Stuart Hall, Essential Essays (Two-volume set): Foundations of Cultural Studies & Identity and Diaspora, edited by David Morley, Duke UP 2019

Hall.jpgStuart Hall, Essential Essays (Two-volume set): Foundations of Cultural Studies & Identity and Diaspora, edited by David Morley, Duke University Press, 2019

Volumes 1 and 2 of Stuart Hall’s Essential Essays are available as a set

From his arrival in Britain in the 1950s and involvement in the New Left, to founding the field of cultural studies and examining race and identity in the 1990s and early 2000s, Stuart Hall has been central to shaping many of the cultural and political debates of our time. Essential Essays—a landmark two volume set—brings together Stuart Hall’s most influential and foundational works. Spanning the whole of his career, these volumes reflect the breadth and depth of his intellectual and political projects while demonstrating their continued vitality and importance.

Volume 1: Foundations of Cultural Studies focuses on the first half of Hall’s career, when he wrestled with questions of culture, class, representation, and politics. This volume’s stand-out essays include his field-defining “Cultural Studies and Its Theoretical Legacies;” the prescient “The Great Moving Right Show,” which first identified the emergent mode of authoritarian populism in British politics; and “Encoding and Decoding in the Television Discourse,” one of his most influential pieces of media criticism. As a whole, Volume 1 provides a panoramic view of Hall’s fundamental contributions to cultural studies.

Volume 2: Identity and Diaspora draws from Hall’s later essays, in which he investigated questions of colonialism, empire, and race. It opens with “Gramsci’s Relevance for the Study of Race and Ethnicity,” which frames the volume and finds Hall rethinking received notions of racial essentialism. In addition to essays on multiculturalism and globalization, black popular culture, and Western modernity’s racial underpinnings, Volume 2 contains three interviews with Hall, in which he reflects on his life to theorize his identity as a colonial and diasporic subject.

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