ADM-5196-Cultural Politics

Fall 2011-2012

ADM 5196



Instructor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Necmi ERDOĞAN

Office: A 317

Tel: (210) 3020


Group Web Address:

Office Hours: Tuesday 13:30-15:30; Wednesday 13:30-15:30



Course Description:


The course is designed to provide students with analytical tools to conceptualise the field of cultural practices. It presents a critical review of contemporary theoretical positions developed by the Frankfurt School, neo-Gramscian Marxism, Bakhtin, de Certeau, Bourdieu, Lefebvre, Debord, etc. Special attention will be paid to the interplay of ideology, culture, and power, the transformations of the field of cultural practices, and the contestatory character of popular cultural forms. Among the themes to be explored are the elite/mass or high/popular culture binaryism, the dichotomies of resistance versus domination and opposition versus ideological incorporation, the so-called postmodern collapse of cultural hierarchies, the pragmatics of diversionary practices in everyday life, the spectacle, and hybridity.


Course Requirements:


All students are expected to attend class sessions and film screenings and to participate in discussions, having read the assigned texts beforehand. They are required to submit annotation papers for each topic (with a weight of 20 %) and to prepare and present a term paper dealing with a particular theoretical problem (with a weight of 40 %). They are also required to take a final exam, weighing 40 %.


Course Outline:


Introduction: Popular Culture, Ideology and Power


ABERCROMBIE, N. (1990), “Popular Culture and Ideological Effects”, in N. Abercrombie, S. Hill and B. S. Turner (eds.), Dominant Ideologies, London: Unwin Hyman.


JAMESON, F. (1992) [1979], “Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture”, in his Signatures of the Visible, London: Routledge.


WILLIAMS, R. (1977), Marxism and Literature, Oxford: Oxford University Press (selections).


WILLIAMS, R. (1997), “Base and Superstructure in Marxist Cultural Theory”, in his Problems in Materialism and Culture, London: Verso.



Ideology Critique:


ALTHUSSER, L. (1971), “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses”, in Lenin and Philosophy, and Other Essays, London: New Left Books.


EAGLETON, T. (1991), “What is Ideology?”, in his Ideology. An Introduction, London: Verso.


LACLAU, E. (1996), “The Death and Resurrection of the Theory of Ideology”, Journal of Political Ideologies, 1(3): 201-21.


MARX, K. (1974), “Fetishism of Commodities” in Capital, Vol 1., Lawrence and Wishart: London, 1974, pp.76-87.


VOLOSHINOV, V. N. (1973), “The Study of Ideologies and Philosophy of language”, in hisMarxism and the Philosophy of Language, New York: Seminar Press.


ZIZEK, S. (1994), “The Spectre of Ideology”, in S. Zizek (ed.), Mapping Ideology, London: Verso.



Modernity and the Invention of Popular Culture:


BURKE, P. (1978), "The Discovery of the People", in Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe, London: Temple Smith.


BURKE, P. (1992), "We, the People: Popular Culture and Popular Identity in Modern Europe", in Lash and Friedman (eds.), Modernity and Identity, Oxford: Blackwell.


DE CERTEAU, M. (1986), “Beauty of the Nizard”, in his Heterologies. Discourse on the Other, trans. by B. Massumi, Manchester: Manchester university Press.



High Culture, Mass Culture, and the Culture Industry:


ADORNO, T. & HORKHEIMER, M. (1979), “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception”, in Dialectic of Enlightenment, London: Verso.


ADORNO, T. (1991), “The Schema of Mass Culture”, in his The Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture, London: Routledge.


ADORNO, T. (1991), “Culture Industry Reconsidered”, in his The Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture, London: Routledge.


ADORNO, T. (1998), “Prologue to Television”, in his Critical Models, New York: Columbia University Press.



Benjamin, the Work of Art, and Storytellers:


BENJAMIN, W. (1973), “The Storyteller”, in his Illuminations, London: Fontana.


BENJAMIN, W. (1973), “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, in hisIlluminations, London: Fontana.


