Lawrence Grossberg is one of the leading international figures in the study of the relations between political and popular cultures. In Cultural Studies in the Future Tense, he offers a powerful critique of the forms of progressive intellectual-political analyses. He asks why we so often tell the same stories over and over (as if the world were not changing or were changing in precisely the same ways) or tell stories that claim to be absolutely new (as if the world were magically new). He argues for an understanding of cultural studies as conjunctural analysis, based on commitments to contextualism, anti-reductionism and articulation. Cultural studies sees the world in terms of contingency and determination, the old and the new, economies and cultures, etc. Refusing to reduce modernity to its Euro-American forms, and challenging its taken-for-granted understandings, he argues that euro-modernity is a specific geo-historical actualization of a more complex and diverse diagram.
Grossberg sees the current global tumult defined by struggles among and for multiple ways of imagining and being modern. Consequently, he begins to rethink a number of fundamental “modern” concepts and their relations—including economy, culture, the popular, and politics. 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.
- Stuart Hall
- Michael Hardtco-author of Commonwealth