Halcyon daze: cultural studies’ crisis narratives and the imagined ends of a discipline

Hickey, Andrew (2017) Halcyon daze: cultural studies’ crisis narratives and the imagined ends of a discipline. Cultural Studies. ISSN 0950-2386


Using Frank Kermode’s (1967. The sense of an ending: studies in the theory of fiction with a new epilogue. Oxford: OUP) formulation of ‘the End’ as its conceptual marker, this paper takes aim at pronouncements of cultural studies’ demise. In recent years, it has become fashionable to declare cultural studies as in decline, if not irretrievably lost. In drawing on this conceptualization of ‘the End’ to define the current status of cultural studies, attention will be given to how narratives of demise and decline claim a position of speaking-for the discipline whilst reifying selective moments of cultural studies’ past as markers of a ‘high point’, a halcyon moment from which the current malaise is contrasted. Arguing that this is a troubling dynamic, this paper works through the formulations that selected crisis narrative present to outline how these narratives gain dimension. The argument then moves to problematize the positioning of selective originary points within cultural studies’ past to propose that a far more speculative appraisal of these halcyon moments might be drawn upon. Such ‘speculative recognition’ of the past does not seek to dismiss cultural studies’ histories, nor position these within simplistic generational divisions, but does seek to question the significance selective originary moments hold in defining prescriptions for the discipline’s future.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online 26 September 2017. Permanent restricted access to ArticleFirst Version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2018 05:03
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2018 05:25
Uncontrolled Keywords: cultural studies, crisis narratives, speculative recognition, originary myths, memorialization, foundation narratives
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200299 Cultural Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9502 Communication > 950299 Communication not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/09502386.2017.1374423
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/34704

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