14202 Society, Culture and Representation

Credits: 3 graduate credits in Cultural Studies

Prerequisite: Admission to the graduate program in Cultural Studies

The course is based on a reader edited by Motti Regev and David Levin.

The course presents the principles of “Cultural Studies” as a field of knowledge in the social sciences and the humanities as it developed in the second half of the 20th century, combining theoretical and historical perspectives. The course introduces the theoretical and research approaches of some of the members of the “Birmingham School” that emerged in Britain during the 1970s, as well as the neo-Gramscian theoretical approach that characterized the field at its inception. These approaches, that placed popular culture and the media at the focus of analysis, were largely responsible for the development of Cultural Studies as a distinct field of knowledge towards the end of the 20th century and for formulating its theoretical and research agenda.

Topics: What are Cultural Studies? The reinvention of the study of culture; Theories of media and theories of society; Base/superstructure in Marxist cultural theory, the rediscovery of ‘ideology’; Two paradigms in Cultural Studies; The theoretical legacies of Cultural Studies; Encoding and decoding; The ‘cultural circuit’ of the flow of meanings; Ways of seeing; Sub-cultures, cultures and class; Sub-culture and style; The theory of cultural forms and social reproduction; Media development of sub-cultures; The local and the global in culture; New ethnicities; Disjuncture and difference in the global culture economy; The ‘black Atlantic’ as counter-culture to modernity; Television and gender; Interpretive communities and changing literacy; From household audiences to media consumers; Hollywood cinema: the great escape; Political economy and Cultural Studies, the debate between the approaches.