook) by a student, Adam Katz.

September 22
Culture and Ideology 1
Please read Barker 55-87.
Please read Adorno and Horkheimer (During 31-41).
Seminar presentations: Chris Sartison, Patty Kelly
Click here for "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception" from Dialectic of Enlightenment.
Click here for a set of quotations and excerpts from Adorno's writings.
Click here for a *.pdf file of a paper by Douglas Kellner on the Frankfurt School.
Click here for an overview of Theodor Adorno's work.
Click here for a set of student notes on Dialectic of Enlightenment.
Click here for a biography of Adorno.
Click here for Illuminations, a website focusing on Frankfurt School Critical Theory.
Click here for "Critical Theory Today: Revisiting the Classics" by Douglas Kellner.

September 29
Culture and Ideology 2
Please read Dyer (During 371-381) and Williams (During 410-425).
Seminar presentations: Nobody, sadly.

October 6
Space, Regulation and Power 1
Please read Barker 347-373.
Please read de Certeau (During 125-133) and Foucault (During 134-141).
Click here for a bibliography on Michel de Certeau.
Click here for "Michel de Certeau and the Place of the Artist," a brief paragraph by Rob Van Craenenburg, University of Ghent.
Click here for some undocumented quotations from Certeau.
Click here for the program for "Michel de Certeau Now," a 2002 conference.
Click here for an electronic version of the General Introduction to The Practice of Everyday Life, by Michel de Certeau.
Click here for "An Uncanny Thinker: Michel de Certeau" by Alex Demeulenaere.
Click here for "Semiotic guerrilla tactics - Michel de Certeau."
Click here for "The World of Michel Foucault."
Click here for "Michel Foucault Resources."
Click here for a page of links on Foucault.
Click here for "Foucault, info."
Click here for Foucault Resources at theory.org.uk.
Click here for a page of links on Foucault at popcultures.com.
Seminar presentations: Tanya Vukoja

October 13
Space, Regulation and Power 2
Short essay due in class.
 Click here for a topic sheet for the short essay.
Please read Abbas (During 146-166) and Morris (During 391-409). (See also McRobbie on Benjamin, During 77-96.)
Seminar presentations: Nobody, again.

October 20
The Linguistic Turn
Please read Barker 88-121 and 315-345.
Please read Hall (During 507-517).
Seminar presentations: Perrin Lindelauf, Christian Pangilinan
Click here for a Stuart Hall Index.
Click here for Stuart Hall-o-Rama.
Click here for a page on Stuart Hall from Marxist Media Theory by Daniel Chandler.
Click here for a brief page of links on Stuart Hall.
Click here for a profile of Stuart Hall.
Click here for Cultural Studies Stuart Hall.
Click here for "Revealed: How UK media fuelled race prejudice."

October 27
CLASS CANCELLED

November 3
Postmodernism
Please read Barker 186-214.
Please read Lyotard (During 142-145) and Butler (During 340-353).
Seminar presentations: Lauren Sweeney, Kathryn Hepburn
Short essays graded and returned.
Click here for pages on Judith Butler at theory.org.uk.
Click here for a Judith Butler bibliography.
Click here for a more extensive Butler bibliography.
Click here for an overview of Butler's Gender Trouble by Prof. Mary Klages, University of Colorado, Boulder.
Click here for Judith Butler's homepage at UC Berkeley.
Click here for an introduction to Judith Butler by Dino Felluga.

November 10
Subjectivities
Please read Barker 219-245.
Please read Bhabha (During 189-208) and Hall (During 97-109).
Click here for a brief overview of Homi Bhabha's work.
Click here for an introduction to Homi Bhabha's Presidential Lectures at Stanford University, by Glen Worthey.
Click here for a brief biography of Bhabha.
Click here for an excellent bibliography of Bhabha's work.
Click here for a Harvard Gazette article on Bhabha.
Click here for a few quotations from Bhabha's The Location of Culture.
Click here for a 1995 interview with Bhabha by W.J.T. MItchell.
Click here for "Miniaturizing Modernity: Shahzia Sikander in Conversation with Homi K. Bhabha."
Seminar presentations: Steve Rosenblatt, Graham Preston

November 17
Race and Nation
Please read Barker 247-277.
Please read Spivak (During 169-188), Forgacs (During 209-219) and Appadurai (During 220-230).
Seminar presentations: Sarvi Mirbagheri, Natalie Chow, Axelle D'Anglemont
Click here for an overview of Gayatri Chkravorty Spivak's work.
Click here for a brief explanation of Spivak's Presidential lectures at Stanford University.
Click here for Spivak's faculty page at Columbia University.
Click here for a useful page of links on Spivak's work.
Click here for Spivak's letter to the New York Times, condemning their obituary of Jacques Derrida.
Click here for an interview with Gayatri Spivak.
Click here for a video of a Spivak lecture: "Gayatri Spivak: The Trajectory of the Subaltern in My Work."
Click here for Resources on Antonio Gramsci.
Click here for "Marxist Internet Archive: Antonio Gramsci."
Click here for the theory.org.uk page on Gramsci.
Click here for the Gramsci Links Archive.
Click here for a page on Gramsci and pedagogy; there is some discussion of the "organic intellectual."
Click here for the homepage of the International Gramsci Society.
Click here for a page on Arjun Appadruai by Layla Al-Zubaidi.
Click here for a review by Imre Szeman of Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization by Arjun Appadurai.
Click here for an interview with Appadurai.
Click here for "New logics of violence" by ARJUN APPADURAI.

November 24
Going Queer
Please read Barker 279-314.
Please read de Lauretis (During 307-319), Sedgwick (During 320-339) and Berlant and Warner (During 354-368).
Seminar presentations: Sarah Munro, Heidi Waechtler

December 1
Technologies
Please read Barker 153-185.
Please read Haraway (During 271-291) and Chow (During 462-476).
Seminar presentations: Sean Starke, Rebecca Campbell

Date and Location TBA The Long Revolution
Please read Williams, The Long Revolution

Friday, December 17
Major Paper due. Please submit your paper in the main English Department office (BuTo397) by no later than 4:30. Marked papers will be returned to you at my office (BuTo401) on the first day of classes in the winter term.
Click here for a topic sheet for the major essay.