[csaa-forum] cultural studies and (university) politics

Buettner, Angi A.Buettner at massey.ac.nz
Sat Aug 27 15:32:57 CST 2005

Dear CSAA members,
Just another note in response to the discussion on cultural studies and early career researchers, and all these other important issues that have been raised so far. I am still surprised at how quickly we tend to move away from discussing the question whether in the discipline of cultural studies we have or have not lost our critical force, due to either content-matter or changing institutional structures. Although I do not agree with the strong dichotomy suggested in Simon During's post to the list, the questions raised in his quote about enterprise universities and how their structures influence the practice of our discipline (and every other university discipline, for that matter) still need to be addressed. And particularly by us early career researchers. 
In the context of these questions I am, for example, slightly alarmed that in Melissa's, Jean's and Joshua's invitation to debate the current state of Australian cultural studies, the Creative Industries seem to have slipped in as defining cultural studies and media studies as a discipline: "- disciplinarity: what it means (practically, ethically, conceptually) to do "media and cultural studies" within the CI paradigm", they ask.  
Given the current trend towards "instrumentalism" in university politics and cultural politics worldwide--with their direct implications for research and teaching (as described, if often polemically, for example by Frank Furedi's Where Have All the Intellectual Gone?)--I'd rather discuss what it means to do cultural studies or media studies within the important current political paradigms and within our respective governments we have to work under, such as "enterprise universities" or "the war on terror" for example. The Creative Industries are important, but I'd like to think that they provide just one paradigm for our discipline, rather than the paradigm.   

dr angi buettner
school of english & media studies
massey university
pn 241, private bag 11222
palmerston north, new zealand

e  a.buettner at massey.ac.nz
p  +64 6 350 5799 ext. 7278
f  +64 6 350 5672

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