This working group creates a space for scholars to engage with the work of Stuart Hall. We use the new Duke University Press series on Hall (https://www.dukeupress.edu/books/browse/by-‐series/series-‐ detail?IdNumber=3478635) as a starting place to read and be in dialogue about Hall’s contribution to cultural studies, especially in regards to difference, cultural production, and emancipatory theory. For 2019‐2020, we will also facilitate a daylong symposium, “Digitizing Blackness." In addition to reading Hall’s work, workshopping our research, and facilitating symposia, our group will write, support, and solicit pieces for the new, open-access journal that launched in April 2019, Addressing the Crisis: The Stuart Hall Project. The journal emerged out of a former Obermann Comparative Ethnic Studies Working Group event where we read Hall’s anthology on selected political writings.
As we move forward, we will amplify the roots of cultural studies at Iowa. Indeed, the University of Iowa’s connection to Stuart Hall and cultural studies is a special one. As David Morely and Kuan-Hsing Chen write in the introduction to Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies: Stuart Hall (1996):
In 1985, Stuart Hall was invited, as Ida Beam Professor, to deliver a series of lectures on the University of Iowa campus. Intrigued by his "passion, intensity and intellectual generosity," the Journal of Communication Inquiry, organized by graduate students of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication [at the University of Iowa], decided to devote a Special Issue of their journal to Stuart Hall, in recognition of his long-term contribution in opening up spaces for critical scholarship. Kuan-Hsing Chen edited that Special Issue. It was clear that the task was not naively to celebrate the work of a committed intellectual but rather to take the opportunity to productively facilitate further "critical dialogues."
This working group will engage in discussions about race and ethnicity as it intersects with gender, sexualities, ability, and class in national and transnational contexts. Our goal is to cultivate an alliance among scholars who yearn to engage in a conversation beyond a particular discipline and racial-ethnic group, and to think through points of continuity between historically marginalized groups and aggrieved communities. We see this group as a space to focus on contemporary social movements of Indigenous Nations Peoples and Latino/as, African and Asian diasporas, borderlands, cultural production in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Mexico, Africa, and Latin America, and critical whiteness studies, with a particular focus on Hall, his predecessors, and those influenced by Hall’s contribution to sociology, film studies, popular culture, and cultural studies.
To learn more about this group, contact Deborah Whaley at firstname.lastname@example.org.