Vol 24 No 2 (2018): Trouble

 This edition of Cultural Studies Review trials some less-than-conventional scholarly responses to a diverse array of troubling cultural moments. Tara Brabazon, Steve Redhead and Runyararo Chivaura raise the possibility of ‘Trump Studies’ in a polemic that seems both mimetic and supplementary. Their persistent attention to race, and whiteness in particular, as a point of connection between Brexit and Trump usefully reminds us of the enduring historical dimensions of these times while not ignoring the unpredictable effects of Trump’s transformation of conventional alliances.
Our special section, ‘The Ethics of Troubled Images’ showcases critical work on ‘troubling’ images and we thank its Guest Editors, Bruce Buchan, Margaret Gibson and Amanda Howell, and the authors of the essays within; Grant Bollmer, Katherine Guinness, Larissa Hjorth, Kathleen M Cumiskey, Wendy Keyes, Barbara Pini and Anna Reading. As this section explores, troubled images are those that provocatively depict violence, marginality, dehumanisation, public death and mourning but these ubiquitous images are also troubling in their invitation to accept, normalise, or legitimate violence, suffering and victimisation.

Vol 24 No 1 (2018): Meaghan

It had to be ‘Meaghan’. The title of this edition of Cultural Studies Review is our salute to the work of Meaghan Morris and her lasting influence. That legacy is directly addressed in the collection of written works that emerged from the Meaghan Morris Festival held in 2016 (co-edited by Prudence Black, Stephen Muecke and Catherine Driscoll) but it is also echoed in the essays and reviews that are gathered within, that in their very mix speak to the particular tradition of cultural studies, Australian and otherwise, that Meaghan Morris helped so much to create.


Vol 23 No 2 (2017): Reprise

This issue includes a special section, guest edited by Liz Conor, that revisits, evaluates and repositions the figure of Xavier Herbert, a controversial Australian novelist and activist.

Elsewhere in this issue are two essays focused on question of language and culture. Michael Richardson writes about the complex relationships between political speechwriters and speechmakers, while Prithvi Varatharajan is concerned with the public utterances of contemporary Chinese-Australian poet Ouyang Yu, broadcast on Australian public radio. In a different register, Nicole De Brabandere explores the rich materiality of ordinary domestic figurines and dinnerware, while a contrasting sense of interiority pervades Vahideh Aboukazemi’s history of revolutionary Iran. And, as always, our reviews will repay your attention.

Vol 23 No 1 (2017): Mobilities


This issue of Cultural Studies Review features three outstanding essays that reveal the exciting diversity of current research in cultural studies. These are Ben Highmore’s future-directed and poetic evocation of a more peripatetic cultural studies, Jessica Kean’s exploration of the ‘texture’ of non-monogamy and Elspeth Probyn’s ‘thought experiment’, which pluralises and relativises fish while maintaining an urgent interest in sustainability.

The issue also contains a special section on ‘Media, Mobilities and Identity in East and Southeast Asia’, guest edited by Dan Edwards, Louis Ho and Seokhun Choi. This section engrossingly addresses gaps in existing mobilities scholarship with an eye not only to physical movement but, more centrally, to the complex interplay of mobile technologies and information on the one hand and rapidly evolving formations of culture and identity on the other. Within the articles, ‘Asia’ is conceptualised as a zone of cultural and political plurality, where in fascinating and often highly volatile ways a vast array of migrations, imaginings, representations and discourses constantly bump up against political and cultural borders.


Vol 22 No 2 (2016): Migrant


This is a general edition of Cultural Studies Review in that it has not been organised around a special themed section. Rather, it is a collection of essays on distinctly different topics, each of which push against our habits of thinking about correction and invention. And yet, a subtle theme emerges from these diverse pieces, of movement from one place to another, whether forced by circumstance, freely chosen or imposed. They are essays, too, that pose questions about the durable and unstable nature of cultural configurations and about the contribution of cultural research to a more sustainable future.

Vol 22 No 1 (2016): Fashioning

The title of this issue of Cultural Studies Review salutes our excellent special section, ‘Dressing the Body’ (guest edited by Prudence Black and Rosie Findlay), and draws attention to the important and powerful essays in the section ‘Stuart Hall: In Memoriam’ (guest edited by Catherine Driscoll and Gerard Goggin). The issue also includes Ben Highmore’s exemplary essay on feelings and things; Stefan Laser’s wonderful ‘case study’ that charts the mis-matches between the legislative regulation of of e-waste management and the actual practices of the ‘informal sector’ in India; Dinesh Joseph Wadiwel’s exploration of the conjunctures of resistance, economy and production in the cultures of fish ‘processing’; an essay from Annee Lawrence that brings to our attention the work of three key novelists who ‘represent a line of flight towards a literary imaginary in Australian writing that is contemporary, locally grounded, but also regionally and globally entangled’; and a selection of engaging book reviews.


