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Post-Marxism Versus Cultural Studies

Theory, Politics and Intervention

Paul Bowman

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Post-Marxism versus Cultural Studies is an innovative exploration of the ethical and political significance of Cultural Studies and Post-Marxist discourse theory. It argues that although Cultural Studies and post-Marxism tend to present themselves as distinct entities, they actually share a project - that of taking on the political. Post-Marxism presents itself as having a developed theory of political strategy, while Cultural Studies has claimed to be both practical and political. Bowman examines these intertwined, overlapping, controversial and contested claims and orientations by way of a deconstructive reading that is led by the question of intervention: what is the intervention of post-Marxism, of Cultural Studies, of each into the other, and into other institutional and political contexts and scenes?

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One - Cultural Studies and Post-Marxism
Introduction: Of Deconstruction into Politics
The Text of Cultural Studies
The Problem with the Text
The Institutional Articulation and Dissemination of Texts and Discourses
Two - Cultural Studies versus Post-Marxism
Two Texts of Cultural Studies
Stuart Hall's Closure versus Post-Marxist Discourse
The Political Disciplinary Object
Textual versus Discourse Analysis
Cultural Studies versus Political Analysis
The Object of the Subject
Deconstruction versus Post-Marxism
Three - Theory versus Practice
Practice versus Theory
Theory versus Practice
Post-Marxist Theory and Practice
Banal Pragmatism versus High Theory
The (Dis)Articulation of Theory and Practice
Knaves versus Fools
Investments and Institutions
Four - Post-Marxist Cultural Studies' Theory, Politics and Intervention
Relations and Effects
The Necessity of Articulation
The Necessity of Institution
The (Dis)Articulation of Post-Marxism and Politics
For a New Intervention
The Necessity of Deconstruction

About the Author

Paul Bowman is Reader in Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. He is the author of Post-Marxism versus Cultural Studies (2007), Deconstructing Popular Culture (2008), Theorizing Bruce Lee (2010), Culture and the Media (2012), Beyond Bruce Lee (2013) and Reading Rey Chow (2013).


… this book will be indispensable in the ongoing and endless work of deciding what cultural studies and its intervention can be.
- Dave Huddart, Chinese Unievrsity of Hong Kong, Borderlands e-journal
This is an exciting field which is beginning to open up a sustained “thinking about” politics from a post-structuralist perspective … This is an ambitious book which will make a significant impact in its field.
- Martin McQuillan, Professor of Cultural Theory and Analysis, University of Leeds
This book offers a much-needed contribution to a delayed debate on the orientation of both disciplines. Its discussion of the relation between academic work and the institutional political terrain will attract specialised readers in particular.
- Hakki Tas, Yale University, Political Studies Review
In the first sustained scholarly assessment of the scandal of post-Marxism Bowman traces the struggle – both intellectual and political – of academic Marxism to keep its footing on the long march through the institution. As the “versus” that hinges his title suggests, neither post-Marxism nor Cultural Studies remain unscathed by Bowman’s staging of this face off. Post-Marxism versus Cultural Studies rewards the serious reader concerned to come to terms with the discursive politics of the contemporary university.
- John Mowitt, Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota

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