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Cultural Studies in the Future Tense


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Table of Contents

Thanks xi
Introduction. We All Want to Change the World 1
1. The Heart of Cultural Studies 7
2. Constructing the Conjuncture: Struggling over Modernity 57
3. Considering Value: Rescuing Economics from Economists 101
4. Contextualizing Culture: Mediation, Signification, and Significance 169
5. Complicating Power: The "And" of Politics, and . . . 227
6. In Search of Modernities 259
Notes 295
Bibliography 329
Index 351

Promotional Information

Lawrence Grossberg, one of the most influential figures in cultural studies, assesses the mission of cultural studies as a discipline in the past, present and future

About the Author

Lawrence Grossberg is the Morris Davis Distinguished Professor of Communication Studies and Cultural Studies, and Adjunct Distinguished Professor of American Studies, Anthropology, and Geography at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the author of many books, including Caught in the Crossfire: Kids, Politics, and America's Future, Bringing it all Back Home: Essays on Cultural Studies, and Dancing in Spite of Myself: Essays on Popular Culture (the last two both also published by Duke University Press). He is a co-editor of collections including About Raymond Williams, New Keywords: A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and Society, Without Guarantees: Essays in Honor of Stuart Hall, Cultural Studies, and Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture. He is a co-editor of the journal Cultural Studies.


"Lawrence Grossberg, an eminent cultural studies scholar, offers a critique of the present state of cultural studies and, more broadly, of the intellectual Left in the Anglo-American academy. He posits a vision for the future of cultural studies as conjunctural analysis and argues for multiple ways of being modern as an analytic and imaginative frame." Times Higher Education "Lawrence Grossberg, author of numerous profound and highly influential studies, has produced his magnum opus... Going through the manuscript, I realized with growing awe and enthusiasm, that in one book we have been offered by far the most comprehensive and best written history of cultural studies from their inception to its most recent accomplishments and challenges, as well as a program that deserves to be called a definite introduction to all future studies of culture. This book is an obligatory and invaluable reading for the established professionals of the area as much as its aspiring newcomers; and given the clarity of the narrative, also for all those multitude of people who have had thus far only a vague notion of what cultural studies are about, yet are eager to know how the setting in which they are destined to live is shaped and how they could use such knowledge to shape their lives in it." Zygmunt Bauman, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Leeds "Cultural Studies in the Future Tense is an immensely enjoyable book to read, fizzing with ideas and of real relevance to the current situation. It is also a brave book: defining cultural studies is always going to be a difficult task, even for one of its founders. Yet Lawrence Grossberg does not shrink from the task, and the political emphasis he places on the future and imagination seems to me to be absolutely right. The Left needs to think as never before about what it is doing and why." Nigel Thrift, author of Non-Representational Theory: Space, Politics, Affect "Lawrence Grossberg was one of the first to pioneer cultural studies in the United States. Since then, he has not only meticulously and with rare critical insight tracked its international development but made several original contributions to it in his own distinctive voice. Forty years after the foundation of the Centre for Cultural Studies in the U.K., people constantly ask, 'Cultural studies: where is it going?' Grossberg's latest book is one of the most important, insightful, cogent, wide-ranging, and persuasive attempts to offer an answer to that question. It is required reading for anyone interested not only in the future of cultural studies but in contemporary culture and its political meanings. Cultural Studies in the Future Tense is not to be missed."--Stuart Hall "Lawrence Grossberg's book does something much more useful than giving us an introduction to cultural studies. It demonstrates what cultural studies can do, giving a broadly interdisciplinary and politically engaged analysis of our contemporary conjuncture. This is an excellent model for future work in the field."--Michael Hardt, co-author of Commonwealth "The 'thriller' is usually assumed to be a popular genre, its visceral energies radically at odds with the difficult concepts of scholarship. Cultural Studies in the Future Tense challenges any such separation. For all its theoretical intricacies this book is nonetheless a true thriller. It is an academic page-turner in the best sense, taking its reader on a liberating and fast-paced journey through received wisdom, and across the trajectories of Grossberg's thought." - Matt Hills, Culture Machine, September 2012 "[Grossberg] is a cultural studies fundamentalist - a keeper of the keys - and his book benefits from this sense of total identification with the 'project' of cultural studies. But alongside his unswerving faith there is a rigorous generosity that is constantly inviting the reader to think along with him. Thus the dense theoretical clarifications are not done in the name of intellectual pyrotechnics but in terms of a ground-clearing to make cultural studies more productive and ambitious. For Grossberg the sense that cultural studies is a 'project' is not a matter of anti-disciplinarity, nor is it a matter of identification." - New Formations, 2013

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