Vol 21 No 2 (2015): New Materialisms

The distinctive practices of arts and cultural production and issues of aesthetics in relation to art and ontology in contemporary media cultures raise important questions for new materialisms. Because of their distinctly human-centred traditions, arts and humanities face a big challenge, in developing the kinds of non human-centric understandings of reality and the human that are so desperately needed in today's technological, ecological, natural­–cultural terrains. This collection of essays makes a significant and wide-ranging contribution to arts and humanities perspectives on the methodological, analytical and ethico-political development of new materialisms.

Vol 21 No 1 (2015): Interventions

This title of this issue of Cultural Studies Review, ‘Interventions’, was inspired by two different ideas. First, it refers to Grant Farred’s point that ‘interventions’—the drive to intervene and the insufficiency of ‘old’ methods as responses to new political sites and institutional eruptions—has meant that cultural studies has been forced to invent new methods, and cobble together existing methods, to engage contingently with emerging cultures. ‘Interventions’ call on cultural studies to look elsewhere, in what Farred calls  ‘the imperative to think out of context’ is reflected diverse ways in the research articles that appear in this issue. 

The title was also drawn from ‘Same But Different’, the special section edited by Jennifer Biddle and Lisa Stefanoff that makes up the second half of this issue. The contributions gathered together in the section were not an organised response to the Northern Territory Intervention (officially, the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act 2007), rather they emerged from forums concerned with experimental and innovative Indigenous arts held in Alice Springs. But as the guest editors suggest, this collection ‘can be understood as itself an intervention in the non-consultative and top-down tendencies of current national policy and debate.’


Vol 20 No 2 (2014): Locating Memory

Locating Memory

co-edited by Martine Hawkes

The 'Locating Memory' section presents interdisciplinary research originally presented at the Historical Justice and Memory Conference, held in Melbourne in February 2012. The articles critically engage with the theme of the ‘place’ of historical injustice and the circulation of memory at these sites. 

Many of the 'unthemed' articles in issue also evoke 'space' and 'place' in varied ways, offering a refreshing take on such questions as how, as  an experience and a material event, space can produce both another order of politics and another order of being.

Vol 20 No 1 (2014): Coding Labour

Coding Labour

co-edited by Anthony McCosker and Esther Milne 



Vol 19 No 2 (2013): Emotional Geographies

That geographical locations inspire and hold orders of emotions is an ordinary belief. That we ‘feel’ something for places we call home or work and that we actively invent orders of being that emerge from sites such as ‘the beach’ and ‘the city’ is the stuff of many a memoir, edited collection and an often uncritical expectation. The essays in this issue of Cultural Studies Review approach these emotional geographies from diverse paths.

The Emotional Geographies of the Uncanny section aims to read transnational spaces constructed and inhabited by Italian migrants and settlers to Australasia as emotional spaces of uncanny perceptions, memories, narratives and identities. Among the general articles, the focus of interest coming to rest upon police buildings, remnants of nature, items in a museum collection, simulated national buildings not entirely lost in translation and trees made over  (and even museamised) in human-centred productions because of the mark of a possible ‘explorer’ on its trunk. In other pieces, the authors’ foci is the suburb: in an exploration of class and materiality in the remnants of colonial villas and in a new writing piece that tracks paths of barrows and dogs through a suburb’s streets.


Vol 19 No 1 (2013): Food Cultures and Amateur Economies

Food Cultures, co-edited by Isabelle de Solier and Jean Duruz, explores what cultural studies can offer the study of food through articles that demonstrate the many and varied ways in which food matters to individuals, communities and society, and why it should matter to cultural studies.

Amateur Economies, co-edited by Glen Fuller, Caroline Hamilton and Kirsten Seale, focuses on the shifting composition of relations that develop between and constitute the amateur and the professional. Articles address a wide range of themes, including the movement from the amateur to the professional, the character of opportunities that emerge in creative and social networks and the line between opportunity and exploitation.


