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Cultural studies

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posted on 25.09.2014, 08:53 authored by Brian JarvisBrian Jarvis
Why do literature students need to know about cultural studies? There are two main reasons. Firstly, cultural studies is partly responsible for the shape of the syllabus in many English departments in the twenty-first century. It was involved in the challenge to the traditional ‘canon’ of ‘Great Works’ by DWEMS (Dead White European Males). Cultural studies, therefore, is partly responsible for the fact that somewhere in your department people will be studying (get ready either to cheer or sneer) Harry Potter, or Stephen King, or Candace Bushnell’s Sex and the City (1997). Although this might not seem especially contentious nowadays, just a few decades ago the idea that students might study graphic novels (that’s the posh term for comics) or Hollywood adaptations of Shakespearean drama would have made most academics apoplectic (that’s the posh term for very angry). A second reason why cultural studies is relevant to literature students is that it has been at the forefront of developing a distinctive approach to texts which is interdisciplinary, self-consciously theoretical and politicised. The ‘cultural studies approach’ has been imported into literary criticism and you are certain to encounter it at some stage in your secondary reading.

History

School

  • The Arts, English and Drama

Department

  • English and Drama

Published in

The English Literature Companion

Pages

321 - 324

Citation

JARVIS, B., 2011. Cultural studies. IN: Wolfreys, J. (ed.) The English Literature Companion. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 321 - 324.

Publisher

Palgrave Macmillan © Julian Wolfreys

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2011

Notes

JARVIS, B., 2011. Cultural studies. IN: Wolfreys, J. (ed.) The English Literature Companion. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 321 - 324 is reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan. This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive version of this piece may be found in The English Literature Companion by Julian Wolfreys which can be purchased from www.palgrave.com

ISBN

9780230008137

Language

en

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