Theories in Cultural Studies (CSAP)

            This course introduces students to
the critical and theoretical works generally considered foundational to
Cultural Studies; to methods for meeting the interdisciplinary challenges that
Cultural Studies demands of scholarship, and to the kinds of political and
personal investments researchers must make when doing such research, writing,
and advocacy.

            The reading will include substantial
selections by Marx, Nietzsche, Gramsci, Bakhtin, Hall, Fanon, Woolf, and
Williams; by Said, Foucault, Althusser, Greenblatt, and Pratt; by Bhabha,
Spivak, Ngǔgǐ wa Thiong′o, and Anderson; by Sedgwick, Butler, and Partnoy; by
Wendt, Hau‘ofa, and Diaz; and by Trask, Osorio, Silva, Andrade, Fujikane and
Okamura, Wolfe, Bacchilega, and Paul Lyons.

            Throughout the semester, I will be
emphasizing two overarching aspects of cultural studies: time and place.  Time, because historicizing research and
theoretical discourse seems to me a fundamental principle of cultural studies;
place, because recognizing the specific environment for a particular form of
textual production is often a pre-requisite for meaningful work.  Since the common text for all 625 classes in
the Fall will be the landmark and profoundly influential novel Frankenstein, I will also be addressing
questions of how cultural studies approaches deal with earlier historical and
political environments—in this case, a succession of environments stretching
from the mid-to-late Eighteenth Century right through to many of our current
discussions of post-humanism.

            I will also be foregrounding issues
of personal agency in research.  To take
only one example, “autoethnography” can mean two completely different
things—that researchers are members of the group being studied, or that
researchers are not members of the
group being studied, and therefore must provide specific information about
their own identities, so that readers can know where such research is coming

            A substantial portion of the course
will be devoted to working in various forms of archives and site- or
topic-specific resources—libraries, courts, government agencies, topic-specific
collections, personal interviews, and so forth. 
Visits to such resources will take place during class sessions unless
the venue requires us to come at another time. 
The class also will review and evaluate the protocols for human subject
research, and deal extensively with the ethics and politics of conducting

            Regardless of what eventual
concentration a student might eventually pursue, this seminar will influence
any further research by encouraging careful thought about theoretical
assumptions, implicit or otherwise; about methodology; about the positioning of
the researcher in relation to the subject, or subjects; and about the
ideological and political dimensions of even the most apparently “objective”



to the class on every week’s readings

on class readings—at least two during the semester

brief research assignments, related to archive and community resource trips

transcribing, and editing sections of an interview

is some form of colloquium or conference, to be organized by the instructors of
all Fall 2011 English 625 classes

drafted, revised, and presented conference paper—20 to 25 minutes in length



Shelley, Frankenstein.

of Hawai‘i Center for Oral History.  How to Do Oral History in Hawai‘i.

very extensive collection of texts housed on Laulima.

Craig Howes has been Director of the
Center for Biographical Research at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa since
1997, Editor and Co-Editor of the journal Biography:
An Interdisciplinary Quarterly
since 1994, and a faculty member in the
Department of English since 1980. The co-producer and principal scholar for the
television documentary series Biography
, he has also been active in Hawai‘i’s arts and humanities
communities. The author of Voices of the
Vietnam POWs
(Oxford UP 1993), and the co-editor with Jon Osorio of The Value of Hawai‘i: Knowing the Past,
Shaping the Future
(U of Hawai‘i P, 2011), he is a past President of the
Hawai‘i Literary Arts Council and a former board member of Kumu Kahua Theatre,
and currently serves as President of Monkey Waterfall Dance Theatre Company and
as a member of the board for the Hawaiian Historical Society.