ENGLISH 490 - History of Literary Criticism and Theory
Fall 2021, Section 001 - Cultural Studies with Stuart Hall
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is   Hybrid (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Stuart Hall (1932-2014) was one of the founders of British Cultural Studies, sometimes called the Birmingham School of Cultural Studies, and now generally known as Cultural Studies. Born in Jamaica and educated at Oxford, Hall is a tremendously important theorist who not only proposed a theory of encoding and decoding media, but also examined cultural identity, historical memory, and race relations.

Culture is, Hall argued, experience – ‘experience lived, experience interpreted, experience defined’ – rather than the preserve of an educated elite and, therefore, a site of negotiation. As such, he argued, culture can tell us something about the world that traditional politics and economics do not.

This course will combine biographical and theoretical approaches to the study of culture, primarily as a site of social action and intervention and principally via popular culture. Using Hall’s life and works as our guides, we will map the changing significance of culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and we will encounter other theorists of culture such as F. R. Leavis, Raymond Williams, Antonio Gramsci, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault. In the process, we will consider topics such as: the emergence of mass media, Black migration and settlement in Britain, Marxism and the politics of culture, and the Black Arts Movement.


ENGLISH 490 - History of Literary Criticism and Theory
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM

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