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August 12, 2005


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Amish Lovelock

Do you know Lin Chun's book "The British New Left"? It's great for the historical context of the British side of things. There was some discontent from Dorothy Thompson in the NLR after it was published but nothing like it has come out since.


Thanks so much for the cite--I actually don't know this book.


Good, interesting. The story is different in the UK. Not sure where you should look but I do wish someone would go back and look at Raymond Williams (who kicked it all off) as a political theorist (the prophet of the democracy-of-culture-to-come). Possibly some useful stuff hidden in current engagements with cultural politics and new Labour - see Cultural Capitalism: Politics after New Labour (ed. with Timothy Bewes, Lawrence Wishart, 2000); Steinberg et.al 'New Labour and the war of persuasion' (also Lawrence and Wishart), Finlayson, Making Sense of New Labour (L&W) and sometimes the engagements in the journals they do such as Soundings, Mediactive (both academic/political practice crossovers) there was a little piece in a the Journal of the UK PSA - Politics (Volume 17, 3, September 1997), '
Political Studies and Cultural Studies' by Alan Finlayson & James Martin. And also the classic journals like New Formatiosn etc. but these days the concern is really that cultural studies has lost its political promise - it's a branch of literary studies and allows people to substitute studies of gender transgression in Buffy for, well, actual gender transgression - there is much debate on that which is really a displacement of the question of what happened (happens) to Marxism now (since the politics of cultural studies were (and I think they can only be) some kind of Marxism. Paul Bowman raised some questions with a bunch of folks in Interrogating Cultural Studies: Theory, Politics and Practice, London: Pluto Press, Edited by Paul Bowman and is writing something on 'Post-Marxism versus Cultural Studies'

I could go on. But I won't. It's important, its about the terrain on which politics really happens, its about not studying electiosn or bargaining in congress, its about all the moral theory in Political Theory being boring and pointless and non-political (especially when it is about how the other moral theories are all boring etc.) - This we know - Oh and better than Lin Chun's book is Mike Kenny's The First New Left (and that was the one Dorothy didn't care for).


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