Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Arjun Appadurai's "Global Ethnoscapes"

For our next session (Thursday, Oct. 4 @ 4:30 in CNH 332), Sarah D'Adamo has suggested we read Arjun Appadurai's "Global Ethnoscapes: Notes and Queries for a Transnational Anthropology" which is the third chapter from his book Modernity at Large (1996). As Sarah notes:

This chapter poses interesting questions about how deterritorialization shapes our imaginative capacity for exploring cultural frameworks and theory in an era of globalization. It also explores the concept of "-scape" as cultural arena, providing an alternative to the center-periphery model.

We very much hope you can be there to discuss this important essay!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Judith Butler's "Merely Cultural"

The CSRG will meet on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 4:30 in CNH 332. We will be discussing Judith Butler's essay "Merely Cultural" [Social Text. 52.3 (Fall/Winter) 1997]. In this important essay, Butler responds to critiques of leftist politics that reduce issues of identity and sexuality to the "merely cultural" realm. Butler moves from examining several forms that this reductive move takes, to arguing for the centrality of categories such as gender to the reproduction of the dominant social relations of capitalism.

Please join us for a collegial discussion of this essay, where we might investigate such issues as the continued relevance of Butler's argument to our contemporary political and cultural situation. How have ideas about identity, culture and politics developed in the fifteen years since this essay was published, and what have been the transformations or afterlives of the tensions Butler describes and addresses? We will also be circulating a sign-up sheet for those interested in nominating texts and leading discussions for future reading group meetings.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Reading Group Resumes, New Members Welcome!

The first meeting of the CSRG will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 4:30 in CNH 317. There are no readings for this meeting. Instead, we will surveying people's interests to discuss possible reading selections for coming months as well as convenient meeting times. Please come out to meet new and old members of the group. We look forward to seeing you!

Now entering its fourth year of existence, the Cultural Studies Reading Group in McMaster's Department of English and Cultural Studies will be resuming its activities this month after a brief summer hiatus. As a glance through our older posts will reveal, the CSRG has read and discussed a wide range of topics, from media and film studies to post-humanism and science studies. We have pursued a survey of several prominent journals in the field, and we have looked at anthologies such as Paul Smith's The Renewal of Cultural Studies, and the compilation The Idea of Communism. Please drop us a line at if you would like notification regarding meeting times, or stay tuned to this blog for more information and updates.