[csaa-forum] Re: but wait, it just keeps going on and on

Ben Hourigan mail at benhourigan.com
Sun Feb 27 13:01:01 CST 2005

Why do these arguments assume that everyone working in Cultural Studies 
is, or should be, on "the left"?

I, for one, would not consider myself to be a leftist, even if I 
thought that the left/right dichotomy was a useful way of 
characterising political ideologies (see Wikipedia's article on the 
Nolan Chart at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nolan_Chart for my favoured 

Nor do I think that allying an entire discipline (i.e., Cultural 
Studies), to one political ideology or another is a useful or 
particularly professional thing to do.

Anti-cultural-studies commentators appear to be social conservatives, 
in the main. Their attacks on Cultural Studies often seem to 
misunderstand what we do, but it is not necessarily our work and its 
methodologies that drives them to attack. Rather, it is that we wave, 
like a red rag (pun accidental) to a bull, that Cultural Studies is a 
'leftist' discipline. Obviously, then, journalists who think of 
themselves as being on 'the right' are going to think that Cultural 
Studies is something they ought to write against.

Ben Hourigan, B.A. (Hons) (Melb.)	

On 27 Feb 2005, at 12:59, Charles Fairchild wrote:

> I think it would be interesting for the more public amongst the 
> cultural studies
> people to produce a public argument about the kinds of critiques rags 
> like the
> Australian produce. The problem is, what forum could possibly be 
> regarded as
> even remotely fair? The Aus. has a pretty explicit agenda: smash all 
> opponents
> unreservedly. Would any counter argument that might even find space in 
> such a
> canary-cage-ready publication receive anything that might ever 
> resemble a fair
> hearing? The right is all for fairness and liberal education, when 
> their
> compatriots are on the soapbox or at the lectern. After they are done 
> bleating,
> they like to take their sturdy box or ear-splitting megaphone and go 
> home. (Big
> babies.)
> --------------
> Dr Charles Fairchild
> Lecturer in Musicology
> Conservatorium of Music
> University of Sydney
> Sydney NSW 2006
> Australia
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