At George Mason University, we acknowledge the need to specify Cultural Studies as an academic field with definable features and particular modes of methodological inquiry. In our view, Cultural Studies examines cultural objects as products of the wider social, historical, economic and political conditions that structure their formation, and acknowledges the interrelationship between these factors. In particular, Cultural Studies focuses on power relations and inequalities, which shape the horizon of possibilities for any cultural object at hand, be it a political discourse, an economic model, or a mass cultural product. As a field, Cultural Studies has expanded both geographically and theoretically, building upon its origins in the Birmingham Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies through the inclusion of a range of critical approaches including Marxist political economy, post-structuralism, feminism, critical theory and post-colonial studies. While the objects of Cultural Studies vary widely, the field aims at political relevance and efficacy.
In an attempt to establish a vibrant community for scholars working in precisely this interdisciplinary vein, the Cultural Studies Student Organizing Committee at George Mason University invites graduate students to submit research papers for a conference specifically oriented toward the examination of cultural objects, whether through Marxist, structuralist/poststructuralist, feminist, or other critical lenses. We encourage the submission of papers related, but not limited, to the following broad themes:
- Political Economy
- Mass & Popular Culture
- Gender & Sexuality
- Race & Ethnicity
- Representation & Aesthetics
- American Electoral Politics
Abstracts of no more than 300 words and a current CV should be sent to critiquing DOT culture AT gmail DOT com (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 15 June 2012. Please include presentation title, presenter’s name, institutional affiliation, contact information, A/V requests, and any special needs required in the email. Abstracts should be sent as .doc or .rtf file attachments.
In conjunction with this conference, the students of the GMU Cultural Studies program plan to launch an original scholarly journal, tentatively titled “Angelus Novus.” We invite submissions of all papers prepared for this conference. If you wish to submit your completed paper for consideration in the journal, please include a note in the body of your email and, upon acceptance, the editors will contact you with submission guidelines.