Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cultural Critique

Bashful, cryptic, or something else altogether - I'm not sure what the reason is, but Cultural Critique doesn't have much information about itself posted online.

Perhaps not bashful, since one of the few statements the journal does offer includes the term "path-breaking." Its scope and content are meant to be "international," engaging in "cultural analysis" and "[e]mphasizing critique rather than criticism." It's unclear what precisely is meant by this last distinction. It's left up to the reader to discover that through reading through essays the journal has published.

There seems to be a fair amount of breadth in what the journal is willing to cover, anything involving "culture, theory, and politics," it seems, from analysis of media texts and cultural issues, to close readings of theory and dialog with theoretical frameworks (including "Marxism, feminism, psychoanalysis, semiotics, political economy, and hermeneutics"). In addition to essays they regularly publish fairly substantial book reviews with an explicit emphasis on work that might not get reviewed elsewhere.

The journal has three main editors, all from University of Minnesota, and Cultural Critique is, in fact, housed in Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature. The larger editorial collective mostly comprises American scholars but includes a couple from elsewhere  (UK, Canada).

Although our understanding is that the journal is peer-reviewed, the website doesn't say so. Unsolicited manuscripts seem to be welcome, but allow for a minimum four-month response to contributions.

Cultural Critique publishes three times a year, and since it's onto issue 75 now it's probablyt 25 years old, though again, the website doesn't say.

They do have a sense of their readership though, and state that the journal is subscribed to by:
"Academics and students in English, cultural studies, drama, literary theory, language studies, sociology, political science, and comparative literature."

There are themed issues but also many issues with no particular focus. Essay topics range widely. But in general there seems to be an emphasis on issues and theories more than texts.

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