n Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - 'Something nasty down below' : the challenges facing cultural studies in English departments

Volume 31, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0250-0167



This article examines the controversial impact that English literary studies is having upon cultural studies. Instead of reconstructing itself in the light of moving onto the terrain of cultural studies, English literary studies is in danger of over-textualising cultural studies, and remains captive to appropriating texts ethically to suit its historical mission as a 'surrogate religion'. These prevent English literary studies from properly engaging with the recent shift within cultural studies to notions of the 'active audience'. However, the preoccupation of English studies with postmodern textualist theories can enable cultural studies to break with the damaging opposition between 'text' and 'social context'.

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