Essential Essays, Volume 2

Identity and Diaspora

Essential Essays, Volume 2

Stuart Hall: Selected Writings

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Book Pages: 352 Illustrations: Published: January 2019

Author: Stuart Hall

Editor: David Morley

Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Sociology > Social Theory

From his arrival in Britain in the 1950s and involvement in the New Left, to founding the field of cultural studies and examining race and identity in the 1990s and early 2000s, Stuart Hall has been central to shaping many of the cultural and political debates of our time. Essential Essays—a landmark two-volume set—brings together Stuart Hall's most influential and foundational works. Spanning the whole of his career, these volumes reflect the breadth and depth of his intellectual and political projects while demonstrating their continued vitality and importance.

Volume 2: Identity and Diaspora draws from Hall's later essays, in which he investigated questions of colonialism, empire, and race. It opens with “Gramsci's Relevance for the Study of Race and Ethnicity,” which frames the volume and finds Hall rethinking received notions of racial essentialism. In addition to essays on multiculturalism and globalization, black popular culture, and Western modernity's racial underpinnings, Volume 2 contains three interviews with Hall, in which he reflects on his life to theorize his identity as a colonial and diasporic subject.


"Anyone whose work is informed, 'in the last instance,' by Cultural Studies will find much that is helpfully familiar in it as well as new connections, new applications, new ways of '[penetrating] the disorderly surface of things to another level of understanding,' as Hall says, invoking Marx, in the epilogue. This seems especially urgent as the ascendancy of the far Right coincides with the wholesale neoliberalization of the humanities, as Hall predicted in his 'Theoretical Legacies' lecture. It is obviously not a question of 'going back' to Hall for a truer or more 'authentic' form of Cultural Studies than that in practice today. But there is much in his legacy that illuminates the dynamics of the present, and much to put into dialogue with contemporary scholarship and practice. Morley's collection reminds us how important it is for genuine intellectual work to articulate competing and contradictory paradigms together, to work, as Hall did, from the points of contestation and conflict rather than seek solace in abstractions. This, finally, is the 'essential' in the essays assembled here."  — Liane Tanguay, American Book Review

"Hall's writings make an extremely important contribution not only in our understanding of the past and the cultural, political, sociological, and theoretical formations that Hall analyzed, but as documents that provide us with powerful political and theoretical tools to understand our present and change our future." — Hazel Carby

“Stuart Hall was our most brilliant thinker on identity and struggle.” — Robin D. G. Kelley


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Stuart Hall (1932–2014) was one of the most prominent and influential scholars and public intellectuals of his generation. Hall appeared widely on British media, taught at the University of Birmingham and the Open University, was the founding editor of New Left Review, and served as the director of Birmingham's Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. He is the author of Cultural Studies 1983: A Theoretical History; Familiar Stranger: A Life Between Two Islands; and other books also published by Duke University Press.

David Morley is Professor of Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London, and coeditor of Stuart Hall: Conversations, Projects, and Legacies.

Table of Contents Back to Top
A Note on the Text  vii
Acknowledgments  ix
General Introduction  1
Part I. Prologue: Class, Race, and Ethnicity
1. Gramsci's Relevance for the Study of Race and Ethnicity [1986]  21
Part II. Deconstructing Identities: The Politics of Anti-Essentialism
2. Old and New Identities, Old and New Ethnicities [1991]  63
3. What Is This "Black" in Black Popular Culture? [1995]  83
4. The Multicultural Question [1998]  95
Part III. The Postcolonial and the Diasporic
5. The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power [1992]  141
6. The Formation of a Diasporic Intellectual: An Interview with Kuan-Hsing Chen [1996]  185
7. Thinking the Diaspora: Home-Thoughts from Abroad [1999]  206
Part IV. Interviews and Reflections
8. Politics, Contingency, Strategy: An Interview with David Scott [1997]  235
9. At Home and Not at Home: Stuart Hall in Conversation with Les Back [2008]  263
Part V. Epilogue: Caribbean and Other Perspectives
10. Through the Prism of an Intellectual Life [2007]  303
Index  325
Place of First Publication  341
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0163-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0128-7
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