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Cultural Studies and Beyond: Fragments of…

Cultural Studies and Beyond: Fragments of Empire (1995)

by Ioan Davies

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The two empires which block this cold war are cold 'nay-toe' and 'double-you-toe'. This is perhaps because they meet along the margins and are 'toe-to-toe' with each other. Within each toe there are subsidiary tribes, clients, and toenails, such as 'Great Britain' (where I am cooped) which is a little satrapy of nay-toe used by its officers for parking their nukes. (E.P Thompson 1988: 221-2)
According to some contemporary theorists of literature we are living in an age when books as we traditionally conceive them are no longer possible. The word 'book' implies a degree of coherence and organisation which is neither appropriate nor desirable in a world where the individual voice has been decentred, disinherited, stripped of its imaginary resonances. The shining that seemed in an earlier epoch to surround and sanctify the gush of human utterance in written form melts away as a book and the voice dissolve into a plethora of half-completed 'texts', voices, incommensurable 'positions'. Between the two moments - a world of a difference. (Hebdige 1988:7)
Wile the creeds of both Marxists and feminists contain truths, along with anomalies and absurdities, the business of spotting which are which requires the services of an alert and active brain. Traditionally, the purpose of the best kind of Western liberal education was to train that vital part of our anatomy: to prepare it to think clearly and logically as well as to respond intuitively. The future of agreeable civilisation depends heavily on such human ability, but those who would create more rigid regimes are right in seeking to destroy this facility altogether.... Those in authority in doubt about what is happening could do no better than to arrange for the monitoring of courses in fine art at Goldsmiths' College or those in modern art history at the Courtauld Institute of the University of Leeds. (Auty 1993: 34)
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The English, like any other society, had forms of 'cultural studies' long before the term was coined.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0415038375, Paperback)

This lively book will be essential to all those attempting to understand the state of Cultural Studies in the West today. Ion Davies, who was in at the birth of Cultural Studies in Britain and followed its development in many parts of the world, is uniquely qualified to add historical depth and comparative breadth to this subject. Introducing the central theoretical issues, as well as the key personalities, Cultural Studies and Beyond traces the origins, growth and diffusion of the subject.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:15 -0400)

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