What’s become of cultural studies?

Posted on | April 1, 2012 | 2 Comments

From Graeme Turner’s new book:

Cultural studies is among the humanities disciplines where academics’ everyday practice has become increasingly professionalized, strategic and institutionally oriented – this is particularly so for younger people, entering a workplace in which these attributes have become ever more important to one’s continuing employment. That has its drawbacks: new academics are often given unrealistic targets for their output and their impact; they are required to become well published almost immediately upon completing the apprenticeship of the PhD; and the oppression of the performance indicator or the unpredictability of the tenure process requires them to continually monitor their progress in ways their predecessors rarely had to do, let alone at such an early stage in their careers. This cohort of teachers and researchers are acutely aware that they do not have the option of disregarding the institutional indicators used by their university to calibrate their careers. Senior academics in the field have a duty of care to these young people to provide advice and mentoring so that they might successfully manager their relation to their institution. In general, there is not a lot of evidence that this duty has either been accepted or discharged. Largely, the young researcher is left to deal with their anxieties alone. (172)


2 Responses to “What’s become of cultural studies?”

  1. Hired Hands: Casualised Technology and Labour in the Teaching of Cultural Studies : home cooked theory
    April 2nd, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

    […] What is all the more fantastic about the piece is that the authors use a mix of foundational cultural theory (Walter Benjamin’s ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’), higher education research and current industrial campaign material to make their point. It is just the kind of activism fitting an increasingly professionalised discipline. […]

  2. Michael
    April 3rd, 2012 @ 12:24 am

    But such statements bring into question a flippant but necessary statement; why bother with taking on a thankless task? Become a bricklayer, more respect. I know this will sound horrifying and unrealistic but for academia to survive it cannot impose conditions then force someone to deal with anxieties. Also the use of the word young is disturbing. People of later years can bring much to academia. They need to be looked after as well. This cult of suffering purely because those that went before us did is unworkable.

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