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CLC 5312 Concepts of Contemporary Culture II



This course follows on the Concepts of Contemporary Culture I from the first Semester, and looks at other relevant topics in the recent cultural scene. The objective of this course is to survey in some detail how the linguistic turn or indeed the cultural turn in humanities and social sciences affects and shapes our everyday experiences, ways of production and consumption, for example ways in which we deal with ‘object,’ and ways in which ‘object’ conditions the supposedly beholding ‘subject.’ Culture seems to be the most powerful channel through which the exchange is to take place. To say this transformative subject/object relationship is imperative in understanding our contemporary cultural landscape is an understatement. Yet to understand the shift to and transformation of culture is not only useful to forms of social as well as economic perspectives, but also to the appreciation of its manifold pitfalls as well as critical alternatives.


Course Outline (tentative)


  1. The Turn

Readings:

Hall, Stuart (1997), ‘The centrality of culture: notes on the cultural revolutions of our time,’ in Thompson, Kenneth (ed.), Media and Cultural Regulation. London: Sage.

Negus, K. (1997), ‘The Production of Culture,’ in Du Gay, P (ed.), Production of Culture/Cultures of Production. London: Sage.


  1. The Economies of Sign I: commodification of the object

Readings:

Baudrilard, Jean (1996), The System of Object. London: Verso. Trans. Benedict, J.

Lash, Scott & Urry, John (1994), The Economies of Signs and Space. London: Sage.


  1. The Economies of Sign II: information society and brands

Readings:

Lash, Scott (2002), Critique of Information. London: Sage.

Lury, Cecila (2004), Brands : the logos of the global economy. London: Routledge.


Poster, Mark (1995), The Second Media Age. Cambridge: Polity.


  1. Style I: art and society

Readings:

Ruskin, John (2004), On Art and Life. London: Penguin Books.

布爾格, 培德(Peter Bürger) (1998), 《前衛藝術理論》。台北: 時報文化。


  1. Style II: idealism and self-construction

Readings:

Bauman, Zygmunt (1992), Imitation of postmodernity. London: Routledge.

Hebdige, Dick (1979), Subculture: the meaning of style. London: Methuen.

Jencks, Charles (1991), The Language of Post-modern Architecture. NY.: Rissoli.


  1. The Media, Time and Space I: the culture industry

Readings:

Adorno, T.W. (1991), The Culture Industry: selected essays on mass culture. London: Verso.

Bourdieu, Pierre (1984), Distinction: a critique of the judgement of taste. London: Routledge.

McLuhan, E. & Zingrone, F. (1999) (ed.) 《預知傳播紀事
: 麥克魯漢讀本》Essential McLuhan. 臺北 : 臺灣商務印書館.


  1. The Media, Time and Space II: memory

Readings:

Benjamin, Walter (1992), ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,’ in Arendt, H. (ed.), Illumuniations. London: Fontana.

Lury, Celia (1998), Prosthetic Culture: photography, memory and identity. London: Routledge.

Virilio, P. (1999), Polar Inertia. London: Sage.


  1. The Media, Time and Space III: diasporaic cultural trail

Readings:

Bhabha, Homi (2004), The Location of Culture. London: Routledge.

Gilroy, Paul (1993), The Black Atlantic. London: Verso.

Morris, Meaghan (1998), Too Soon Too Late. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.


Scott, Allen, J. (2000), The Cultural Economy of Cities. London: Sage.


  1. Object/Subject I: fashion, fandom, and question of taste

Readings:

Abercrombie, N. & Longhurst, B. (1998), Audiences: a sociological theory of performance and imagination. London: Sage.

Bourdieu, Pierre (1984), Distinction: a critique of the judgement of taste. London: Routledge.

Jenkins, H. (1992), Textual Poaches: television fans and participatory culture. NY.: Routledge.

Jensen, J. (2001), ‘Fandom as Pathology: The consequences of characterization,’ in Harrington, C.L. & Bielby, D.D. (ed.) Popular Culture: Production and Consumption. Oxford: Blackwell.


  1. Object/Subject II: discipline and display

Readings:

Elias, Norbert (1998), On Civilization, Power, and Knowledge. Chicago: UCP.

Lacan, J. (1968), ‘The mirror phase as the formative of the function of the I,’ New Left Review, No.51, pp.71-77.

Freud, S. (1984), ‘The dissolution of the Oedipus complex,’ in Pelican Freud Library, Vol. 8. Harmonodsworth: Peguin.

Foucault, M. (1982), ‘The Subject and power,’ in Dreyfus, H. & Rabinow, P. (eds.), Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics. Brighton: Harvester.

Parekh, Bhikhu (1997), ‘National Culture and Multiculturalism,’ in Thompson, Kenneth (ed.), Media and Cultural Regulation. London: Sage


  1. Object/Subject III: everyday life, lifestyling and marketing

Readings:

Barthes, Roland (1993), Mythologies. London: Vintage.

Benjamin, Walter (1989), Charles Baudelaire. London: Verso.

Lefebvre, Henri (1993), The Production of Space. Oxford: Blackwell.

Nixon, Sean (1997), ‘Circulating Culture,’ in du Gay, Paul (ed.), Production of Culture/ Cultures of Production. London: Sage.



  1. Globalization I: universal humanity or profit-making?

Readings:

Schiller, H.I. (1985), ‘Electronic information flows: new basis for global domination, in Drummond, P. and Paterson, R. (eds.), Television in Transition. London: BFI Publishing.

Tomlinson, J. (1997), ‘Internationalism, Globalization and Cultural Imperialism,’ in Thompson, K. (ed.), Media and Cultural Regulation. London: Sage.


  1. Globalization II: Who is not local?

Readings:

Baudrillard, Jean (2002), The Spirit of Terrorism. London: Verso.

Franklin, S., Lury, C., Stacey, J. (2000), Global Nature, Global Culture. London: Sage.

Urry, John (2003), Global Complexity. Cambridge: Polity.

Virilio, Paul (2002), Ground Zero. London: Verso. Trans. Turner, Chris.


Course Requirements


Students are required to give a group presentation and term paper.


Presentation: 30% of the final grade. A group presentation of 30 to 45 minutes, followed by open discussion, is required.

Term paper: 70% of the final grade. The length of the paper should be at least 15 A4 double-spaced typed pages.