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.