Before we go into it, what exactly is Cultural Studies in English Literature? We must first comprehend what culture study is.
What is Cultural Studies?
Cultural Studies is an academic subject that studies cultural phenomena in many civilizations by combining political economics, communication, sociology, social theory, literary theory, media theory, cinema studies, cultural anthropology, philosophy, art history, and other disciplines.
Cultural studies frequently examine how a phenomenon links to ideologies, country, race, socioeconomic class, and gender.
Cultural Studies is the study of the various influences that shape how people conduct their lives.
We study many cultural practices, research in this discipline, including upstream media, literature, and art.
Cultural studies theory is impressive, especially when considering the components of our society that it puts into perspective.
Cultural studies offer life new meaning by emphasizing that life cannot be defined simply by traditional benchmarks such as economics or politics, but rather by a multi-faceted approach.
Cultural studies in English Literature
Students in this discipline study literary works, movements, genres, topics, and authors in relation to their cultural surroundings.
Reading, narrative, communication, language, and historical and cultural events are all emphasized in the classes.
This multidisciplinary field of study aids in comprehending the connections between cultural texts and social forms by placing social analyses globally.
All writings are produced by diverse cultural factors – political, artistic, economic, technical, and ideological.
At the same time, we utilize such books to invent, challenge, and rebuild our civilizations daily.
The Cultural Studies approach encourages students to investigate these processes of cultural creation and the difficulties involved in understanding them, and the opportunities for transformation.
The model arranges its approach to the English major into five distinct areas of inquiry:
(1) the general pursuit of significant and cultural theory’s inquiries;
(2) the concerns presented by specific forms and genres – from epic to romance, and from cinema noir to the comedy – as shaping instruments through which societies portray their conflicts and ambitions to themselves; and
(3) the challenges posed at the confluence of cultural production and a range of social divisions.
(4) queries concerning the various configurations of material, social, and economic technological interactions that exist in oral, manuscript, print, film, and electronic cultures;
(5) matters concerning the historical study of cultural transitions from medieval to early modern, modern, and postmodern forms.
Cultural studies- Literary Theory and Criticism
With the publication of Richard Hoggart’s Use of Literacy (1957) and Raymond Williams’ Culture and Society (1958), and the foundation of the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies in England in 1968, the discussion of Cultural Studies gained traction.
Since culture is increasingly regarded as the source of art and literature, cultural criticism has gained traction, and as a result, Raymond Williams’ phrase “cultural materialism,” Stephen Greenblatt’s phrase “cultural poetics,” and Bakhtin’s word “cultural prosaic” have all acquired prominence in the area of Cultural Studies and cultural criticism.
Stuart Hall and Richard Hoggart’s work with the Birmingham Centre was later broadened by the writings of David Morley, Tony Bennett, and others.
Cultural Studies is concerned with how power connections structure cultural artifacts (food habits, music, cinema, sports events, etc.).
It reviews the popular culture and everyday life, which were formerly rejected as “inferior” and undeserving of academic study.
The methodologies of Cultural Studies
1) go beyond the limitations of a single subject, such as literary criticism or history.
2) are politically active, and
3) reject the division between “high” and “low” art or “elite” and “popular” culture.
4) Examine not just the works of culture, but also the method of creation.
Scholars at the CCCS looked to Antonio Gramsci’s work to analyze the shifting political realities of class, politics, and culture in the UK. Gramsci changed traditional Marxism by viewing culture as a fundamental weapon of political and social control.
Capitalists, in his opinion, use not just sheer force (police, prisons, and military) to keep power, but also infiltrate working people’s everyday culture.
Thus, cultural hegemony is the primary rubric for Gramsci and cultural studies.
According to Edgar and Sedgwick, the concept of leadership was crucial to the formation of British Cultural Studies.
It aided research of how subaltern groups actively reject and respond to political and economic dominance.
The perspective of Raymond Williams and CCCS was obviously Marxist and poststructuralist and regarded subject identities and connections to be textual, produced out of language.
Cultural Studies holds that we cannot “read” cultural artifacts just from an aesthetic standpoint; rather, they must be studied from a social and material standpoint; for example, a novel must be read not only in terms of the generic conventions and history of the novel but also in terms of the publishing industry and its profit, its reviewers, its academic field of criticism, the politics of awards, etc.
Cultural Studies considers cultural artifacts such as the tricolor or Gandhi Jayanti as political signs that are part of India’s discourse, supporting particular ideological ideals while masking repressive patriarchal views of the country, nationalism, and national identity.
In Cultural Studies, representation is a significant idea that defines a language in which all objects and interactions are described, a language tied to class, power, and ideology, and located within the framework of discourse.
The cultural practice of gifting dolls to girls may be interpreted within the patriarchal rhetoric of femininity, which states that females are weaker and more delicate and require soft things, and that grooming, care, and so on are feminine tasks that dolls will assist them in learning.
This discourse of femininity is associated with the discourse of masculinity, and the broader framework of power relations in culture.
For Culture Studies, identity is formed via experience, which includes representation – the consumption of signs, the creation of meaning from signs, and the knowing of meaning.
