Cultural studies in the new South Africa

Laura Chrisman

in Postcolonial Contraventions

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780719058271
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700136 | DOI:
Cultural studies in the new South Africa

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To conceptualize future directions of cultural studies depends on how the origins and genealogy of that discipline has been conceptualized. Two stories of origins have emerged, the textual and the sociological, the first of which is probably dominant within British academia. On the contrary, the sociological account is illuminating, even if one prefers to privilege the textual. Cultural studies are historically derived from adult education institutions, which determine the forms of knowledge that once passed as cultural studies, but such institutional contingencies are rarely regarded as being of theoretical significance. A cultural study has something particular to offer the rest of the academy because of its fluid intellectual boundaries and its newness as a university discipline. South African cultural studies provide an institutional matrix in which the traditional distinctions between academic and aesthetic production, like those between theoretical reflection and policy development, are deliberately interrogated, challenged and transformed.

Keywords: South Africa; genealogy; aesthetic production; academic production; policy development; cultural studies

Chapter.  4481 words. 

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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