Vol 18 No 3 (2012): On Noise

co-edited by Bruce Buchan and David Ellison

For the first time, CSR is producing a third issue for the year. The volume includes the special guest-edited section 'On Noise', which is devoted to the concept of noise and the roles it plays in a range of very different contexts. Together, the essays represent an important attempt to readjust the sensorium through which cultural studies usually imagines the material world and the cultural politics that flows from it.

The issue also features a provocative essay from Marcus Breen, new writing, book reviews and, to mark the final issue of CSR he will be co-editing, a Salute to John Frow, with sample of Frow's latest work on character, with responses from Tony Bennett and Stephen Muecke.

Vol 18 No 2 (2012): Secular Discomforts and On Mad Men


Secular Discomforts: Religion and Cultural Studies is co-edited by Sophie Sunderland and Holly Randell-Moon.

The articles within this section are related through their capacity to unsettle and occupy a position of discomfort, rather than appeasement, in their engagements with cultural studies, secularism and the religious. Critical to this capacity is resistance to the idea that ‘religion’ and ‘cultural studies’ are irreconcilable opposites, or that ‘secularism’ might form the neutral ground upon which to stage debate. Rather, in offering this collection the editors are keen to unsettle the idea that the secular underwrites analyses of the religious and, further, that the secular marks the terrain from which cultural studies is enacted.


On Mad Men is co-edited by Prudence Black and Melissa Hardie.

This collection of essays on the US cable TV series Mad Men shows the ways in which the series, and its viewers, engage with issues that are central disciplinary concerns in cultural studies and which articulate cultural studies’ relationship to other disciplines. Rather than understanding the series to be motivated by a desire to chart sociohistorical changes, an understanding its period stylings have sometimes invited, these essays move in other directions. Their analyses focus on genre, on dynamics of gender and sexuality as they are implicated in the series and in its reception and on the complicated work of representing the making of history. They take seriously the role of creativity and the aesthetic in the putatively ‘low’ cultural domain of advertising. Moving in a variety of disciplinary directions they address questions central to the work of cultural studies.


Vol 18 No 1 (2012): Motorcycles, Snails, Latour

This edition of Cultural Studies Review is at once an exuberant celebration of cultural studies scholarship and an enticement to work with the diverse thinking that is revealed here. As a general issue (one not shaped by a particular theme or by a guest co-editor) it invites us to experience a snapshot of where the multiple trajectories of cultural studies thinking are travelling and what and who are coming together in the process. These essays, new writing and reviews propose an answer to the question for cultural studies that Stephen Muecke poses of other cultural phenomena: How is it keeping itself alive in its place? and What are its partners for reproductive purposes?


Vol 17 No 2 (2011): Disciplining Innovation: New Pedagogies in Cultural Studies

co-edited by Nick Mansfield and Nicole Matthews

The themed section of this issue analyses the experience and future of pedagogical innovation in cultural studies, focusing on a variety of questions and issues. Has technological innovation allowed flexibility and an extension of the curriculum, or merely been used to reduce face-to-face teaching hours? Has the consistent demand to plan and report on teaching programs encouraged forward thinking or burdened academics with bureaucratic demands? Have universities truly internationalised their curriculums or merely exploited upwardly mobile international students? Has pedagogical innovation advanced or compromised the university’s ethical commitments: to social justice, equal access, human rights and environmental sustainability? What broader cultural developments does the consistent call to innovate in the classroom reflect?


The rest of the issue contains a wide range of innovative articles, new writing and reviews.

Vol 17 No 1 (2011): The Death Scene: Perspectives on Mortality

co-edited by Bruce Buchan, David Ellison and Margaret Gibson


This issue focuses on the interdisciplinary exploration and analysis of the scene of death, defined both in its privileged sense as the location of the end of life (with its associations of reflection, palliation, and confession) and in broader terms as a space of ethical contest (where ideas of the good death, or even the definition of death itself is open to debate). The varied articles explore how cultures frame the meaning and interpretation of human mortality in terms of representation, memorialisation, and the spacial and temporal location of moments of death.


Vol 16 No 2 (2010): Critical Proximity

Proximity is a political force within cultural studies. It works by means of a commitment to sharing the world of those made distant, deploying methods such as ethnography, close textual readings, and careful questioning of the spatial politics of existence in order to render the distant immediate. The articles in this issue of Cultural Studies Review do this through varied topics and means. They show critical proximity as not just the application and creation of critique but the acknowledgement that a radically new arrangement of the ordering principles of distance and closeness has come to pass. Critical proximity is as much a description of our relations with the world as it is a cultural studies practice coming into being.

