Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Cultural Studies in the Future Tense

My mentor and dear friend Lawrence Grossberg recently published a great new book with Duke University Press, Cultural Studies in the Future Tense. I'll be reviewing it here in the next few weeks or months, but for now I wanted to link to a podcast from The Critical Lede.  The hosts Ben Myers and Desiree Rowe interview Larry about the book and how through intellectual work we might begin re-imagining political life in the United States and abroad.

Having listened to the interview, I should mention that it's not only compelling for what Larry has to say about his new book, but also as a succinct introduction to cultural studies.  He says, in a nutshell, that we should imagine taking ten jigsaw puzzles, dumping all the pieces out into a bucket, mixing the up, and then throwing out the pictures.  Then figure out how to reassemble them.  That's how hard it is -- or should be -- to do cultural studies.

Amen.  Enjoy the interview.


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Bryan said...

Indeed, the metaphor of the jigsaw puzzle is a powerful one, and one that continues to resonate with me. It first appears on page 97 of Grossberg's 1982 piece, "Experience, Signification, and Reality" (_Semiotica_, Volume 41, Issue 1/4) and reappears on page 64 of _We Gotta Get Out of This Place_ (published ten years later, in 1992).

Ted Striphas said...

Thanks, Bryan, for retracing Larry's steps. It's been an age since I read the Semiotica piece and had forgotten that he'd introduced the puzzle metaphor there lo those many years ago.