Fourth International Conference
June 29 - July 2, 2002, Tampere, Finland


Global Movements of Crops Since the ‘Age of Discovery’ and Changing Culinary Cultures

Akhil Gupta

In this talk, I take a critical look at discourses of globalization, using the movement of food crops and shifting culinary practices to reflect on the long history of globalization. By examining crops such as spices and sugarcane, I argue that food and foodstuffs might have played a critical, if underappreciated, role in the story of globalization. The spice trade played a critical role in the history of colonization during and after the 'Age of Discovery,' and, in the process, altered cuisines, cropping patterns, and consumption habits around the world.

The Americanization of Subjectivity: A View of Globalization from Asia Pacific

Ming-Bao Yue

In light of the symbolic significance and economic power "globalization" has acquired in the 21st century, one of the most urgent tasks for cultural critics today is to draw attention to the fundamental unevenness of economic developments and the increased level of violence it has generated in many countries. In order to gain a better understanding of the growing transnational disparity between wealth and poverty, privilege and disadvantage, and knowledge and ignorance, it is necessary to question the ethico-political foundations of global capitalism. To be sure, the rapid expansion of this economic trend would not be possible without the ambiguous benefits of a cultural homogenization process which might be called the americanization of subjectivity. While this process is not simply reducible to the "Disneyfication" or "MacDonaldization" of human desire, it does imply a particular way of conceptualizing social awareness and collective identity that successfully obscures education as elitism, politics as propaganda, and ignorance as individualism. But more importantly perhaps, the americanization of subjectivity also refers to the emergence of global discursive climate that universalizes US-inflected notions of democracy, equality, and human rights. Acknowledging the rapid development of inter-cultural, trans-cultural and multi-cultural communication networks all around the world, this paper intends to focus on this yet unexamined aspect of global identity trans-formation from the standpoint and experience of diverse communities in Asia-Pacific, with a special emphasis on Hawaii. In doing so, this paper hopes to initiate a series of interrogations, conversations, and contestations generated by the following types of questions: Whose global imaginary is at stake in current debates on globalization? For whom is the Cold War already over and who is still affected by it? Is de-americanization co-extensive with decolonization or does it require another form of critical intervention? What are the alternatives to the americanization of global subjectivity, i.e. can the process of popularizing democracy and technology lead to a truly common humanity?

The Value Chain of Meaning: from Cultural Studies to Creative Industries?

John Hartley

Cultural Studies is a philosophy of plenty, differing from modernist notions of scarcity. It is convergent with the creative industries both are exploring new ways of understanding the ‘value chain’ of production, distribution and consumption. Critical and business attention has shifted decisively to the consumer end of the chain -- location of Foucault’s ‘plenitude of the possible.’ A long-term historical shift has also occurred along the ‘value chain of meaning,’ from author, through text, to reader. Indeed, the paper analyses a number of similar shifts: in interpretive and creative forms; types of literacy; citizenship; and modes of political address. Recognition of the historic drift along various ‘value chains’ may assist analysts to avoid evaluating emergent forms with legacy criteria. ‘Quality’ and ‘value’ may be easier to determine if we’re all on the same link of the chain. What they might comprise in a philosophy of plenty remains an open question (a question for Crossroads).

A Perfect Match? 
Tracing meeting points between political theory and cultural studies

Anu Kantola

How to study citizenship from the direction of cultural studies? The talk tries to approach this question by looking at the changing conditions and forms of contemporary citizenship.

Institutional politics have become increasingly market oriented, consensual and therapeutic. This emerging form of political governance relies on consensual expertise and paternal care rather than on political differences and ideologies. These changes have an impact on the ways citizenship is defined and articulated. The classical ideals of an active polis citizenship, i.e. the ideas of dialogue, joint political action and political process, seem to be loosing momentum. Especially the state bound citizenship is loosing its ability to provide means for meaningful political action and identities. Instead citizenship is to an increasing extent defined by market oriented discourses and institutions, which are constructing identities and governance overlapping with the traditional political citizenship. There emerges a privatised citizen who is making individual choices and facing alone also the individualising market discipline. As political theory tends to concentrate on political institutions and systems, it often fails to understand the dynamics of citizenship. In order to overcome to problem cultural studies could look at the cultural changes in the centres of political and economic power in order to understand the changing conditions of citizenship. At the same time cultural studies could look at the citizens' experiences in the changing conditions.

Why is Television still so National in the Age of Trans-Nationalization?
Domestication and Nationalization of Television in Post-war Japan

Shunya Yoshimi

In Japan, most of the early TV sets were placed not in the home but on street corners, where large numbers of people gathered. Thus, in the mid-1950s television was something like an "Open Air Theater". People thronged around the tiny screens, especially when popular professional wrestling matches were taking place. In this paper, I will first show how television was domesticated from the street corner to the living room after the end of the 1950s. During the 1960s, television became a symbol of Japanese national identity and came to be seen as one of the new "Sacred Treasures" of the modern family (based on the idea of the three "Sacred Treasures" that had symbolized the emperor's legitimacy: mirror, sword and jewel). Thus, the TV set functioned not only in McLuhan's sense of the "media as message", but as the "affective setting" of the national identity. At the same time, major Japanese TV programs developed rapidly, and some "classic" programs appeared. An interesting aspect of these emerging programs is the way they narrated history. Especially on NHK, two very popular series from the early 1960s constituted the narrative of "national history". Furthermore, the gender division is clearly expressed in the audiences and images portrayed respectively in these series. For the male audience, the heroic history of Japanese Samurai in the 16th century is presented, while for female viewers, the hard experience of adversity during World War II is emphasized.