Cultural Studies sees everyday life as fragmented and multifaceted, with meanings hybridized and disputed; i.e., identities that were formerly more or less homogenous in terms of ethnicities and consumption habits are now entirely hybrid, particularly in cities.
With the globalization of urban environments, local cultures are associated with global economies, markets, and demands, and any study of modern culture must examine the role of non-local market money, which necessitates a postcolonial knowledge of the exploitative connection that exists between the First and Third Worlds even now.
Lifestyle is of importance in Cultural Studies because it
1) is about everyday living,
2) establishes identity,
3) shapes social connections, and
4) bestows meaning and value on artifacts in a culture.
Consumption has been considered a hallmark of identity in India since economic liberalization.
Commodities are markers of identity and lifestyle, and consumption begins before the act of purchasing; it starts with the consumption of commodity indications.
Literary and Cultural Studies
What exactly is it?
Literary and Cultural Studies exposes you to both historical and emerging literary, cultural, and intellectual traditions.
We can observe how language, as mediated by texts, organizes and enables diverse ways of knowing and living through critical interpretation and debate. Throughout the process, you will read some of the English language’s greatest wordsmiths and philosophers.
The Literary and Cultural Studies – An overview
The Literary and Cultural Studies seeks to introduce students to a variety of literature and cultural features such as visual art, religion, music, historical traditions, law, and communities.
This study allows students to assess various perspectives on literature and cultural forms particular to gender, identity, nationality, religion, and worldview by drawing on concepts and theoretical frameworks from several disciplines such as literature, history, visual studies, musicology, and sociology.
Students will investigate a variety of issues using this multidisciplinary approach, including:
- What are literary genres, and how are they classified?
- What are the significant tendencies in English literature from the Elizabethan period to the present?
- How does literature represent today’s cultural milieu?
- What exactly is culture?
- In what ways are distinct cultural forms shaped, adapted, and evolved in different cultural contexts?
- How and why do gender, ethnicity, and identity concerns influence cultural patterns and worldviews?
Through reflective reading and writing activities, the Literary and Cultural Studies major prepares students to create analysis and critical insights anchored in suitable methodological methods.
Students will be able to assess and analyze a comprehensive variety of texts, including literary works, academic writing, travelogues, historical and geographical tales, biographies, and case studies.
A series of courses will cover the discipline’s key principles and ideas, and introduce students to a variety of literature, and cultural forms, and their interpretations.
The following courses will concentrate on sharpening students’ abilities to link disparate arguments and theoretical frameworks, and critically assess texts as cultural forms.
Students will be taught how to write analytical and interpretive essays, how to analyze primary and secondary materials, and how to produce new ideas.
The Literary and Cultural Study prepares students for advanced graduate-level studies in comparative literature, English literature, cultural studies, cultural anthropology, and other humanities-related fields.
This study, with its emphasis on analytical thinking, evaluative reading of various texts, and analytical writing, prepares students for careers in publishing, editing, content writing, journalism, teaching, and academics.
The program-specific introductory courses in the major introduce students to broad surveys of English literature, and the study of historical traditions, religion, cinema, and music.
The courses are designed to introduce students to the fundamental concepts of literature and culture, to investigate the variety of literature and cultural forms, as well as their contextual understanding.
Intermediate courses introduce students to the discipline’s key theoretical frameworks, western literature, and thematic aspects of historical and musical traditions.
These courses attempt to explore many points of view while being grounded in a suitable theoretical framework.
Students learn to deconstruct texts, produce analytical essays, and assess various approaches to the study of literary and cultural forms.
Advanced courses dig into thematic aspects of literature, with a concentration on translated works from India and modern literary works from the British Empire’s former colonies.
The cultural studies courses cover topics such as nationality, legislation, regionalism, musical traditions, and religious studies, with a concentration on South Asia.
Students in these classes learn to adopt an interdisciplinary approach, examine diverse worldviews, and produce criticisms.
Why study Cultural studies in English literature?
Literature students explore the circumstances of imaginative writing and the aims of literary study.
Students may take part in intriguing cross-disciplinary dialogues that broaden their personal, cultural, ethical, and global views in small, discussion-based seminars.
Professors and students blend together ideas and texts to encourage fresh insights, such as comprehending poetry via jazz and hip-hop, reinterpreting medieval literature via contemporary film, or reading the modern novel through the prism of global capitalism.
Students in the Literature concentration acquire crucial modes of inquiry, core writing skills, and innovative research while creating new possibilities for literature, the study of culture, and the human condition through courses in the Literature concentration.
This degree prepares students for professions in business, information technology, healthcare, publishing, and human services, and top graduate programs and professional schools. It allows students to raise intriguing questions that challenge conventional wisdom and encourage them to consider many points of view and demonstrate consensus building and intelligent, productive disagreement.
As a result, students who complete the curriculum will be able to find peaceful solutions to problems, comprehend the intricacies and diversity of human experience, and accept complexity in all of its manifestations.
The study of literature and culture teaches you vital abilities in writing, thinking, and expressing yourself.
These speech and perception skills are extremely fluid and adaptive, helping you to think creatively and create in a variety of situations.