Critical Historicism

While the preponderance of its sessions are on contemporary topics, the Cultural Studies Association has welcomed papers in the past on historical topics. Including such topics follows the general spirit of Fredric Jameson’s dictum to “always historicize,” but this often takes place in a scattered fashion in disparate sessions at the conference.  Conversation with several participants at the 2014 conference confirmed that there is real interest in having a session or sessions dedicated to earlier cultures in a more visible and systematically theoretical way.  We propose that group work that engages dialectically with the past, as Susan Buck-Morss has suggested, would additionally open up political possibilities for the present—hence the inclusion of the term “critical” in this proposal,  and new research opportunities and collaborative potential in the field of cultural studies.