Cultural Studies Review
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.