Communication and Culture | Seminar in Media Theory (Topic: Everyday Life & Cultural Studies)
C792 | 29764 | Striphas, T.

M, 4:00 PM-6:30 PM, C2 272

Meets with CULS-C 701

Open to Graduates Only!

Instructor: Ted Striphas
Office: C2 213
Phone: 856-7868

This graduate seminar is about everyday life as both problem and
possibility for cultural politics.  On the one hand, the humdrum
routines associated with everyday life—waking, bathing, working,
eating, consuming, playing, and resting every single day—may stifle
human creativity and foster complacency.  On the other hand, as
Michel de Certeau, Henri Lefebvre, and others affirm, these very
same routines also can be resources from which innovation might
flow, to the extent that they present opportunities for doing the
same thing all over again . . . but differently.  This course will
address this tension through four principal questions: what is
everyday life? how does everyday life enable and constrain social
and political action? in what ways has cultural studies engaged
everyday life? and how might it continue to do so in ways that
resist the field’s becoming intellectually and politically
unimaginative—its becoming, in the banal sense, everyday?

Roughly the first half to two-thirds of this seminar will be
dedicated to exploring specific theories and practices of everyday
life.  Thereafter, we’ll investigate how the field of cultural
studies can find itself subjected to everyday life’s deadening
routines.  Specifically, we’ll focus on everyday problems stemming
from cultural studies’ institutionalization and
internationalization.  Our aim in this course, ultimately, is to
think through the conditions necessary to reinvent the project of
cultural studies for the 21st century—a more imaginative, effective,
and globally relevant cultural studies which, with any luck, might
help to reinvigorate everyday life as both theoretical category and
domain of human practice.

Books are likely to include: Michel de Certeau, The Practice of
Everyday Life, vol. I; Michael E. Gardiner, Critiques of Everyday
Life; Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life;
Agnes Heller, Everyday Life; Gary Hall, Digitize This Book!; Henri
Lefebvre, Critique of Everyday Life, vol. II; Henri Lefebvre,
Rhythmanalysis; Meaghan Morris, Identity Anecdotes: Translation and
Media Culture; and Kathleen Stewart, Ordinary Affects.

We also will read essays by Mikhail Bakhtin, Rita Felski, Melissa
Gregg, Lawrence Grossberg, Martin Heidegger, Michèle Mattelart,
Meaghan Morris, Naoki Sakai, Gregory J. Seigworth, Dorothy Smith,
Carolyn Steedman, and Raymond Williams, among possible others.