The Renewal of Cultural Studies

Edited by Paul Smith
Book Cover

PB: $31.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0253-0
Publication: Jul 11

HC: $86.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-0252-3
Publication: Jul 11

Ebook: $31.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0254-7
Publication: Jul 11

274 pages
6 x 9

A collective manifesto for the future of Cultural Studies


Cultural Studies, once a burgeoning academic field, developed into a discipline in which just about any cultural text, object or event could be studied. The Renewal of Cultural Studies offers a panoramic view of the field, its assumptions, and its methodologies. Editor Paul Smith and thirty contributors map out new directions that will redefine and sustain the field of cultural studies.

In twenty-seven original essays, cultural studies is examined in relation to other disciplines—history, anthropology, literature, media, and American studies. The discipline is reviewed in the context of globalization, in relation to topics such as war, public policy, and labor, its pedagogy and politics, and in Marxist, feminist, and environmentalist contexts.

Smith wants to establish theoretical and methodological common ground among cultural studies scholars. Providing a “state of the discipline,” The Renewal of Cultural Studies asks, “What can and should the field of Cultural Studies be doing now?”


"Paul Smith is one of the foremost practitioners of cultural studies. Here he has gathered people together to go beyond the old question—'What is cultural studies?'—and instead asks, 'What can cultural studies do now?' The outcome is a bold intervention into the human sciences that offers a radical rethinking of where we stand today."
Toby Miller, author of Makeover Nation: The United States of Reinvention

"This study is a risky proposition. On the one hand, it risks succumbing to the soul searching that has long consumed Cultural Studies, a field in which the soul has played virtually no other role. On the other hand, this study risks producing an account of what Cultural Studies is that, in a rather pragmatic and thus American spirit, derives that identity from what the field does, or what it might do in the near future. But this is precisely what generates the heat, the excitement of Smith’s The Renewal of Cultural Studies . It is a stirring collection of statements by some leading figures in the field, all of which resist in different ways the feckless and rather common notion that Cultural Studies is some institutional incarnation of ‘whatever.’ What emerges is a collectively enunciated position on how the ‘politically useful knowledge’ generated by the field might be brought to bear on everything from the university and the state, to the nation and nature. Less a renewal, this study is a reboot, a kick in the butt of those committed to what Jameson once called the ‘desire’ that is still becoming Cultural Studies. Have the cheek to read this book."
John Mowitt, Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

"Comprising 27 original contributions, this collection represents several ways of practicing cultural studies and argues for increased attention to selected approaches, methods, and theories. Smith contributes the most readable and teachable pieces in the book: an introduction and an interview with American studies scholar Andrew Ross. Smith confronts difficulties that beset cultural studies, a field haunted by 'a residual desire for some form of political efficacy'--a desire it can neither fulfill nor disavow....(This is) a text that will matter. Summing Up: Recommended."

"(If you want to) satisfy your craving for cultural studies’ positioning then look no further than The Renewal of Cultural Studies , an anthology of position ‘papers’ edited by Paul Smith. Each of the twenty five essays is short enough to read over breakfast and I imagine them being used by academics as early morning callisthenic (sic) exercises or performance enhancement supplements: you can use them to sharpen your sense of your own position (through agreements and disagreements); to find new ones; or simply to relish the arguments that matter to others....The book ends with a lively conversation between Paul Smith and Andrew Ross."
New Formations: A Journal of Culture, Theory & Politics

"This book is a welcome immersion in the fundamentals of Cultural Studies from an early-twenty-first-century point of view, where most of its 'founding fathers' are studied, questioned, reconsidered, reconceptualized, and sometimes criticized.... (T)his collection is not meant as a mere revisiting of Cultural Studies, but should be seen as a genuine and innovative search for new directions.... In sum, The Renewal of Cultural Studies, which is clearly not meant for newcomers to the field, is, I believe, the most stimulating book on Cultural Studies in the last five years."
The European Legacy

Table of Contents

THE RENEWAL OF CULTURAL STUDIES PAUL SMITH (Editor) TABLE OF CONTENTS 1.;;Editor’s Introduction 2.;Nick Couldry The Project of Cultural Studies: Heretical Doubts, New Horizons 3.Carol Stabile The Nightmare Voice of Feminism: Feminism and Cultural Studies 4.;Jaafar Aksikas Could/Should Cultural Studies be 'Born Again'? 5.;Randall Cohn, Sara Regina Mitcho and John Woolsey Cultural Studies: Always Already Disciplinary 6.;Henry Krips From Ideology Critique to Intellectuality: Towards a Neo-Gramscian Political Pedagogy for Cultural Studies 7.;Julie Rak Attack of the 50 Ft. Anthology!--Adventures in Teaching Cultural Studies 8.;;Denise Albanese The Literary: Cultural Capital and the Specter of Elitism 9.;Deepika Bahri New Aestheticism, the Culture Industry, and the Postcolonial Novel 10.;Clare Birchall and Gary Hall Cultural Studies and Theory: Once More from the Top with Feeling 11.;;David Golumbia Cultural Studies and the Discourse of New Media 12.;;Sharon Willis Lost Objects: The Museum of Cinema 13.;;Matthew Tinkcom Three Dialectics for Media Studies 14.;;George Marcus What Cultural Studies Did to Anthropological Ethnography: From Baroque Textual Aesthetics Back to the Design of the Scenes of Inquiry 15.;;Lisa Breglia Longing for the Ethnographic 16.;;Michael Denning “So-called Cultural Histories”: Cultural Studies and History in the Age of One World 17.;;Max Gulias A Marxist Methodology for Cultural Studies: Analyzing (Over)Production of the Commodity-Sign 18.;;Randy Martin Marxism After Cultural Studies 19.;;Grant Farred Out of Context: Thinking Cultural Studies Diasporically 20.;;Eric Cazdyn Toward a Vulgar Transnational Cultural Studies 21.;;S. Charusheela Where is the 'Economy'? Cultural Studies and Narratives of International Capitalism 22.;;Sophia McClennen Cultural Studies and “Latin America”: Reframing the Questions 23.;;Mahmut Mutman Cultural Studies to Come 24.;;Marcus Breen Do the Math: Cultural Studies Into Public Policy Needs a New Equation 25.;Timothy Luke Culture and War ; 26.;Vincent Mosco Communication and Cultural Labor 27.;Michelle Yates Towards a Green Marxist Cultural Studies 28.;;Andrew Ross and Paul Smith Cultural Studies: A Conversation

About the Author(s)

Paul Smith is Professor of Cultural Studies at George Mason University.