Vol 16 No 1 (2010): Rural Cultural Studies: Research, Practice, Ethics

The first section of this issue of Cultural Studies Review has been co-edited with Clifton Evers, Andrew Gorman-Murray and Emily Potter and is based around the theme of Rural Cultural Studies. These articles focus on different aspects of rural cultural research: the diverse scope of ‘rural’ communities in Australia; the discursive and material relationship between the rural and the urban; the under-acknowledged range of everyday cultural practices in rural Australia; and the themes of ethical engagement, power and the mediation of meanings and interests in the practice of research.


The issue also contains poetry, three 'unthemed' essays and book reviews.


Vol 15 No 2 (2009): Critical Indigenous Theory

The September 2009 issue of Cultural Studies Review, co-edited by Aileen Moreton-Robinson, grew out of the Indigenous Studies Research Network, which is located at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. All the contributors to the Critical Indigenous Theory section of the issue are members of the network and the issue showcases critical theory developed from their respective standpoints and epistemologies. These scholars are politically and intellectually engaged in demonstrating how critical Indigenous studies as a mode of analysis can offer accounts of the contemporary world that centre Indigenous ways of knowing and theorising. The writing is challenging and innovative, engaging theory to questions that concern the writers and their communities. These new conceptual models have grown productively out of the postcolonising world the contributors inhabit. In nation states such as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, these writers show, colonisation has not ceased to exist—it has only changed in form from that which their ancestors encountered.

The issue also includes some general essays and book reviews.

Vol 15 No 1 (2009): Homefronts

 This edition of Cultural Studies Review brings together a diverse set of essays and new writing that identify particular national tendencies, notions of family, epistemological worries about postmodernity’s represented purpose and queries about cultural studies as it is taught and as it could be understood. There is also some careful exploring of where and why we might be at home in our differences and what a felt homelessness might be. To gather these varied strands beneath the heading ‘Homefronts’ acknowledges, as always, the plurality of the environments that we call home and the battles of representation, and being, that make up the experiences of nation, family, philosophy and academic discipline that render those sites particular and so personal to us.


Vol 14 No 2 (2008): Panic

The September 2008 Cultural Studies Review, co-edited with Cristyn Davies and Robert Payne,  is a special issue focusing on cultures of panic, particularly recent examples of moral panic arising from issues of race, gender and sexuality. The diverse essays deal with ‘men of Middle Eastern appearance’, the trial of Private Kovko, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the use of Ritalin®, concerns around children and sexuality in Australia, and arts funding in the United States during the ‘culture wars’.

Vol 14 No 1 (2008): History Experiments

This issue, guest edited with Tara Forrest, focuses on thinking and writing about the past. Challenging what ‘history’ might be and how it could appear is an ongoing interest of this journal and an ongoing (sometimes contentious) point of connection between cultural studies and history. The articles in 'History Experiments' chart shifts in how we research and write the past. History has provided its own challenges to its own practices in a very robust way, while cultural studies has challenged what the past is and how it might be rendered from a wide ranging set of ideas and modes of representation that have less to do with specific disciplinary arguments than responses to particular modes (textual, filmic, sonic), particular sites (nations, Indigenous temporalities, sexuality, literature, gender) and perhaps a greater willingness to accentuate the political in the historical.


Vol 13 No 2 (2007): Slight Anthropologies

In many surprising ways the essays in this collection evoke an idea of the human as a fragile category. ‘Slight’ anthropology is here then a study of a particular kind of ‘mankind’ where both the practice and the object are in different ways porous events. As this title touches upon the diverse essays and reviews collected within, the initially deprecating mode (slight) can be seen to operate as a kind of contagion, where one vulnerable project spreads through another and another.

Vol 13 No 1 (2007): Recalling Modernity

The tag of this issue of Cultural Studies Review echoes Latour’s challenge for a recall of modernity. This ‘recall’ will enquire into what has gone wrong, repair, and move on through an existing postmodernity which is nothing but ‘an interesting symptom of transition’ that can be used to ‘bring about the end of modernism more quickly’. A recall of modernity will build a thinking space, perhaps a space of some chagrin where the original European moderns can decide what matters more than life to ‘us’ (for did ‘we’ really invent modernity?) and begin a new diplomacy from that point. 


