Post-Marxism versus Cultural Studies: Theory, Politics and Intervention

Post-Marxism versus Cultural Studies: Theory, Politics and Intervention

Post-Marxism versus Cultural Studies: Theory, Politics and Intervention

Post-Marxism versus Cultural Studies: Theory, Politics and Intervention

Synopsis

Post-Marxism versus Cultural Studies is an innovative exploration of the ethical and political significance of Cultural Studies and Post-Marxist discourse theory. It argues that although Cultural Studies and post-Marxism tend to present themselves as distinct entities, they actually share a project - that of taking on the political. Post-Marxism presents itself as having a developed theory of political strategy, while Cultural Studies has claimed to beboth practical and political. Bowman examines these intertwined, overlapping, controversial and contested claims and orientations by way of a deconstructive reading that is led by the question of intervention: what is the intervention of post-Marxism, of Cultural Studies, of each into the other, and into other institutional and political contexts and scenes?Through considerations of key aspects of Cultural Studies and cultural theory, Post-Marxism versus Cultural Studies argues that the very thing that is fundamental to both of these 'politicised' approaches - the quest to establish a theory of intervention, and to relate this to a practice - actually remains frustrated and unrealised as a direct result of the way this has been approached. Because of this stalemate, Post-Marxism versus Cultural Studies proposes a new theory of pragmatic intervention - one that is derived from Derridean deconstruction, post-Marxism and Cultural Studies, and which will be of importance and value for politicised academics and intellectuals working in all areas of political and Cultural Studies. Key Features
• An innovative take on the disciplines of Cultural Studies and Post-Marxism with a clear account of what Cultural Studies and post-Marxism are and why they are important
• Offers explanations, accounts and critiques of key figures of Cultural Studies and post-Marxism, such as Butler, Derrida, Hall, Laclau, Mowitt, Rorty and Zizek
• Draws out the similarities and clarifies the signifi

Excerpt

In an essay on 'university responsibility', Jacques Derrida said, 'I do not know if there exists today a pure concept of a university responsibility, [and] I do not know if an ethico-political code bequeathed by one or more traditions is viable for such a definition. But', he continues, 'today the minimal and in any case the most interesting, most novel and strongest responsibility, for someone attached to a research or teaching institution' is to make 'as clear and thematic as possible' the 'political implication' of the key and complex insight that all interpretation, 'the interpretation of a theorem, poem, philosopheme or theologeme is only produced by simultaneously proposing an institutional model, either by consolidating an existing one that enables the interpretation, or by constituting a new model to accord with it' (Derrida 1992: 21, 22). This is the same as saying that all interpretation – of anything – requires that the interpreter 'assume one or another institutional form'. 'This', Derrida adds, 'is the law of the text in general'. the book you are reading is concerned with this 'law of the text'. Derrida continues: Interpreters are not 'subjected passively' to the dictates of an institutional form, however; and all interpreters' 'own performance will in turn construct one or several models of community'. But nor is interpretation 'free': reading, or interpretation, cannot be extricated from the complex snares of the institutional practices and protocols of the contexts within which it occurs. Nor is reading or interpretation 'natural', or necessarily 'true'. Rather, it is always in some sense institutionally located and (over)determined. Indeed, Derrida goes further: institutions themselves are not simply free or unrelated, but they too are complexly ensnared, imbricated or reticulated within, and articulated to yet other institutions. There is a fundamental complexity and textile-like interimplication between institutions, the acts within and of them, and other contexts, sites and scenes. Derrida puts it provocatively: 'When, for example, I read some sentence from a given text or in a seminar … I

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