Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World

By Jonathan Gray; Cornel Sandvoss et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

1
The Death of the Reader?
Literary Theory and the Study of
Texts in Popular Culture

Cornel Sandvoss

Concerns over meaning and aesthetic value have continually haunted media and cultural studies. In many ways the field of fan studies epitomizes these concerns. The relative neglect of the question of aesthetic value (see also Hills, this volume) has made the field of media and cultural studies (hereafter cultural studies) a popular target as a “Mickey Mouse” subject. On the one hand, this is, quite literally, true: fan studies have focused on popular texts from horror films via sports events to, indeed, comics. Beyond this, however, the notion of a “Mickey Mouse” subject implies a lack of depth and theoretical rigor. It is on this level that it remains most hurtful, especially when such criticism is reiterated by those in neighboring disciplines such as literary theory. Echoing such themes and pointing to structuralism paving the way for the rise of cultural studies, Eagleton accuses the new discipline of taking advantage of the fact that,

methodologically speaking, nobody quite knew where Coriolanus ended
and Coronation Street began and constructed an entirely fresh field of
enquiry which would gratify the anti-elitist iconoclasm of the sixty-
eighters[. …] It was, in its academicist way, the latest version of the tradi-
tional avant-garde project of leaping barriers between art and society, and
was bound to make its appeal to those who found, rather like an apprentice
chef cooking his evening meal, that it linked classroom and leisure time
with wonderful economy. (Eagleton 1996: 192)

-19-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 406

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?