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Cultural Theory: An Anthology is a collection of the essential readings that have shaped and defined the field of contemporary cultural theory Features a historically diverse and methodologically concise collection of readings including rare essays such as Pierre Bourdieu's "Forms of Capital" (1986), Gilles Deleuze "Postscript on Societies of Control" (1992), and Fredric Jameson's "Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture" (1979) Offers a radical new approach to teaching and studying cultural theory with material arranged around the central areas of inquiry in contemporary cultural study -the status and significance of culture itself, power, ideology, temporality, space and scale, and subjectivity Section introductions, designed to assist the student reader, provide an overview of each piece, explaining the context in which it was written and offering a brief intellectual biography of the author A large annotated bibliography of primary and secondary works for each author and topic promotes further research and discussion Features a useful glossary of critical terms
Imre Szeman is Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta, Canada. He is the author of Zones of Instability: Literature, Postcolonialism and the Nation (2003); co-author of Popular Culture: A User's Guide (2004, 2009); and co-editor of Pierre Bourdieu: Fieldwork in Culture (2000), the Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism (2005), and Canadian Cultural Studies: A Reader (2009).
Timothy Kaposy is Assistant Professor in the Cultural Studies Program at George Mason University, Virginia.
Table of Contents
Imre Szeman and Timothy Kaposy, 'Introduction: What is Cultural Theory (and Why Does it Matter)?".1. Reforming Culture .Connoting civilizing processes, aesthetic taste, and an inclusive dialogue within public spaces, definitions of culture are often used to reinforce power relations and accepted forms of ideology. This section offers significant moments in which the cultural is theorized as the key point of contact for procedures of normalization, domination and struggle. Each selection is included for its distinct illumination of culture's place within a larger context of social and material history. In addition, these selections are included because they set the thematic groundwork for the theories and problematics in the subsequent sections. Each selection contributes to an impetus-seen throughout the anthology-to reconfigure the analysis of culture from a practice of appreciation to one that looks at the contentious ways in which culture mediates our experience of the present..Section Introduction.1. Matthew Arnold, "Culture and Anarchy".2. Thorstein Veblen, "Conspicuous Consumption".3. Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, "The Culture Industry".4. Herbert Marcuse, "The Affirmative Character of Culture".5. Pierre Bourdieu, "The Field of Cultural Production, or: The Economic World Reversed".6. Stuart Hall, "Notes on Deconstructing 'the Popular'".7. Raymond Williams, "Culture is Ordinary".8. Fredric Jameson, "Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture".Suggested Readings..2. Power .This section presents key moments in the contemporary theorization of power. The following selections represent essential concepts in thinking culture in relation to power today: from Marx's base/superstructure model to Schmitt's redefinition of sovereignty (used, for example, in the work of Giorgio Agamben and Achille Mbembe); from Fanon's discussion of colonial power to the legacy of Foucault. Distinct from those models of power that are associated with the nation-state and their branches of legal and military authority, each piece explains the necessarily contestational quality of power and the ways in which it is diffused throughout society..Section Introduction.9. Karl Marx, Preface to Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy.10. Carl Schmitt, "Definition of Sovereignty".11. Frantz Fanon, "The Pitfalls of National Consciousness".12. Michael Foucault, "Method" (from History of Sexuality, Volume 1).13. Michel Foucault, chapter 12 of Society Must Be Defended.14. Gilles Deleuze, "Postscript on the Societies of Control".15. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, "Biopolitical Production" + other sections of Empire.Suggested Readings..3. Ideology.This section will look at the major theoretical contributions to the concept of ideology, that is, the process by which general beliefs and world-views are shaped through the exercise of social and cultural power. The essays in this section are distinguished from those in the previous one by the fact that examinations of ideology focus on the production of subjects and subjectivity as opposed to mapping the broader circuits of social and political power..Section Introduction.16. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, excerpts from The German Ideology.#60