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Syllabus Critical Theories of Culture - 54354

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Last update 19-07-2018
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

Responsible Department: Cultural Studies-Individual Graduate Prog.

Semester: 1st Semester

Teaching Languages: Hebrew

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Dr. Carola Hilfrich

Coordinator Email:

Coordinator Office Hours: Mondays

Teaching Staff:
Dr. Carola Hilfrich

Course/Module description:
In this seminar, we study critical theories of culture, focusing on traditional approaches to the cultural genetics of power through notions of domination/resistance and authenticity/commodification, and more recent approaches claiming a more complex texture of innovation, creativity, and restructured power relations. We question the role of theory and criticism in contemporary understandings of culture, examine tensions between the theory and practice of culture, and consider how cultural theory impacts methodologies of cultural research.

Course/Module aims:
Enable students to apply critical thought to cultural analysis

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
Combine various paradigms of critical thought
Critically analyze specific cultural practices, objects, or institutions
Discuss possibilities and limitations of cultural theory
Adapt theoretical concepts to specific situations or locations of culture
Question the relations of cultural theory and praxis/practice

Attendance requirements(%):
100 %

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: Lectures, debate, close reading, written responses, class presentations, final paper

Course/Module Content:
First Semester
1. Introduction

2. Stuart Hall, Cultural Studies and its Theoretical Legacies, in: Cultural Studies, ed. by L. Grossberg, C. Nelson, P. Treichler. London:Routledge 1992: 277-294

3. Karl Marx, "Introduction to the Critique of Political Economy (in Hebrew), Henri Lefebvre, Marxism (excerpts, in Hebrew)
4. Karl Marx, "Alienated Labor" (in Hebrew)
5. Rosalind Gill and Andy Pratt, "In the Social Factory? Immaterial Labor, Precariousness, and Cultural Work," Theory, Culture & Society, Vol. 25 (7-8), December 2008: 1-30 ,;GxL5m.cIE6fj2&keytype&eq;ref&siteid&eq;sptcs
Andrew Ross, "The New Geography of Work. Power to the Precarious?," ibid, 31-49;1mS7xmnFwT7vM&keytype&eq;ref&siteid&eq;sptcs

6. Karl Marx, "The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof, Capital;
William Pietz, "The Problem of the Fetish I, II," Res 9, Spring 85: 5-17, and Res 13, Spring 87: 23-46
7. Catharine A. MacKinnon,Feminism, Marxism, Method and the State: An Agenda for Theory Signs 7,3 (1982):514-544
Arjun Appadurai, "The Thing Itself," Public Culture 2006 18 (1): 15-22

8. Sigmund Freud, "Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego" (in Hebrew)
9. Judith Butler, "Critically Queer," GLQ Vol.1, 17-32,
"Disidentification," at

10. Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer, "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception (in Hebrew)
11. Scott Lash and Celia Lury, Global Culture Industry, Cambridge: Polity Press 2007 (excerpts)

12. Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (in Hebrew); , Homi Bhabha, Remembering Fanon. Self, Psyche and the Colonial Condition, (&eq;Foreword to Black Skin, White Masks, pp. vii-xxv)
13. Jamaica Kincaid, "In History," Callaloo, Vol. 20 (1), Winter 1997: 1-7

14. Conclusion

Second Semester:

Required Reading:
see above

Additional Reading Material:
Agger, Ben, Cultural Studies as Critical Theory, London and New York: Routledge 1992
Azzmanova, Albena, "Crisis? Capitalism is Doing Very Well. How is Critical Theory?," Constellations 21, no. 3 (2014): 351-365
Bhabha, Homi, The Commitment to Theory, Locations of Culture, London and New York: Routledge 1994, 19-39
Bourdieu, Pierre, Structures, Habitus, Power: Basis for a Theory of Symbolic Power, in Culture / Power / History, edited by N.B.Dirks, G.Eley, S.B.Ortner. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1994: 155-199
Jonathan Culler, Introduction: Whats the point?, in The Point of Theory. Practices of Cultural Analysis, edited by M. Bal and I. E. Boer, New York: Continuum 1994: 1317
Douglas, Mary, How Institutions Think. London: Routledge and K.Paul 1987
Godzich, Wlad, Foreword: The Tiger on the Paper Mat. In Paul de Man: The Resistance to Theory. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press 1986, ix-xviii
Gramsci, Antonio, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, edited and translated by Q. Hoare and G.N. Smith, New York: International Publishers 1971
, , . " ", : 2005
Grossberg, Lawrence, "The Conversation of Cultural Studies," Cultural Studies 23, no. 2 (2009): 177-182
Gunster, Shane, Capitalizing on Culture: Critical Theory for Cultural Studies, Toronto: University of Toronto Press 2004
Hall, Stuart (Ed.), Culture, Media, Language: Working Papers in Cultural Studies, 1972-79, London: Hutchinson and CCCS 1981
---------- Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms, in Culture / Power / History, edited by N.B.Dirks, G.Eley, S.B.Ortner. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1994: 520-538
Hesmondhalgh, David, "What Cultural, Critical, and Communication Might Mean: Why Cultural Studies is a Bit Like Rave Culture," Communication & Critical/Cultural Studies 10, Nos 2/3 (September 2013): 280-284
Marianne Hirsch, Masking the Subject: Practicing Theory, in in The Point of Theory. Practices of Cultural Analysis, edited by M. Bal and I. E. Boer, New York: Continuum 1994: 109-124
Jameson, Frederic Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Duke University Press 1991
Kellner, Douglas, Critical Theory, Marxism, and Modernity, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press 1989
---------- "Toward a Critical Media/Cultural Studies," in: Media/Cultural Studies: Critical Approaches, ed. by Rhonda Hammer and Douglas Kellner, New York: Peter Lang 2009: 5-24
Nelson, Cary and Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar, Disciplinarity and Dissent in Cultural Studies, New York: Routledge 1996
Ono, Kent A., "Critical: A Finer Edge," Communication & Critical/Cultural Studies 8, no. 1 (March 2011): 93-96
Rasmussen, David, "Critical Theory Then and Now," The Journal of Speculative Philosophy 26, no. 2 (2012): 291-298
Turner, Graeme, British Cultural Studies, London and New York: Routledge1996
Williams, Raymond, Conclusion, Culture and Society 1780-1950, London: Chatto and Windus, 1967: 295-338
---------- Keywords. A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, Oxford University Press 1985

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 50 %
Presentation 25 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 25 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %

Additional information:
Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation.
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.