Toolbox for Electric Fences

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Melissa Gregg


An affective dimension is often at work in constructions of political ‘reality’. Such a recognition might be seen to reinforce the value of certain legacies in cultural studies, particularly the role of articulation in public debate, and the renewed importance of such work in framing responses to volatile issues like the mandatory detention of asylum seekers. Revisiting the work of Stuart Hall on Thatcherism, and taking note of Judith Brett’s recent history of the Australian Liberal Party, I want to contemplate the prominent role language plays in political life, and, alongside Watson and others, question the priority the Left accords this key element of contemporary politics. In doing so, I use Hall as an example of what might be called scholarly affect: a voice of intervention that catalyses the Left in moments of crisis, and a voice that deploys cultural theory to make sense of concrete political problems.

Article Details

Provocations (Peer Reviewed)
Author Biography

Melissa Gregg, University of Sydney

MELISSA GREGG completed her PhD in the Department of Gender Studies at the University of Sydney. ‘Scholarly Affect: Voices of Intervention in Cultural Studies’ mines the history of cultural studies to describe the situated political projects of Richard Hoggart, Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall and Meaghan Morris.