Cultural Studies concerns the political dynamics of contemporary culture, as well as its historical foundations, conflicts and defining traits. It is distinguished from cultural anthropology and ethnic studies in both objective and methodology. Cultural studies approaches subjects holistically, combining feminist theory, social theory, political theory, history, philosophy, literary theory, media theory, film/video studies, communication studies, political economy, translation studies, museum studies and art history/criticism to study cultural phenomena in various societies. Thus, cultural studies seeks to understand the ways in which meaning is generated, disseminated, and produced through various practices, beliefs and institutions. Also politically, economically and even social structures within a given culture.
Cultural Theory and the Lens of Marxism
15 short lectures by Ron Strickland of the English Dept at Illinois State University. They can be viewed as a unit, in batches, or separately.Access Here
E. P Thompson on Social Change
Three lectures by the renowned E.P. Thompson in March 1977 on Models of Social Change, organized by Alan Macfarlane, dealing with the economy, social structure and ideologyAccess Here
belle hooks on 'Outlaw Culture'
Eight 8-minute videos entitled 'Cultural Critcism and Transformation,' where bell hooks covers a range of themes, from Madonna to Rap MusicAcess Here
Frank Sinatra, the Left and the US Popular Front A 25 page article from Science & Society, 2002, by Gerald Meyer, exploring the little-known history of the poplar singer and his contributions to the left as a young man. Sinatra played an active role in a score of Popular Front organizations. In contrast to most other celebrity leftists, he also actively fought against racism and intolerance by speaking widely, including at high schools where racial incidents had occurred. Vicious red-baiting contributed to an astounding downward spiral in his career, and caused him to distance himself from the left. Access Here
Guy Debord: Society and Spectacle
"The spectacle is not a collection of images," Debord writes, "rather, it is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images."In his analysis of the spectacular society, Debord notes that quality of life is impoverished with such lack of authenticity, human perceptions are affected, and there's also a degradation of knowledge, with the hindering of critical thought. Debord analyzes the use of knowledge to assuage reality: the spectacle obfuscates the past, imploding it with the future into an undifferentiated mass, a type of never-ending present; in this way the spectacle prevents individuals from realizing that the society of spectacle is only a moment in history, one that can be overturned through revolution. 90 minutes of film, in nine 10- minute parts.Access Here
How Language Transformed HumanityA 20 minutes 'TED Talk' by Reading University Biologist Mark Pagel. He shares an intriguing theory about why humans evolved our complex system of language. He suggests that language is a piece of "social technology" that allowed early human tribes to access a powerful new tool: cooperation. Using biological evolution as a template, Mark Pagel wonders how languages evolve. Access Here
The Letters of Rosa Luxemberg: A Reading
Acclaimed actress Kathleen Chalfant performs a selection of Rosa Luxemburg's letters on the anniversary of her assassination. 55 Minute Video. The event took place at the official opening of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung New York Office, November 2012. For more information, visit www.rosalux-nyc.org. Introduction by Albert Scharenberg, Co-executive director of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung New York Office.Access Here