October 07, 2003


Still trying to figure out what I make of this statement for the Crossroads in Cultural Studies 2004 conference.

In light of these uncertain and violent times, cultural studies scholars have a moral obligation to police this crisis, to speak to the death of people, culture and truth, and to undo the official pedagogies that circulate in the media. We must seek non-violent regimes of truth that honor culture, universal human rights, and the sacred. We must seek critical methodologies that protest, resist and help us represent and imagine radically free utopian spaces.

And so, too, must this Crossroads Conference—this international gathering of voices—seek a new politics of resistance and truth, a politics of opposition, a world-wide joining of hands in the "globalization of dissent" (Roy, 2001, p.33). "A new day has dawned, to be met by a humankind's refusal to allow men to any longer make and wage war in the name of vainglory, profit and corrupt political ideologies" (Sontag, 2003, p. 3).

It is up to the poets, writers, artists, and scholars in cultural studies to make sense of what is happening.

There is a lot I agree with, to an extent, in those words. I'm all for "non-violent regimes of truth that honor culture, universal human rights, and the sacred" of course? But there is an odd tension to it all and some dark philosophies seemingly underlying it all. "Speak to the death" what a strange phrase.

Refusal, opposition, dissent, there is a negativity pulsing through it, occasionally offset with bursts of visions of a better world. But where is the "how"? How does seeking "critical methodologies that protest (and) resist" "help us represent and imagine radically free utopian spaces". Could it be that two halfs of the same statement are actually in opposition to each other? Where along a path of resistance, protest and opposition, does the construction or emergence of something better begin?

Posted by Abe at October 7, 2003 08:22 PM


Excellent - I see your paper emerging already ;)

Go get 'em, Abe! While you submit to, maybe, the Political & Cultural Studies area, my efforts will be going at the Performative Cultural Studies area ...

And disagree with them - they want you to ;)

thanks for the encouragement!

now I just need to figure out how to create this 'paper' thing...

I'll show you mine, if you show me yours ;)