‘Cultural studies’ is a familiar presence in intellectual discourse today, but there is little agreement about what it stands for. As John Hartley recently observed, the field is riven by fundamental disagreements about what cultural studies is for, in whose interests it is done, what theories, methods and objects of study are proper to it, and where to set its limits (Hartley, 2003: p. 1). Such admissions of dissensus and uncertainty are typical of cultural studies. Indeed, boundary disputes (including disputes about its own boundaries) are intrinsic to cultural studies. One could pithily sum up the overarching cultural studies ‘method’ as the contestation of socially constructed boundaries: cultural studies analysis often begins with a thorough questioning of the apparent naturalness of categories ...