Cultural Studies in the Future Tense

By Lawrence Grossberg

Lawrence Grossberg is one of the leading figures in cultural studies internationally. In Cultural Studies in the Future Tense, he offers a powerful critique of the present state of cultural studies and, more broadly, of the intellectual left, especially in the Anglo-American academy. He develops a vision for the future of cultural studies as conjunctural analysis, a radically contingent and contextual study of the articulations of lived, discursive, and material contexts. Proposing a compelling analysis of the contemporary political problem space as a struggle over modernity, he suggests the possibility of multiple ways of being modern as an analytic and imaginative frame. He elaborates an ontology of the modern as the potentialities of multiple configurations of temporalities and spatialities, differences, territorialities, and powers, and argues that euro-modernity is a specific geohistorical realization of this complex diagram. Challenging the euro-modern fragmentation of the social formation, he discusses the rigorous conceptual and empirical work that cultural studies must do—including rethinking fundamental concepts such as economy, culture, and politics as well as modernity—to reinvent itself as an effective political intellectual project. This book offers a vision of a contemporary cultural studies that embraces complexity, rigorous interdisciplinary practice and experimental collaborations in an effort to better explain the present in the service of the imagination of other futures and the struggles for social transformation.

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