Stuart Hall’s retirement from the Open University in 1997 provided a unique opportunity to reflect on an academic career which has had the most profound impact on scholarship and teaching in many parts of the world.
From his early work on the media, through his influential re-working of Gramsci for the analysis of Britain in the late 1970s, through his considered debates on Thatcherism and more recently on “race” and new ethnicities, Hall has been an inspirational figure for generations of academics. He has helped to make universities places where ideas and social commitment can exist alongside each other.
This collection invites a wide range of academics who have been influenced by Stuart Hall’s writing to contribute not a memoir or a eulogy but an engaged piece of social, cultural or historical analysis which continues and develops the field of thinking opened up by Hall. The topics covered include identity and hybridity, history and post-colonialism, pedagogy and cultural politics, space and place, globalization and economy, modernity and difference.
Just imagine we did all live in the future utopia that is Constant’s New Babylon. What would the library be like? I expect it would feature a greatest hits edition of the theory that helped us all get there. Here’s some notes towards it.
Sometimes to take three steps forward, you have to first take two steps back. I have been thinking that it might be worth stepping back into the archive of historical materialisms, critical theories and such, to see if there are neglected resources there. Perhaps we can’t just built on previous selections from it.
Perhaps we have to find new ways of reading even those texts that have become relentlessly canonic. New futures call for new pasts. So let’s find some! Here I have organized some working notes towards a revised resource guide to the past for this present.
Enter this month’s competition to win a DVD and poster of John Akomfrah’s latest film, The Stuart Hall Project.
The Stuart Hall Project uses an extensive archive of footage and recordings of Hall’s numerous appearances on television and radio, which are set against the soundtrack of Hall’s favourite musician, Miles Davis.
To enter simply answer this question: In his radio appearance on Desert Island Discs, which one Miles Davis record does Hall ultimately pick to take with him to his desert island?
Email your answer with your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is 5pm GMT on Monday 5th May, and a winner will be chosen at random from the correct entries.
Anyone trying to write a novel about the intellectual left in Britain, literary critic Terry Eagleton once suggested, would be more or less forced to reinvent the character of Stuart Hall. Thinking back on Hall’s life after his passing, on Feb. 10 at 82 years old, you can see Eagleton’s point. Widely considered the godfather of British multiculturalism, Hall was also the first editor of New Left Review, the most rigorous and refined left-wing journal in the English-speaking world.