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Cultural Studies

Surveillance Studies

Surveillance studies is new. That is to say, until very recently something called surveillance studies did not exist. People studied surveillance, but in isolated, piecemeal and unsystematic ways. Over the past 20 years or so, surveillance has become an increasingly… Read More ›

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Vampire Narrative

The play between mythological and modern significance, between mystical and scientific visions of horror and unity, sexuality and sacred violence, is focused in the figure of the vampire. In Mary Braddon’s ‘Good Lady Ducayne’ (1896) the vampire theme signals the… Read More ›

Critical Race Theory

The critical race theory (CRT) movement is a collection of activists and scholars engaged in studying and transforming the relationship among race, racism, and power. The movement considers many of the same issues that conventional civil rights and ethnic studies… Read More ›

Popular Culture

Popular culture has become segmented into a myriad of forms, genres, audiences, tones, styles and purposes, so much so that it cannot meaningfully be talked about as a monolith. While some so-called ‘popular culture’ is produced en masse (and has… Read More ›

Queer Culture

The term ‘queer’ has often puzzled outsiders.Why call yourself that? This too has its story. For a long time ‘queer’was, of course, a derogatory term for male homosexuals. That began to change when it began to be widely used in… Read More ›

The Literary Criticism of Matthew Arnold

Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), English poet, literary critic, and essayist, perceived reformative tendencies accompanying the burgeoning development of industrial society in nineteenth-century England that threatened the wavering hegemonic apparatus of secular and ecclesiastical order, and hindered the appreciation and expression of… Read More ›

Key Theories of Theodor Adorno

German philosopher, sociologist and musicologist who was a leading member (and eventually director) of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research (the institutional basis of the Frankfurt School of German critical theory),  Theodor Adorno’s (1903-1969) work may be understood as an… Read More ›

Key Theories of Georg Lukacs

The Hungarian philosopher and literary critic Gyorgy (or Georg) Lukacs (1885-1971) had a major influence on the development of Western Marxism (that is to say, the largely Hegelian Marxism developed in Western Europe), while also being the most sophisticated literary… Read More ›

The Sociology of Emile Durkheim

Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) French sociologist, regarded as one of the ‘founding fathers’ of sociology. His early work developed a theory of society as a transcendent reality that constrained individuals, and proposed the methodology necessary to study that reality. His work… Read More ›

The Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu

French cultural anthropologist and sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002), whose work, characterised as it is by an equal commitment to empirical as well as theoretical research, has embraced the ethnography of Algerian peasant communities (Bourdieu 1979), the sociology of culture (1977b, 1990) and… Read More ›

Key Concepts of Georges Bataille

French philosopher, novelist, poet and essayist. Georges Bataille‘s (1897-1962) work is antisystematic and hence defies summary, but a number of important themes predominate within it. These themes include an obsessive concern with the erotic, myth, sacrifice, the nature of excess,… Read More ›

Key Theories of Slavoj Zizek

The Slovenian Lacanian Hegelian Slavoj Zizek  (1949– ) is the contemporary dialectician par excellence; the mapping of his identity via the three descriptors that open this sentence, which can be variously positioned and re-positioned, is one way of temporarily locating him…. Read More ›

Cultural Studies

Arising from the social turmoil of the 1960-s, Cultural Studies is an academic discipline which combines political economy, communication, sociology, social theory, literary theory, media theory, film studies, cultural anthropology, philosophy, art history/ criticism etc. to study cultural phenomena in various societies…. Read More ›

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