By Peter Brooker
A thesaurus of Cultural Theory presents the reader with lucid and updated information throughout the vivid and altering debates in cultural reviews and similar disciplines. This new version has been up-to-date all through and includes entries on vital new phrases from Convergence and Cosmopolitanism, via Ecology and way of life to Thirdspace and Translation.
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Additional info for A Glossary of Cultural Theory
Each jump and our present unique ability to partly understand this process is a mystery, says Jencks. His polemic, while based on a particular cultural discourse, is an interesting 26 Chronotope example of how such thinking is brought to an expansive, spiritual conclusion: to a belief, in spite of its poststructuralist scepticism towards stability and harmony, in 'a metanarrative of the universe and its creation' (1993: 7). Other writings echo this profound tension between expressions of wonder at infinite complexity and the belief in an all-encompassing oneness: a tension, expressed in the very terms of the theory itself, between 'chaos' and 'order'.
At the same time, this opening of the canon, along with the dissemination of popular and MASS culture and their academic study has provoked a defence of the 'western canon' in traditional terms (Bloom 1995). A modified or alternative canon is also, it has to be said, a partial and contradictory response (since, strictly, there can only be one canon whose members are fixed absolutely). Guillory proposes instead an understanding of the canon's composition and role in cultural history. Such an approach illustrates, for example, how women or black writers have not simply been excluded but included at certain times and in certain terms (women novelists in the nineteenth century; African-American and writers of colour in the late twentieth century).
Camp was not to be identified with mass or POPULAR culture, therefore, but was a way, for gays and others, of maintaining a distinctive, aestheticizing attitude in the midst of this culture; it was the answer, she said, to the question of 'how to be a dandy in the age of mass culture' (1966: 288). Sontag's argument is an early positive response to the forms of mass and popular culture, and of the performative, ironic role-playing this promoted and seemed to require. Her remarks on this, even to an ambivalence on the social statement implied in the cultivation of style, anticipate later postmodern commentary on a world of ironic surfaces and SIMULATIONS.
A Glossary of Cultural Theory by Peter Brooker