This project aims to provide the first global history of cultural studies as a field, with a particular focus on its institutional manifestations and the ways in which cultural studies has been taken up in different cultural and geographical settings to various ends.
Cultural studies was institutionalized as an academic discipline in many countries around the world in the last decades of the twentieth century, and continues to structure significant work in the humanities and social sciences to this day. It developed in tandem with and as a product of the fundamental reconfigurations in the function of the university, responding to a global era of mass higher education, and sustained critiques in the way traditional fields of knowledge met the social and political challenges of the second half of the twentieth century. Cultural studies has produced new disciplines and new forms of knowledge in locations as diverse as Africa, Australasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, East, South-East, and South Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and North America. Although disciplinary histories of cultural studies in various local and national contexts have existed for some years, there has still not been a sustained study of the world history of cultural studies. Such a history promises to reveal important new insights into the way knowledge production relates to global institutional structures, and how universities responded to the global but uneven demands produced by the social and political tumult of the last half century. It will also help us to understand how cultural studies as a discipline developed via international exchanges of knowledge.
We are seeking expressions of interest from potential collaborators with expertise in specific regional or national contexts, including but not limited to those listed above. We are looking for people who would be willing to develop a regionally specific history of cultural studies in a particular location over the course of an extended research period. At this stage, we do not expect the research to have been undertaken, nor do we ask for abstracts or completed work. We anticipate that this project will develop as a genuinely collaborative undertaking, in which different participants’ research expertise in local contexts will help to develop the research questions that we will collectively pursue. We welcome people with a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, but a lively interest in the history and present of cultural studies. Participants do not need to be historians, though they should be willing to conduct research in archives and use some historical methods as the basis for this research.
Potential collaborators should send a CV and a short expression of interest, explaining your:
- regional focus, disciplinary background, and research interests;
- specific interest in cultural studies as a disciplinary project, including avenues you would be keen to pursue in relation to this call;
- interest in working as part of a collaborative and comparative research project with a global focus;
- any experience working with archives in the specified region, and any links to cultural studies scholars or institutions in this area;
- relevant language skills;
- any other relevant skills, experience, or interests.
Please email expressions of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org by 21 October, 2022. Questions and queries can also be directed to this account before the deadline.
Alys Moody (Bard College)
Rebecca Roach (University of Birmingham)
Kaitlin Staudt (Auburn University)