Creativity and Academic Activism: Instituting Cultural Studies

Hong Kong University Press
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This work explores in detail how innovative academic activism can transform our everyday workplaces in contexts of considerable adversity. Personal essays by prominent scholars provide critical reflections on their institution-building triumphs and setbacks across a range of cultural institutions. Often adopting narrative approaches, the contributors examine how effective programmes and activities are built in varying local and national contexts within a common global regime of university management policy. Here they share experiences based on developing new undergraduate degrees, setting up research centers and postgraduate schools, editing field-shaping book series and journals, establishing international artist-in-residence programs and founding social activist networks. This book also investigates the impact of managerialism, marketization and globalization on university cultures, asking what critical cultural scholarship can do in such increasingly adversarial conditions. Experiments in Asian universities are emphasized as exemplary of what can or could be achieved in other contexts of globalized university policy. Contributors include Tony Bennett, Stephen Ching-Kiu Chan, Kuan-Hsing Chen, Douglas Crimp, Dai Jinhua, John Nguyet Erni, Josephine Ho, Koichi Iwabuchi, Tejaswini Niranjana, Wang Xiaoming, and Audrey Yue.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Hong Kong University Press
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Published on
Sep 1, 2012
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Pages
312
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ISBN
9789888139392
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Organizations & Institutions
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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"Meticulously attentive to the complex nuances and intricacies of what is too easily glossed as 'cross-cultural communication', these essays offer us a unique, writerly perspective on what it takes, socially and textually, to reconcile the requirements of an effective shared discourse – cultural studies – with the intrinsic heterogeneity of our divergent glocal realities... an awesomely satisfying and enlightening read."
- Ien Ang, University of Western Sydney

How is identity produced in global 'textual environments'? What forms of narrative generate solidarity in a world in which globalization and trans-nationality can often appear to be a fait accompli?

This brilliant, coruscating book, written by one of the most formidable and original thinkers in cultural studies, examines questions of nationality, identity, the use of anecdote to build solidarity and the role of institutions in shaping culture. Ranging across many fields, including film and media, gender, nationality, globalization and popular culture, it provides a mind-clearing exercise in recognizing what culture is, and how it works, today.

Illustrated with a fund of relevant and insightful examples, it addresses the central questions in cultural studies today: identity, post-identity, the uses of narrative and textual analysis, the industrial organization of solidarity and the opportunities and dilemmas of globalization.

Penetrating, arresting and inimitable, the book is a major contribution to the field of cultural studies. It is of interest to students of cultural studies, media, film and cultural sociology.

Find Me Unafraid tells the uncommon love story between two uncommon people whose collaboration sparked a successful movement to transform the lives of vulnerable girls and the urban poor. With a Foreword by Nicholas Kristof.

This is the story of two young people from completely different worlds: Kennedy Odede from Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, and Jessica Posner from Denver, Colorado.  Kennedy foraged for food, lived on the street, and taught himself to read with old newspapers. When an American volunteer gave him the work of Mandela, Garvey, and King, teenaged Kennedy decided he was going to change his life and his community. He bought a soccer ball and started a youth empowerment group he called Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO). Then in 2007, Wesleyan undergraduate Jessica Posner spent a semester abroad in Kenya working with SHOFCO. Breaking all convention, she decided to live in Kibera with Kennedy, and they fell in love.Their connection persisted, and Jessica helped Kennedy to escape political violence and fulfill his lifelong dream of an education, at Wesleyan University.

The alchemy of their remarkable union has drawn the support of community members and celebrities alike—The Clintons, Mia Farrow, and Nicholas Kristof are among their fans—and their work has changed the lives of many of Kibera’s most vulnerable population: its girls. Jess and Kennedy founded Kibera’s first tuition-free school for girls, a large, bright blue building, which stands as a bastion of hope in what once felt like a hopeless place. But Jessica and Kennedy are just getting started—they have expanded their model to connect essential services like health care, clean water, and economic empowerment programs. They’ve opened an identical project in Mathare, Kenya’s second largest slum, and intend to expand their remarkably successful program for change.

Ultimately this is a love story about a fight against poverty and hopelessness, the transformation made possible by a true love, and the power of young people to have a deep impact on the world. 

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