Cultural studies

Dreams and Modernity: A Cultural History explores the dream as a distinctively modern object of inquiry and as a fundamental aspect of identity and culture in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

While dreams have been a sustained object of fascination from the ancient world to the present, what sets this period apart is the unprecedented interest in dream writing and interpretation in the psychological sciences, and the migration of these ideas into a wide range of cultural disciplines and practices.

Authors Helen Groth and Natalya Lusty examine how the intensification and cross-fertilization of ideas about dreams in this period became a catalyst for new kinds of networks of knowledge across aesthetic, psychological, philosophical and vernacular domains. In uncovering a complex and diverse archive, Dreams and Modernity reveals how the explosion of interest in dreams informed the psychic, imaginative and intimate life of the modern subject.

Individual chapters in the book explore popular traditions of dream interpretation in the 19th century; the archival impetus of dream research in this period, including the Society for Psychical Research and the Mass Observation movement; and the reception and extension of Freud’s dream book in Britain in the early decades of the twentieth century.

This engaging interdisciplinary book will appeal to both scholars and upper level students of cultural studies, cultural history, Victorian studies, literary studies, gender studies and modernist studies.

The notion of identification, especially in the discourse of feminist theory, has come sharply and dramatically into focus with the recent interest in such topics as queer performativity, cross-dressing, and racial passing. Identification Papers is the first book to track the evolution of identification's emergence in psychoanalytic theory. Diana Fuss seeks to understand where this notion of identification has come from, and why it has emerged as one of the most difficult problems in contemporary theory and politics.

Identification Papers situates the recent critical interest in identification in the intellectual tradition that first gave the idea its theoretical relevance: psychoanalysis. Fuss begins from the assumption that identification has a history, and that the term carries with it a host of theoretical problems, conceptual difficulties, and ideological complications. By tracking the evolution of identification in Freud's work over a forty year period, Fuss demonstrates how the concept of identification is neither a theoretically neutral notion nor a politically innocent one.

Identification Papers closely examines the three principal figures -- gravity, ingestion, and infection -- that psychoanalysis invokes to theorize identification. Fuss then deconstructs the psychoanalytic theory of identification in order to open up the possibility of more innovative rethinkings of the political.

Drawing on literature, film, and Freud's own case histories, and engaging with a wide range of disciplines -- including critical theory, philosophy, film theory, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, and feminism -- Identification Papers will be a necessary starting point in any future theoretical project that seeks to mobilize the concept of identification for a feminist politics.

Praise for the first edition:

‘No one seriously interested in youth mass culture or style can afford to ignore this work.’ - Stanley Cohen, The Times Higher Education Supplement

‘The Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies deserves our gratitude for having begun to locate the real areas of discussion.’ - New Society

‘...affords an authoritative perspective of society’s subcultures amongst the young since the war. What it has to say about that legacy of rebellion deserves to be read by all involved with and seeking to understand young people.’ - ILEA Contact

This revised and expanded edition of Resistance through Rituals includes a new introduction to bring the reader fully up-to-date with the changes that have happened since the work’s first release in the double issue of Working Papers in Cultural Studies in 1975.

The work of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham has been noted as historically leading the field in new areas of enquiry within the field of cultural studies, and the papers from the Centre are canonical reading for many cultural studies students. This revised edition includes all the original, exceptional papers, and enhances these with the reflections of the editors thirty years after the original publication.

At a time when youth culture had been widely publicised, but few people understood its significance as one of the most striking and visible manifestations of social and political change, these papers redressed the balance. Looking in detail at the wide range of post-war youth subcultures, from teds, mods and skinheads to black Rastafarians, Resistance through Rituals considers how youth culture reflects and reacts to cultural change.

This text represents the collective understanding of the leading centre for contemporary culture, and serves to situate some of the most important cultural work of the twentieth century in the new millennium.

"This book presents a magisterial overview of Cultural Studies, and of studies of culture more broadly. It synthesizes a bewildering range of writers and ideas into a comprehensible narrative. It’s respectful to the history of ideas and completely cutting edge. I learned a lot – you will too."
- Professor Alan McKee, University of Technology Sydney

"The role of culture in spatial, digital and political settings is a vital aspect of contemporary life. Barker and Jane provide an excellent introduction to Cultural Studies’ relationship to these core issues, both through a clear explanation of key concepts and thinkers, alongside well chosen examples and essential questions."
- Dr David O′Brien, Goldsmiths, University of London

With over 40,000 copies sold, Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice has been the indispensable guide to studying culture for generations of students. Here is everything students need to know, with all the key concepts, theories and thinkers in one comprehensive, authoritative yet accessible resource.

