Professor Stuart Hall Week at Goldsmiths 24 – 28 November 2014
The Department of Media and Communications and Visual Cultures, Sociology, Music and Centres for Cultural Studies and Research Architecture celebrate Stuart Hall (3rd February 1932 – 10th February 2014) as a critical influence on our work. A uniquely gifted teacher, cultural analyst and public intellectual, Stuart Hall was internationally recognised as the leading figure in the field of cultural studies. His work has become canonical in the study of media representations, audiences, cultural theory, post-colonialism, subcultures and the studies of identity, ethnicity, ‘race’ and diaspora.
“Identity is an ever-unfinished conversation” - Professor Stuart Hall.
Professor Stuart Hall Week is now finished but you can watch some of the highlights below, and on our Vimeo page.
Download the Stuart Hall Week brochure (PDF download).
Stuart Hall Conference videos
Stuart Hall International Conference
Conversations, Projects and Legacies
Keynote: “Policing the Crisis Today”
Professor Angela Davis, Professor Emerita, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
The conference is designed to re-interrogate some of the key areas in which Stuart Hall was active at different stages in his career. The first panel will explore Stuart`s legacy not only to cultural studies, media and communications studies in general, but specifically, to the relevant departments here at Goldsmiths.
Panel 1: Stuart Hall's Legacy at Goldsmiths
Panel 2: The Politics of Conjuncture
Beyond the academy, Stuart was, of course, very much a public intellectual, who made ongoing contributions to public debate - most notably in relation to the rise of Thatcherism and subsequently, the politics of Neoliberalism and multiculturalism - themes which are the focus of Panel 2, on the politics of conjuncture.
Panel 3: Identities: Gender, Race and Class
Stuart also made a fundamental contribution to the redefinition of politics itself, so that rather than the classical terrain of either of Parliamentary or class politics, it has come to be understood in the much broader sense of `cultural politics’, involving questions of representation and identity - as will be explored in Panel 3.
Panel 4: Policy, Practice and Creativity
In the later part of his life, Stuart was also very involved in the field of creative practice in film and photography and Panel 4 will explore these issues, most particularly in relation to questions of race and ethnicity, in the period of his involvement with Autograph ABP, and later with INIVA and the development of Rivington Place.
Panel 5: The International Expansion and Extension of Cultural Studies
Our final panel will explore the complex process through which what began as a local form - `British Cultural Studies` - later extended and transformed itself to constitute the international field of study and activism which we know today as the - many and various - contemporary forms of cultural studies.
Conference Committee: James Curran, Julian Henriques, Angela McRobbie and Dave Morley.
Recordings from the Stuart Hall Workshops
Stuart Hall Workshop 1: Encoding/Decoding
Luciana Parisi chair, Mark Nash, Shela Sheikh, David Morley
Part of a longer text published as CCCS stencilled paper no.7, (Encoding and Decoding in Television Discourse) Encoding / decoding proposes a way of understanding media as a form of production. Fusing a discussion of arguments important for semiotics, information theory, analyses of the materialities of communication with their attendant social practices, and making a strong critique of the 'behaviourist' notion of communication that has resonances with today's discussions of affect, this is a landmark text in media studies and media theory. Proposing that media be understood as a circuit of production with numerous idiosyncratic modes of feedback and differentiation that occur via technical, ideological, and political means and by those of knowledge practices and conventions, Encoding / decoding approaches a systems view of media that has significant potency for the analysis of contemporary computational and networked media.
Workshop 2: "Policing the Crisis, mugging, the state, and law and order"
Matthew Fuller chair, Jeremy Gilbert, Vincenzo Ruggiero, Stephanie Petschick
Policing the Crisis is collectively written along with Chas Critcher, Tony Jefferson, John Clark and Brian Roberts. This is an attempt to develop a critical analysis of the full "conjuncture" of the media and social event coded as "mugging" and the underlying political, cultural and medial forces that undergirded and fomented it. The book is remarkable as a piece of social and cultural research in that it refuses to draw any easy boundaries between a historical period and its genesis, between a crisis of capitalism and the unfolding politics of race, between cultural forces and their theorisation but traces the fullness of the liaisons, interlinking and differentiation of these forces. What it does mark are the uneasy boundaries between such things and the way they are worked. More than this though, Policing the Crisis provides an example of cultural studies research that takes the analysis of complex configurations as operative at multiple scales, as demanding not simply the methodological heterodoxy of which it is full, but also a sense of such research being in the midst of political and cultural experiment and action.
Workshop 3: Marx's Notes on Method: A 'Reading' of the 1857 Introduction
Julia Ng chair, Gregor McLennan, David Nowell Smith, Alberto Toscano
In a piece examining "Cultural studies and its theoretical legacies (1996),” Stuart Hall writes of a period at the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies during which, for five or six years, "we decided, in a very un-British way, we had to take the plunge into theory, we walked right around the entire circumference of European thought, in order not to be, in any simple capitulation to the zeitgeist, marxists." Hall describes how "we read German idealism, we read Weber upside down, we read Hegelian idealism, we read idealistic art criticism." And situated "at the tip of the iceberg of this long engagement," writes Hall, was "a long rambling piece" on Marx's 1857 'Introduction' to The Grundrisse.
This workshop takes as its point of departure the essay “Marx’s Notes on Method: A ‘Reading’ of the 1857 Introduction,” which not only originated as a Working Paper distributed for seminar discussion at the Centre in 1974, but was also, decades later, republished with Hall’s enthusiastic consent in 2003 in the journal Cultural Studies. Laying the groundwork in its 1974 iteration for the method he would put into practice shortly afterwards in his seminal study Policing the Crisis, the essay served in its 2003 reappearance as Hall’s urgent appeal to re-enliven a “detour through theory” in order to interrogate the relation between abstraction and concretion at the centre of cultural studies’ methodological framework. Taking seriously Hall’s open invitation to “plunge into theory” as part of cultural studies’ ongoing intellectual work, the workshop explores the philosophical heritage of the field, starting with the distinction drawn between structuralism in Marx’s epistemology and Althusser’s, and extending beyond the mere “tip of the iceberg” into the genealogy of “concrete analysis” in German idealism. In doing so, the workshop will stake out cultural studies’ genuine European and international scope, and therefore come to terms with its theoretical fluency today.
David Nowell Smith