English 456: C20 Criticism and Theory

Questions on Stuart Hall's
"Cultural Studies and Its Theoretical Legacies" (1990/92)

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1. On 1901-03, how does Hall differentiate British cultural studies from Marxism, and how is the theory of Antonio Gramsci important to Hall in this regard?

2. On 1904-06, what two interruptions in the work of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies does Hall describe? How did they transform cultural studies?

3. On 1906, Hall describes a "linguistic turn" in cultural studies--what effects does he say post-structuralist notions about language had upon cultural studies?

4. On 1907, how does Hall characterize the project of cultural studies, and how does he explain the relationship between political and theoretical questions and practices? What do you understand by the phrase "displacement of culture"?

5. On 1907-08, Hall offers a key example of theory's importance in political matters: AIDS. Why should theorizing about AIDS make any difference to anyone--especially to those suffering from it? Can you think of a similar issue that would make Hall's case?

6. On 1908-10, what special dangers does Hall see in American cultural studies? That is, what happens when cultural studies becomes just another academic discipline? And what might happen if it becomes too comfortable with post-structural notions about textuality, etc.?

7. Towards the end of our selection, how does Hall again draw sustenance from Gramsci's updated Marxism? How, that is, does Gramsci help him assert the political significance of cultural studies?

Edition: The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Ed. Vincent B. Leitch. New York: Norton, 2001. ISBN: 0393974294.