As long as we put them in their historical context
What is an author?
What is a reader?
Shmoop: Cultural Studies Notes
In a Nutshell
Like a Kid in an Analytical Candy Store
It doesn’t have just one theoretical approach
It doesn’t confine itself to one narrow corner of literature or culture.
First emerged as a field of study at the University of Birmingham
(in England), with the opening of the Centre for Contemporary
Stickin’ It to the Man, Academia-Style
Cultural studies isn’t just about the author or the structure of the
text, but how people consume texts and how texts engage with
Identity and representation are key targets for examination,
as are gender, sexuality, race, class, and other areas of
Why Should I Care?
Why Should Readers Care?
Cultural studies has a much wider scope than many other
Doesn’t just focus on “the classics”, but also popular,
All about “keeping it real”-- sees texts as a part of culture, not as
products of some mythical author figure.
Why Should Theorists Care?
It engages political and social themes, including issues relating to
identity on an individual and group basis.
Offers sharp critical lens to examine how power and resistance
operate in everyday life, and how meaning and values are
Any song, piece of art, etc. can be studied from a wide array of theoretical