Tuesday, September 28, 2010

journals and new knowledge, part 1: Social Text

For the year and a bit we've been active, we CSRG folks have been organizing our ongoing reading and discussions thematically, focusing on particular trends and topics in contemporary cultural studies. So far that has meant spending some time trying to get a handle on how cultural studies sees itself now, intersections between cultural studies and science, and critical studies of popular culture.

This fall, we will be looking at journals, e-journals and new media sites that publish contemporary scholarship in the field (as well as developing a list of such sources). We're interested in the various ways in which questions in cultural studies are being approached and researched (and also in looking at what is left out of these approaches), which questions seem most pressing within the field and which aren't being asked. Can we see a strong consensus on what counts as new knowledge or original research in cultural studies? What types of research (ethnography, for example, or textual analysis) are being privileged or, perhaps, marginalized?

Our starting point for this exploration is the journal Social Text, taking our cue from last week's listening adventure in the form of a podcast by Toby Miller (see "tobymiller's culturalstudies #1"). Miller identifies Social Text (a journal he has been affiliated with) as a pre-eminent publication in cultural studies, and you'll find a similar claim in the journal's own "about" statement as well. Have a look around the Social Text website, and browse through some recent tables of contents and abstracts. If you have time, read the 27.3 (2009) anniversary editorial by Brent Hayes Edwards and Anna McCarthy (available online through our library catalogue), which gives some background about the journal as an organization. Try to keep in mind some of the questions above and come prepared to talk about what Social Text's version of cultural studies looks like.

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