Teaching students the foundations of cultural studies - from ideology, representation and discourse to audiences, subcultures and cultural policy - this revised edition:
  • Fully explores the ubiquity of digital media culture, helping readers analyse issues surrounding social media, surveillance, cyber-activism and more
  • Introduces students to all the key thinkers they’ll encounter, from Stuart Hall and Michel Foucault to Judith Butler and Donna Haraway
  • Balances the classics with cutting edge theory, including case studies on e-commerce, the self-help industry, the transgender debate, and representations of race
  • Embraces popular culture in all of its diversity, from drag kings and gaming, to anime fandom and remix cultures
  • Is re-written throughout with a new co-author, making it a more enjoyable read than ever.

Unmatched in coverage and used world-wide, this is the essential companion for all students of cultural studies, culture and society, media and cultural theory, popular culture and cultural sociology.

′What McRobbie manages to do so skilfully is to show how each [author], regardless of his or her particular disciplinary location, makes a significant contribution to the project of cultural studies. It should be essential reading for students studying culture′ - THES

′I′ll be recommending that students buy this text and teaching from it extensively over the course of the module. This is an excellent text by a concise, clear and important British scholar which will help introduce students to the opportuntities they have to study contemporary life meaningfully.′ - Dr Stuart Robertson, University of Central England

′An inspirational take on cultural studies - past, present and future. It is both a student text and considerably more than that. It is written with admirable clarity, but so too with fire, passion and much good sense′ - Bill Schwarz, Queen Mary, University of London

′This is an important book. It will be the first textbook in cultural studies that does what a truly useful textbook is supposed to do - in the very act of summarizing and representing the field, it recreates it anew and moves it further along′ - Lawrence Grossberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

′This is one of the most useful textbooks in a long time′ - Michele Barrett, Queen Mary, University of London

Students of cultural studies frequently struggle with the subject′s primary texts. For example, the work of Hall, Bhabha and Butler can be complex. Having grappled with these texts however, the student is then confronted with having to apply these insights to their own areas of study.

The heart of this book comprises a series of extended critical chapters on six of the foundational theorists of cultural studies - Hall, Bhabha, Butler, Gilroy, Bourdieu and Jameson. By looking at the key themes and central dynamics of these writers work, Angela McRobbie introduces their work and their contribution.

Alongside these chapters, McRobbie has added six shorter essays which demonstrate how one might actually do cultural studies using insights from these six key theorists.

Aimed at students of cultural studies this book offers an introduction to both the theory and practice of cultural studies. It also provides readers with an opportunity to regard Angela McRobbie ′in dialogue′ with six of today′s leading cultural studies theorists. As such it will be eagerly welcomed by all students of media and cultural theory.

"Graeme Turner is one of the most remarkable figures in the world of cultural studies. He has helped to make and remake the field over the last twenty-five years. So when he sets his alarm clock - and it goes off loudly - we all know it′s time to pay attention. This extraordinary testament to what is right and wrong with cultural studies today will reverberate across the globe."
Toby Miller, University of California

This original, sharp and engaging book draws the reader into a compelling exploration of cultural studies in the twenty-first century. It offers a level-headed account of where cultural studies has come from, the methodological and theoretical dilemmas that it faces today and an agenda for its future development.

In an age in which the relevance of cultural studies has been called into question, this book seeks to generate debate. Focusing upon the actual practice of cultural studies within the university today, it asks whether or not cultural studies has really managed to maintain a connection with its original political and ethical mission and comments on the strategies needed to regain the initiative.

Written by a world class figure in cultural studies, each chapter supports and guides the reader by introducing the key issues, reviewing the relevant commentary and offering a critical conclusion of how each theme fits into a bigger picture. This timely and provocative consideration of cultural studies as a global discipline will be essential reading for academics and students working in the field for years to come.
`A Short Histrory of Cultural Studies will prove a seminal text for its author's erudition, wit and unmatched ability to re-embed abstract concepts and debates where they belong - in rich historical, political and cultural contexts' - Cultural Studies Review

'Hartley's book is refreshing, breathtaking, and quite a lot of fun. Given its relatively small size, the book can't do everything, but it does introduce the reader to this rich area of contemporary academic life' - Communication Research Trends

'An entertaining and innovative approach to the history of cultural studies' - TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies

`Cultural studies will never be the same again. Whether you're new to the field or a tired old jade, John Hartley's latest will have you sitting bolt upright in your seat. Each chapter is brimming with insight and innovation. A landmark book' - Toby Miller Professor of Cultural Studies and Cultural Policy, New York University

A Short History of Cultural Studies will be devoured by students by virtue of its uncluttered and often wickedly humorous style. But it will also concentrate the minds of those who lecture and research in the subject, by offering a novel and challenging account of the rise and temper of the subject today.

