programme

Contemporary Critical Theories II: Understanding Cultural Studies

Home/ Contemporary Critical Theories II: Understanding Cultural Studies
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSCC2FC3028

Semester and Year Offered: Monsoon 2013

Course Coordinator and Team: Dr. Vebhuti Duggal (currently)

Email of course coordinator: vebhuti@aud.ac.in

Pre-requisites: None

Course Objectives/Description:

This course is imagined as an integrating thread of all the M. A. Programmes offered by the School of Culture and Creative Expressions. Even though intricately connected to each other, this course is comprised of four parts, and is to be offered over the duration of four semesters. The first part provides a critical overview of various strands in contemporary critical theories by tracing their genealogies. The second part of the course concentrates on Cultural Studies as a discipline and its methodological and analytical departures from conventional disciplines of the Humanities and Social Sciences. The third part of this course provides a more focused study of theories on marginalities, especially in the context of gender, race, caste, class, sexualities, minority religions, ethnic communities and region. The second part of the course introduces Cultural Studies as a disciplinary formation. One of the primary objectives of the course is to trace the historical trajectories which led to the emergence of this discipline as well as various journeys it undertook in the course of time. It locates Cultural Studies in its historical, cultural, and intellectual contexts. The course would attempt to introduce key concepts and theories of Cultural Studies. It also attempts to familiarize students with several strands of cultural studies and their theoretical legacies. The course is comprised of reading of key texts of the important theorists of cultural studies and other related fields.

Course Outcomes:

  • To familiarize students with various theoretical discourses surrounding cultural studies, from which most of the studies programmes draw work/inspiration and prompting practice programmes to embed their practice in social-historical-cultural contexts, thus deepening their disciplinary knowledge of ‘culture.’
  • To enable critical thinking and analytical reasoning vis-a-vis a canon of writing from cultural studies and how the discipline has proceed in India.
  • To make the students of SCCE appreciate the link between their creative and scholarly work with cultural studies as a discipline as well as to make certain key themes (such as ideology, identity, everyday life, the popular and others) speak to them.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Week I-II

Contextualizing Cultural Studies

Readings/References

Raymond Williams, “Culture”, in Williams ed., Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, NY: OUP, 1983. Pp. 87-93.

Stuart Hall, “Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms”, in Media, Culture and Society. vol. 2, 1980. Pp. 57-72

Week III – Rethinking Representation

Readings/References

Stuart Hall, “Representation, Meaning and Language”, in Hall ed., Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, London: Sage, 1997 (new edition: 2003).

Paul Gilroy, “British Cultural Studies and the Pitfalls of Identity” in Meenakshi Gigi Durham and Douglas M. Kellner eds., Media and Cultural Studies: KeyWorks, UK: Blackwell, 2006 (revised edition).

Week IV – V – The Question of Ideology

Readings/References

“Ideology”, in Tony Bennett, Lawrence Grossberg and Meaghan Morris eds., New Keywords: A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and Society, Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2005

Ernesto Laclau, “Ideology and Post-Marxism”, in Journal of Political Ideologies, 11:2, The Meaning of Ideology: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives (II), 2006. Pp. 103-114.

Week VI-VII – Deconstructing the Popular

Readings/References

Stuart Hall, “Notes on Deconstructing the Popular”, in John Storey ed., Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader, London: Pearson, 2007. (new edition).

Pierre Bourdieu, “Did you say ‘popular’?”, in Language and Symbolic Power, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991.

David Forgacs, “National-Popular: Genealogy of a Concept”, in Simon During ed., Cultural Studies Reader, 2nd Edition, NY and London: Routledge, 2003.

John Fiske, “Cultural Studies and the Culture of Everyday Life” in Lawrence Grossberg, et al, eds., Cultural Studies, New York and London: Routledge, 1992. Pp. 154-165.

(Week – VIII: Mid-Term Assessment)

Week VIII-IX – Identity, Community and Cultures

Readings/References

Judith Butler, “Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire”, in Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, NY: Routledge, 1994

Cornel West, “The New Cultural Politics of Difference”, October, 53, Summer, 1990

Ernesto Laclau, “Universalism, Particularism, and the Question of Identity”, in October, Vol. 61, The Identity in Question, Summer, 1992. Pp. 83-90.

Dick Hebdige, “The Function of Subculture”, in Simon During ed., Cultural Studies Reader, 2nd Edition, NY and London: Routledge, 2003. Pp. 441-450.

Week X – XI – Rethinking Public Sphere

Readings/References

Stuart Hall, “Encoding, Decoding”, in Simon During ed., Cultural Studies Reader, 2nd Edition, NY and London: Routledge, 2003. Pp. 507-517.

Nancy Fraser, “Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy”, in Simon During ed., Cultural Studies Reader, 2nd Edition, NY and London: Routledge, 2003. Pp. 518-536.

Week XII – XIII – Cultural Studies and its Theoretical Legacies

Readings/References

Stuart Hall, “Cultural Studies and its Theoretical Legacies”, in David Morlay and Kuan-Hsing Chen eds., Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies, London: Routledge, 1996.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Scattered Speculation on the Question of Cultural Studies”, in Simon During ed., Cultural Studies Reader, 2nd Edition, NY and London: Routledge, 2003. Pp. 169-188.

Week XIV – XVI – Cultural Studies in India

Readings/References

Susie Tharu and K. Lalita, “Empire, Nation and the Literary Text”, in Tejaswini Niranjana, P. Sudhir and Vivek Dhareswar eds., Interrogating Modernity: Culture and Colonialism in India, Calcutta: Seagull, 1993. Pp. 199 - 219.

Tejaswini Niranjana, “Introduction’, in Tejaswini Niranjana, P. Sudhir and Vivek Dhareswar eds., Interrogating Modernity: Culture and Colonialism in India, Calcutta: Seagull, 1993. Pp. 1-18.

Partha Chatterjee, “Critique of Popular Culture”, in Public Culture, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2008, pp. 321-344.

Madhava Prasad, “Culture”, in International Encyclopaedia of the Social and Behavioural Science, Oxford; Elsevier Science, 2001.

Reading List:

See above.

ADDITIONAL REFERENCE:

See above.