BENJAMIN, W. (1999), “Some Remarks on Folk Art”, in his Selected Writings, Volume 2: 1927-1934, Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.



Bloch, the Utopian Function, and Popular Culture:


BLOCH, E. (1986), The Principle of Hope, Volume I & II, Cambridge: The MIT Press (selections).



Kracauer and the Mass Ornament:


KRACAUER, S. (1995), The Mass Ornament: Weimar Essays, Cambridge: Harvard University Press (selections).



Gramsci, Hegemony and Folklore:


Gramsci, A. (1985), Selections from Cultural Writings, London: Lawrence and Wishart (selections).



Hall and Neo-Gramscian Cultural Studies:


HALL, S. (1981a), “Notes on Deconstructing ‘the Popular’”, in R. Samuel, People's History and Socialist Theory, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.


HALL, S. (1981b), “Cultural Studies: Two paradigms”, in T. Bennett et al. (eds.), Culture, Ideology and Social Process, London: Open University Press.


HALL, S. (1982), “The Rediscovery of ‘Ideology’: Return of the Repressed in Media Studies”, in Gurevitch et al. (eds.), Culture, Society and the Media, London: Routledge.


HALL, S. (1990), “The Emergence of Cultural Studies and the Crisis of Humanities”, October, 53: 11-23.


 Film Screening:Open University Course on Culture, Media and Ideology (S. Hall & G. McLennan)



Bakhtin and Grotesque Popular Culture:


BAKHTIN, M. (1968), Rabelais and His World, trans. by H. Iswolsky, Bloomington: Indiana University Press (selections).


BAKHTIN, M. (1981), The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by Mikhail Bakhtin, ed. by M. Holquist and trans. by C. Emerson and M. Holquist, Austin: University of Texas Press (selections).


 Film Screening: Il Decameron (Dir. P. P. Pasolini, 1971)



Lefebvre and Critique of Everyday Life:


LEFEBVRE, H. (1992), Critique of Everyday Life, Vol. 1, London: Verso (selections).


LEFEBVRE, H. (1971), Everyday Life in the Modern World, trans. by S. Rabinovitch, New York: Harper & Row (selections).



The Society of the Spectacle:


DEBORD, G. (1995), The Society of the Spectacle, trans. by D. Nicholson-Smith, New York: Zone Books (selections).


 Film Screening:The Society of the Spectacle (G. Debord, 1973)



De Certeau and Diversionary Practices of Everyday Life:


DE CERTEAU, M. (1984), The Practice of Everyday Life, Berkeley: University of California Press (selections).


DE CERTEAU, M. & GIRARD, L. (1998), “A Practical Science of the Singular”, in M. de Certeau et al., The Practice of Everyday Life, Volume 2: Living and Cooking, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 251-6.


SCOTT, J. C. (1990), Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts, New Haven: Yale University Press (selections).



Bourdieu, Distinction, and Cultural Capital:


BOURDIEU, P. (1984), Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, trans. by R. Nice, London: Routledge(selections).


BOURDIEU, P. (1991), Language and Symbolic Power, Cambridge: Polity (selections).



Late Capitalism, Hybridity and Multiculturalism: Breakdown of Cultural Hiearchies?


BHABHA, H. K. (1996), “Culture’s In-Between”, in S. Hall & P. Du Gay (eds.), Questions of Cultural Identity, London: Sage.


HARDT, M. & NEGRI, A. (2000), “Symptoms of Passage”, in their Empire, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, pp. 137-156.


HALL, S. (1996), “For Allen White: Metaphors of Transformation”, in D. Morley and K. H. Chen (eds.), Stuart Hall: Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies, London: Routledge.


ZIZEK, S. (1997), “Multiculturalism – A new Racism?”, New Left Review, 225.



An Overall Assessment: Vicissitudes of Cultural Studies


ERDOĞAN, N. (2003), “Kültürel Çalışmalar, (Kendiliğinden) İdeoloji(si) ve Akademya, Toplum ve Bilim, 97.


MORLEY, D. (1998), “So-called Cultural Studies: Dead Ends and Reinvented Wheels”, Cultural Studies, 12(4): 476-97.