This is the first history of cultural studies. Other books have explored the British and North American traditions, but this is the first guide to the ideas, purposes and controversies that have shaped the subject. The author sheds new light on neglected pioneers and a clear route map through the terrain. He provides lively critical narratives on a dazzling array of key figures including, Arnold, Barrell, Bennett, Carey, Fiske, Foucault, Grossberg, Hall, Hawkes, hooks, Hoggart, Leadbeater, Lissistzky, Malevich, Marx, McLuhan, McRobbie, D Miller, T Miller, Morris, Quiller-Couch, Ross, Shaw, Urry, Williams, Wilson, Wolfe and Woolf. He also examines a host of central themes in the subject including literary and political writing, publishing, civic humanism, political economy and Marxism, sociology, feminism, anthropology and the pedagogy of cultural studies.

′His wealth of scholarship and sharp insights make this a very fine book indeed. It is probably the fullest statement of Raymond Williams′s enduring influence upon cultural studies′ - Jim McGuigan, University of Loughborough

′An accessible, engaging book′ - TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies

This important book traces the continuing influence on contemporary cultural studies of the kinds of cultural materialism developed by Raymond Williams and his successors. Williams now often appears in cultural studies as a vaguely remembered ′founding father′, rather than a theorist whose work is still actively relevant to our present condition. Milner′s book restores Williams to a central position in relation to the formation and development of cultural studies. It stresses the differences between Williams and that other founding father, Richard Hoggart, arguing that the label ′culturalism′ cannot properly be applied to both. It argues that Williams stands in an essentially analogous relation to the British ′culturalist′ tradition as do Foucault and Bourdieu to French structuralism and Habermas to German critical theory and that his cultural materialism is not so much culturalist as positively ′post-culturalist′.

To those who have complained that contemporary cultural studies is insufficiently concerned with history, embeddedness and political economy, Milner suggests that this is so, in part, because Williams has become such a neglected resource. The book is a much needed reappraisal of the Williams approach, correcting misinterpretations and demonstrating its singular relevance to the problems and potentials facing cultural studies today. What emerges most powerfully is a logically consistent and penetrating way of ′doing cultural studies′ that successfully challenges many of the dominant approaches in the field.

`This is a tour de force... It combines luminous discussion of the core conceptual issues of cultural studies, with a hard-headed, practical sense of how research in the field gets done. The result is a seriously smart, comprehensive survey of the whole terrain of cultural studies itself. This is a book on methods which readers will be able to make their own; and which -- uniquely in the genre -- will keep them buzzing′ -

Bill Schwarz, Queen Mary University of London

The Practice of Cultural Studies is an original introduction to the field. It offers a sophisticated "how-to" guide to doing research in cultural studies. From the difficulties of formulating a problem to the unique articulations of specific methodologies in cultural studies, students will find this book both useful and challenging′ - Professor Lawrence Grossberg, University of North Carolina

What is distinctive about cultural research? How does one do Cultural Studies? Unlike many other disciplines, cultural studies has not been explict about the nature of its practice. This book aims to redress the balance in favour of those who are studying culture by providing a comprehensive guide to researching and writing. Based on the methods course at Nottingham Trent and addressed to advanced undergraduates, Masters Level students and those just commencing a PhD, this book aims to provide an overview of specific research traditions in cultural studies, whilst also situating those traditions in their historical context.

The Practice of Cultural Studies:

· Identifies the main methods of researching culture

· Demonstrates how theory can inform and enable the practice of research

· Explores the ways in which research practices and methods both produce and are produced by knowledge

· Looks at the implications of the ′cultural turn′ for disciplines other than cultural studies

The Practice of Cultural Studies will be an essential text for students of cultural studies and a useful guide to others studying culture in a range of disciplinary contexts across the humanities and social sciences.

′This is an Excellent textbook and a valuable addition to the growing field of ′how to′ books providing advice and guidance for practitioners and students wishing to undertake fieldwork of an ethnographic nature.... this books deserves to be high on your reading list′

- Active Learning in Higher Education

`Gray′s book tells us an important story, starting from the epistemological and methodological background of a number of key studies in the Birgmingham tradition, it explores how to make use of these research experiences and how to deploy "experience" as a tool for research′ -

Roberta Sassatelli, School of Economic and Social Studies, University of East Anglia

How is culture `lived′? What are the best ways of investigating cultural life? This timely, assured and accessible book has three objectives. First, it seeks to give a critical selective account of the main ethnographic methods that have influenced cultural studies. Second, it offers practical guidance on the craft of research, from formulating a topic to presenting it in written form. Third, it provides help with key questions of evaluative criteria and values in the research process.

This is one of the first cultural studies books to address the question of the research process in detail. Students who want to do empirical research will find the book to be an indispensable resource that will enable them to focus on the correct issues and ask the right questions for effective research. The book develops a set of research practices that are appropriate to a critical understanding of culture, power and everyday life. It will rapidly establish itself as the lecturer′s stand-by and the student′s friend for all issues relating to qualitative research in cultural studies.

"An outstanding achievement... Graeme Turner writes with power and persuasion, and brilliantly explores what it is about celebrity today that should concern us all"
- Sean Redmond, Deakin University

"A key touchstone for celebrity studies. Turner thoughtfully illuminates the variety of production and consumption practices through which celebrity circulates today, whilst remaining sensitive to the complexity of power relations in play. An essential read for students and scholars in the field"
- Sue Holmes, University of East Anglia

"Cements Turner’s status as the most important figure in celebrity studies... Turner’s gaze fixes on developments in digital, social and global mediascapes, drawing media and celebrity studies into complex critical, political and cultural debates in his indomitable style"
- James Bennett, Royal Holloway, University of London

"An extraordinary synthesis of research and theory... Understanding Celebrity remains the go-to text of celebrity studies"
- Joshua Gamsom, University of San Francisco
Where does the production of celebrity end and its consumption begin?

Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and reality TV allow us a previously unimagined engagement with the manufactured ′persona′ of celebrity. Understanding Celebrity has become the go-to text for understanding the connection between the production and consumption of this ′persona′. The long-awaited second edition assesses the changing nature of this pivotal relationship in celebrity studies.

The book:

  • Explains how social media is key in establishing an online presence for celebrities
  • Critically analyses the changing nature of fan culture within the online environment
  • Delves into a richer and more detailed account of the history of celebrity
  • Examines in greater depth the increased role of reality TV
  • Incorporates recent contributions from feminist scholars to the field

Enriched with new examples drawn from popular culture, this is a contemporary and incisive look at celebrity studies.

Understanding Celebrity is not only an essential text, but a stimulating read for students studying celebrity and popular culture across media studies, cultural studies and sociology.

We all have dreams—things we fantasize about doing and generally never get around to. This is the story of Azar Nafisi’s dream and of the nightmare that made it come true.

For two years before she left Iran in 1997, Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. They were all former students whom she had taught at university. Some came from conservative and religious families, others were progressive and secular; several had spent time in jail. They were shy and uncomfortable at first, unaccustomed to being asked to speak their minds, but soon they began to open up and to speak more freely, not only about the novels they were reading but also about themselves, their dreams and disappointments. Their stories intertwined with those they were reading—Pride and Prejudice, Washington Square, Daisy Miller and Lolita—their Lolita, as they imagined her in Tehran.

Nafisi’s account flashes back to the early days of the revolution, when she first started teaching at the University of Tehran amid the swirl of protests and demonstrations. In those frenetic days, the students took control of the university, expelled faculty members and purged the curriculum. When a radical Islamist in Nafisi’s class questioned her decision to teach The Great Gatsby, which he saw as an immoral work that preached falsehoods of “the Great Satan,” she decided to let him put Gatsby on trial and stood as the sole witness for the defense.

Azar Nafisi’s luminous tale offers a fascinating portrait of the Iran-Iraq war viewed from Tehran and gives us a rare glimpse, from the inside, of women’s lives in revolutionary Iran. It is a work of great passion and poetic beauty, written with a startlingly original voice.

Praise for Reading Lolita in Tehran

“Anyone who has ever belonged to a book group must read this book. Azar Nafisi takes us into the vivid lives of eight women who must meet in secret to explore the forbidden fiction of the West. It is at once a celebration of the power of the novel and a cry of outrage at the reality in which these women are trapped. The ayatollahs don’ t know it, but Nafisi is one of the heroes of the Islamic Republic.”—Geraldine Brooks, author of Nine Parts of Desire
New York Times Bestseller: An “elegant” mosaic of trenchant observations on the late sixties and seventies from the author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem (The New Yorker).

In this landmark essay collection, Joan Didion brilliantly interweaves her own “bad dreams” with those of a nation confronting the dark underside of 1960s counterculture.
 
From a jailhouse visit to Black Panther Party cofounder Huey Newton to witnessing First Lady of California Nancy Reagan pretend to pick flowers for the benefit of news cameras, Didion captures the paranoia and absurdity of the era with her signature blend of irony and insight. She takes readers to the “giddily splendid” Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the cool mountains of Bogotá, and the Jordanian Desert, where Bishop James Pike went to walk in Jesus’s footsteps—and died not far from his rented Ford Cortina. She anatomizes the culture of shopping malls—“toy garden cities in which no one lives but everyone consumes”—and exposes the contradictions and compromises of the women’s movement. In the iconic title essay, she documents her uneasy state of mind during the years leading up to and following the Manson murders—a terrifying crime that, in her memory, surprised no one.
 
Written in “a voice like no other in contemporary journalism,” The White Album is a masterpiece of literary reportage and a fearless work of autobiography by the National Book Award–winning author of The Year of Magical Thinking (The New York Times Book Review). Its power to electrify and inform remains undiminished nearly forty years after it was first published.
 
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