The Practice of Value

Essays on Literature in Cultural Studies

By John Frow

In recent years, the disciplines of literary studies and cultural studies have engaged in occasional hostilities, but very rarely in productive engagement with each other's methodologies. Yet, each offers a set of rich resources for the other in a period of disciplinary crisis across the humanities in general, and within these two fields in particular. Literary studies brings a set of skills in the unpacking of figuratively complex texts and a theoretical flexibility which allows it to frame its object and its own activity as moments of its practice; cultural studies brings an urgent attention to the institutionally structured uses which constitute the social life of texts. This collection of essays, all of which have been previously published - in journals such as Critical Inquiry, New Literary History, Angelaki, Textual Practice, and the Yale Journal of Criticism, as well as in a number of edited books - manifest an enduring preoccupation with the disciplinary possibilities of doing literary studies through cultural studies and vice versa. Many of the essays explicitly meditate on this intersection of the two disciplines and most of them put it into practice. Some work primarily within one or the other, but each of them seeks to understand the social life of texts within a general theory of the organization of social and cultural value. The book is organized in four sections, each of which approaches the social life of texts from a different, but complementary, perspective. [Subject: Literary Criticism, Cultural Studies]

400 pages

Publication Date: 12/16/2013
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781742583464

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