The End or a New Beginning?

Group Members: Julia and Leslie

Scribe: Leslie

The last reading for class dramatically changed our final thoughts on the class. When we read the title “De-Eurocentricing Cultural Studies,” as a group we agreed that we did not know what was in store for us. One of the issues that struck our group the most from the discussion last class was the conversation about why the cultural studies departments that we are so accustomed to in our academic lives even exist. It was not an issue that any of us had stopped to contemplate before. The fact that when the United States emerged as a global empire after World War II, they began to pump money into academics to study other cultures for the purpose of the cold war. Area studies emerging as a result of American national interests was an appalling realization for us as global studies majors, critiquing class, power, and structure all semester.
The multitude of multi-cultural issues and its various aspects made it difficult to choose just one or two for this blog post. Our café discussion groups over the semester have evolved quite gradually. In the beginning, we were all a little timid about forcing our topic ideas and assigning the job as scribe, but we always voiced our opinions on the topics quite well. The semester long continuous relationship between us and the works outside the classroom has been rewarding. It has lead to many debates on what were the most important sections and what are the best examples of the work. It has also caused us to relate the varying theorists back to the theorists that we connected with the most. At times, there were clarifying moments about a certain idea or theorist, and at others we tried to work through the complexities together exploring and mulling over the difficult concepts. We found a way to compete and compromise, contributing as equals, not as a hierarchy. The café discussions brought us closer together outside of global studies, forming bonds of friendship as the semester wound down.
Ending with Stam and Shohat and a discussion that seemed to contradict the semester of learning to us was surprising and ingenious. It was something that our group felt pushed us to question what we had learned, made us feel conflicted, and forced us to decide where we fell in the theoretical spectrum of the semesters studies.



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