Cultural Studies Goes Global


Abstract: Where does Cultural Studies stand now? Essentially, this is the question this essay is raising. The answer points, first, to the ‘cultural turn’ that has been transforming the humanities since the late 1980s, across the English‐speaking world and beyond. While both the shift itself and the paradigm it brought about are sometimes plagued by fuzzy concepts and ill‐defined methodology, the change is undeniable, and so are its benefits despite the controversies still swirling around Cultural Studies’ basic tenets, analytic protocols, and politics. Second, this intervention argues that cultural studies is now going global, namely, it is reinventing itself geopolitically in dialogue with comparative studies. In the process, this heterogeneous and fertile field pushes us to rethink the meaning of ‘culture,’ ‘tradition,’ ‘history,’ and ‘discourse.’

Keywords: cultural turn, disciplinarity, academy, politics, aesthetics, ideology, culture and relation, culture and heterogeneity, geopolitics, globalization and glocalization, comparative studies, post‐tradition