Cultural Studies 101: Canonical, Mystificatory and Elitist?

Graeme Turner


This article draws on the contributions and responses to a panel on teaching presented at the 2007 conference of the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia in order to raise some questions about the current state of the teaching of cultural studies in Australia. It presents an, admittedly personal, account which suggests that cultural studies is in danger of becoming the kind of discipline it was originally developed to displace: one that reproduces a canon of privileged sources, that presents its knowledges in ways which foreground their discursive complexity rather than their usefulness, and that appears not to sufficiently value the experiences its students bring with them to the classroom. Locating these as grounded within larger institutional shifts as well as within a particular disciplinary history, the article sets out to initiate a conversation about something that has been pushed to the background in recent years: how we teach cultural studies.


cultural studies; teaching; CSAA; institutional shifts

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