This original, sharp, and engaging book draws the reader into a compelling exploration of cultural studies in the twenty-first century. It offers a level-headed account of where cultural studies has come from, the methodological and theoretical dilemmas that it faces today, and an agenda for its future development. In an age in which the relevance of cultural studies has been called into question, this book seeks to generate debate. Focusing upon the actual practice of cultural studies within higher education today, it asks whether or not cultural studies has really managed to maintain a connection with its original political and ethical mission and comments on the strategies needed to regain the initiative.

The ‘Undiscipline’: Cultural Studies and Interdisciplinarity

The ‘undiscipline’: Cultural studies and interdisciplinarity

Being ‘Undisciplined’

In commencing this chapter by focusing on cultural studies’ description of itself as the ‘undiscipline’, I acknowledge at the outset that this formulation is in some respects a straw man; it is true that this notion is far less current now than it once was. The reason why I am focusing on it, nonetheless, is that I am interested in what I perceive as its continuing influence on certain aspects of the practice of cultural studies, and in particular on how we approach the task of training our postgraduate students in their practice of cultural studies.

In what follows, I want to consider some of the limitations to the project of interdisciplinarity within which cultural studies locates itself. Much of what I have to say about ...

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