This article looks at cultural studies as an alternative to literary studies. To cofound cultural studies, Stuart Hall had to abandon literary studies. Later development, however, enabled cultural studies itself to engulf literary studies. Today, with radical approaches such as Franco Moretti‘s distant reading, literary studies has itself started to approach cultural studies. But it is no longer the dominant kind of cultural studies; it is something much closer to Hall's initial project. Moretti's literary studies is not mimicking the cultural studies that is subsuming literary studies anyway; on the contrary, it is proposing a repoliticization similar to Hall's original intervention. Thus Moretti is effectively following up on Hall's own critique of the depoliticized cultural studies that came to dominate early cultural studies as well as literary studies. At stake, then, is not only literary studies vis-à-vis cultural studies but the politics of cultural studies itself.
Jernej Habjan; Ordinary Literature Philosophy: Literary Studies After Cultural Studies. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2016; 115 (4): 699–714. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-3656103
Download citation file: