CFP: Years in Cultural Studies (Lateral Journal)

Robert Gehl's picture
Call for Papers
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Intellectual History, Sociology, Popular Culture Studies

What forgotten historical moments or contexts shaped the trajectory of cultural studies? How have individual scholars and broader social movements contributed to the cultural studies we know today? Lateral, the journal of the Cultural Studies Association, seeks to answer these questions and more through essays that interrogate cultural studies’ diverse, fragmented, and provocative history. This call is for an on-going, special section of Lateral  called "Years in Cultural Studies." Essays in this collection focus on specific years in the history of Cultural Studies.

“Years in Cultural Studies” seeks to provide a pedagogical resource, a place for documentation and excavation, and a forum for storytelling. We see this work as heeding the call Ted Striphas to do “care work”—that is, infrastructural, cultivating work—to support the field of Cultural Studies. Striphas asks, “What would it mean to imagine Cultural Studies as a ‘care discipline,’ or better yet as a field in which criticism and care cohabitate?”In this spirit, “Years in Cultural Studies” provides a collection of open, accessible, student-friendly histories of the field that allow all of us to learn more about its intellectual genealogies, struggles, and contexts.

Contributions to this collective endeavor might, for instance: 

  • Revisit the years within the half-century history of the field formally called “cultural studies,” including the creation of university programs around the world, the publication of important texts, and summaries of conferences.

  • Trace how historical and political contexts have shaped the ethos, foci, and goals of cultural studies.

  • Respond to existing essays through discussions of more publications, social and political events, or geopolitical contextualization. The goal of such responses would be supplemental, to build upon a collective project.

  • Interrogate the history of cultural studies’ position(s) apart from, between, and within, other disciplines and/or that ask how institutionalization has shaped the character and goals of cultural studies.

  • Discuss years before the formal foundation of Cultural Studies in the 1960s. We anticipate discussions of the historical and intellectual contexts that influenced the works of key figures like Antonio Gramsci. But we also reiterate Carol Stabile’s call for excavation of work outside the currently-accepted Cultural Studies canon and ask for work that grapples with marginalized and subaltern cultural studies.

Thus, our call for more Years essays is a call for more care work in our field, to add to a collective project, to set aside virilophilism in favor of the hidden and marginalized, all with a goal to tell the cultural studies story once more and make its history even more legible to the next generation of cultural studies scholars.

Contact Info: 

Potential authors should submit 500-750 word abstracts to the Years in Cultural Studies editor, Robert W. Gehl with the subject line “Years in Cultural Studies”.

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