Vol 12 No 2 (2006): Engagements

This is the first edition of Cultural Studies Review to be edited by John Frow (University of Melbourne) and Katrina Schlunke (University of Technology, Sydney). The new editors continue the tradition of publishing strong and rigorous work in cultural studies including work that is reflexive about its status as writing, and work that intervenes in culturally configured social problems.

Vol 12 No 1 (2006): Art and Ecology

 Art criticism and ecological studies, the two special sections in this issue, are not normally the province of cultural studies, but the way in which these sections were set up and developed indicates that these areas should be central to the concerns of the discipline.


Vol 11 No 2 (2005): Italian Effects

‘Italian Effects’ necessarily looks to the roots of contemporary Italian thought in mid-to-late twentieth century movements, but there is also a very contemporary effect evinced by the great interest in philosopher Giorgio Agamben, philosopher–activists Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt, and the way in which their thinking articulates with anti-globalisation movements.

Vol 11 No 1 (2005): Desecration

What happens when sacred sites are destroyed? What are the effects of being dispossessed and of having one’s own existence denied? Desecration of the sacred, of land and of self are themes explored in a group of essay co-edited by Deborah Rose and Peter Read. These studies of PNG, Havana, Sarejevo and parts of Australia bring living beings and the dead into a realm in which violence that refuses life confronts life that refuses obliteration. These essays offer rich and resonating thought.


In other essays Marcus Breen ponders cultural criticism and life in the USA, Nicola Evans shows how sensational trials catapult private matters into the public sphere, and Ross Chambers writes a poetic supplement to Peter Cary’s My Life as a Fake. The Provocations section showcases Iain McCalman, making his case for state and popular support for the humanities and social sciences, and Isabelle Stengers on ‘ecology of practices’ as a tool for thinking. In New Writing Jane Messer reflects on the maternal heroine in memoir and fiction.


Vol 10 No 2 (2004): Haunted

History has become complicated as new representational demands have been made by a host of those who have been excluded from the purity of history’s black-and-white written domain. How ccould new generations of history readers and history makers remain unaffected by new experiences and new kinds of bodily and cultural proximity? The dusty archive has became a noisy place of sound, light and data, and sense, like the eerie feeling you get when you go to a place replete with memories of the violently dead.

Vol 10 No 1 (2004): Action

Two impressive essays that explore the energetic cultural presence of gender open Action, our first issue for 2004. In ‘Burst into Action’ Stephen Chan explores how the ‘woman warrior’ in Hong Kong action cinema organises aspects of everyday Hong Kong sensibility in the shifting terrain of the global popular. Then, in ‘Men who Surf’, Clifton Evers takes us to some of the moments when male bodies are formed in relation to the violent beauty of waves and surfing cultures. In both cases, the (formerly iconic) objects that emerge in these studies—the cinema and the beach—become radically different spaces that take us in unexpected directions. These essays are followed by Isabel McIntosh’s engaging study of cultural sovereignty in the disappearance of the Urewera Mural and Raya Massie’s wild ride with the hypercreature.


Vol 9 No 2 (2003): Charlatans

One of the tasks of the humanities academic—the philosopher, the cultural studies researcher—is to devise informed judgement through the exercise of a complex intelligence. It’s a matter, one might think, of sorting out the truth from bullshit and telling it how it is. If only the world would just stay simple ... This directness has some appeal, until you start trying to specify the appropriate criteria, grounding and form for judgement. Disciplines address precisely these issues, and to the extent to which they do so successfully, they specify complex phenomena in particular ways; they authorise certain kinds of enquiry and speech as they productively cultivate their own patch of knowledge. Cultural studies has made interdisciplinarity its business, bewitched and distracted by the complexities of actual existing cultural practices, by spatial and temporal mobility and seepage, by authority and exclusion, ownership, belonging and boundaries.

Vol 9 No 1 (2003): Affective Community

The essays in the 'Affective Community' section, introduced by Linnell in the following pages, originate from the Hybridity/Community Conference held at the University of Sydney in March 2002. We also feature three essays that explore issues of space and vision. Of these essays, Scott McQuire’s is a provocative exploration of what ‘scenes’ from a cultural history of transparency might look like. In a Benjaminian gesture of thinking allegorically about Big Brother his essay moves along unexpected vectors. Paul Dawson, in ‘New Writing’, continues some of the threads spun by Scott Brooks around fictocriticism in our previous issue and a strong lineup of reviews beckons.