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07 OCTOBER 2013

Bingo, Barbie and Barthes: 50 Years of Cultural Studies

"Fifty years after Richard Hoggart established Cultural Studies with the founding of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies in Birmingham, Laurie Taylor takes a personal look at what this new discipline has given us –– taking cultural studies out of the academy to ask: has it really narrowed the separation between high and low culture, or just been an excuse for soap fans to write dissertations on Coronation Street?"

(BBC Radio 4)

First broadcast: Monday 07 October 2013



201450th anniversary • academic discipline • Angela McRobbieBarbie dollBBC Radio 4 • bingo • Birmingham • Caspar Melville • Centre for Contemporary Cultural StudiesChristopher Fraylingcontemporary culture • Coronation Street • critical language • critical tools • cultural studies • cultural thinking • democratised culturehigh culture • Lady Chatterleys Lover • Laurie Taylor • leisure activitylived experiencelow culture • Lynsey Hanley • mass mediamassification • Matthew Hilton • Owen JonesPaul Gilroy • Paul Willis • popular arts • popular culturepopular musicpost-warRaymond WilliamsRichard HoggartRoland Barthessoap operasocial change • street culture • Stuart Hall • tabloid • the academyTV


Simon Perkins
06 JULY 2011

The Preface as Exegesis

"A preface provides a way into understanding a book: by stating its subject and scope, by commenting on techniques employed or themes addressed, or by focussing on a central or contentious issue. Prefacing involves an explicatory introduction to a reading of a work.

Some writers are more prone to prefacing than others. In the last century, three great exponents of the preface have been Graham Greene, Vladimir Nabokov and John Barth. Greene's prefaces are usually succinct, genuinely concerned with aspects of the writing process, and sometimes wryly humorous. ...

The idea of exegesis is not a recent imposition of universities upon creative writing; it is a long–term and also current feature of our overall culture. For almost two thousand years (as long as the word 'exegesis' can be backtracked in its significance) people have asked for explanations that linked written works produced in the culture to main concerns of the culture. Partly this has been a low culture plea to high culture. Partly it has been an element of ongoing high culture debate over contentious issues. 'Tell me further what you mean – analyse and dissect and orientate – so that I can more fully understand and believe you,' the culture has asked of texts on the one hand. But also it has said: 'Tell me further what you mean, so that I can better argue with you.' These are, I think, the two arms of the nature of exegesis."

(Nigel Krauth)

Krauth, N. (2002). "The Preface as Exegesis." TEXT 6(1).


Australian universitiesBible • canonical text • commentary • contentious issues • creative writingcritical explanationculturedefinitionsexegesis • explanations • expositionhigh culture • interpretative text • linked written works • low cultureNigel KrauthPhD • preface • scripture • the nature of exegesis • treatise • universities


Simon Perkins
04 DECEMBER 2008

The Cultural Economy of Ludic Superflatness

"Murakami's subsequent conceptualisation of superflatness links the flat picture planes of traditional Japanese paintings and present–day manga and anime, to the perceived lack of historical distinction between high and low cultures at this locale. At the same time, he believes that post–war conditions in Japan acted as key determinants for the subsequent use and symbolic function of pictorial superflatness in Japanese cultural production. Specific to his concerns are the infantilising effects of Japan's Constitution that has kept it a pacifist country. Superflat may indeed be read as one index of post–war kawaii (cute) culture. Anne Allison traces the rise and fetishisation of cute goods and consumptive pleasures in the 1970s and 80s. She argues that: 'Cuteness became not only a commodity but also equated with consumption itself – the pursuit of something that dislodges the heaviness and constraints of (productive) life. In consuming cuteness, one has the yearning to be comforted and soothed: a yearning that many researchers and designers of play in Japan trace to a nostalgia for experiences in a child's past' (Allison, A. 'Portable Monsters and Commodity Cuteness: Pokemon as Japan's New Global Power,' in Postcolonial Studies, vol. 6, no. 3 (2003), pp. 381–395.)."
(Dean Chan, Australia)



animeAustraliacomputer games and digital cultures • cultural economy • cultural productioncute • Dean Chan • designflat picture planeflat spacegameshigh cultureJapanlow culturemanganostalgia • post-war conditions • superflatness • Takashi Murakami • technologyWarioWare


Simon Perkins

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