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Showing posts from February 11, 2014

Stuart Hall, pioneer of cultural studies, dies

When the writer and academic Richard Hoggart founded the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University, in England’s West Midlands, in 1964, he invited Stuart Hall, who has died aged 82, to join him as its first research fellow. Four years later Hall became acting director and, in 1972, director. Cultural studies was then a minority pursuit: half a century on, it is everywhere, generating a wealth of significant work even if, in its institutionalised form, it can include intellectual positions that Hall could never endorse.The foundations of cultural studies lay in an insistence on taking popular, low-status cultural forms seriously and tracing the threads of culture, power and politics. Its interdisciplinary perspectives drew on literary theory, linguistics and cultural anthropology in order to analyse subjects as diverse as youth sub-cultures, popular media and gendered and ethnic identities.Hall was always among the first to identify key questions of the age, a…