Elevate Difference

New Cultural Studies: Adventures in Theory

New Cultural Studies is an exciting call to action from writers concerned about the future of the field of cultural studies. Since cultural studies is ever living and should be evolving along with other subjects, we must never stop developing new theories and using cultural studies as a framework about contemporary issues in politics, economics, the media, etc. This text looks beyond the distinguished Birmingham School’s theoretical work toward today’s greatest minds, such as Alain Badiou, Giorgio Agamben and Gilles Deleuze. Chapters are dedicated to cultural studies in the context of subjects such as Deconstruction, Post-Marxism, Ethics, German Media Theory, Anti-Capitalism, New Media and the Posthumanities.

In the place where a reader can usually find a book’s introduction, Hall and Birchall present the first chapter: "New Cultural Studies: Adventures in Theory (Some Comments, Clarifications, Explanations, Observations, Recommendations, Remarks, Statements, and Suggestions)." This section provides an invaluable text for anyone interested in the future of cultural studies, particularly those interested in working in academia. The authors’ summary of the ten reasons why “the time is right to move ‘beyond theory’” by itself is worth the price of the book. The chapter by Joanna Zylinska on cultural studies and ethics is also phenomenal; she opens up a much-needed dialogue about how people on the Left can respond to “the moralization of politics.” As a graduate student studying gender and cultural studies, I felt so fortunate to have read this book because it enlightened me about so many facets and theorists in the field that I had previously never come across.

Written by: Kerri Kanelos, June 13th 2007