In the 1990s, while Japanese TV corporations have tried to trans-nationalize their organizations, there has been no weakening of the ideological control over their programming. For example, in January 2001, the president of the NHK Corporation ordered a major revision in the content of a documentary on the Asian comfort women who suffered at the hands of the Japanese army, just before the program was due to be broadcast. The main reason for this intervention was that the program showed Emperor Hirohito as bearing war responsibility. Today, although television is no longer seen as a "Sacred Treasure" by most Japanese, criticism of the emperor and coverage of the comfort women problem is still taboo. I want to consider why such nationalistic elements retain their tenacious hold on Japanese television even in the age of the trans-nationalization of the media.

What`s `Home` Got to Do with It? The Domestication of Technology and the Dislocation of Domesticity

David Morley

This paper will explore some of the contradictory dynamics in play in the dual processes of the domestication of media and communications technologies in the household and the current transformation of the idea of `home` itself. The paper will attempt to integrate perspectives developed in earlier work on family/household uses of information and communication technologies with questions about the supposed dematerialisation of place-based identities in a `post-geographical` world of all-round electronic connexity. Current visions of the technological future will be addressed in the context of the `politics of dislocation` - at both micro and maco levels - of contemporary forms of identity and subjectivity.

Six Theses on Class, Global Capital and Resistance
by Education and Other Cultural Workers

Dave Hill

1. Global Capital, in its current Neo-Liberal form in particular, leads to human degradation and inhumanity and increased social class inequalities within states and globally. This process is accelerating.

These effects are:

  • increasing (racialised and gendered) social class inequality within states
  • increasing (racialised and gendered) social class inequality between states
  • degradation and capitalisation of humanity
  • environmental degradation impacting primarily in a social class related manner

2. Social Class exploitation- the development of (`raced' and gendered) social class- based `labour-power' and the subsequent extraction of `surplus value'- is the fundamental characteristic of Capitalism. It is the primary explanation for economic, political, cultural and ideological change.

It is the:

  • essential form of capitalist exploitation and oppression
  • dominant form of capitalist exploitation and oppression

3. Education and the Media are the dominant Ideological State Apparatuses.

Each of these Ideological State Apparatuses contains disciplinary Repressive moments and effects.
Each has the functions of  (gendered and `raced') social class based

  • Economic Reproduction
  • Ideological Reproduction
  • Cultural Reproduction.

4. Global Neo-Liberal Capital and its international and national apparatuses have an anti-human and anti-critical agenda for Education and the Media.

Within Education, this comprises a:

  • Business Agenda for Schooling and Education
  • Business Agenda in Schooling and Education
  • New Public Managerialism mode of organisation and control

5. Forms and Ideologies of Resistance to Neo-Liberal Capital should be critiqued from a democratic structuralist neo-Marxist political and ideological perspective. 

Thus non-Marxist political forces fail to recognise and combat the essentially class-based oppressive nature of Neo-Liberal Capital. Such forces include Extreme Right Racist/Fascist, Extreme Right Populist, Conservative neo-liberal, Third Way/ Revised Social Democratic (e.g. Die Neue Mitte/ New Labour), Christian Democratic, centre-Left Social Democratic, and religious fundamentalist movements and parties.

Similarly, the ideological support systems for such forces within the Academy and the Media fail to recognise and thereby work to suppress Marxist analysis and programmes. Support systems for Capital include not only various of the above movements, parties and their political ideologies.

Support systems for Capital within Educational and Media and Cultural Studies include, to varying degrees, Critical Theory, culturalist neo-Marxist analyses and programmes. They also include ludic postmodernist and resistance postmodernist (non-) programmes where programmatic metanarratives are debilitatingly eschewed by postmodernists as oppressive.   

6. Critical Revolutionary Education for Economic and Social Justice can play a role in resisting the depredations and the `common-sense' of Global Neo-Liberal Capital and play a role in developing class-consciousness and an egalitarian sustainable future.

Critical Revolutionary Education for Economic and Social Justice is where teachers and other Cultural Workers act as Critical Transformative and Public Intellectuals within and outside of sites of economic, ideological and cultural reproduction. Such activity is both deconstructive and reconstructive, offering a Utopian Politics of Anger, Analysis and Hope based on a materialised Critical Pedagogy that recognises, yet challenges, the strength of the structures and apparatuses of Capital.

Such activity encompasses activity within different arenas of Resistant and Revolutionary activity. These arenas encompass

  • Activism within the Cultural Sites of Schooling/Education and the Media within the workforce, within the curriculum/ knowledge validation systems, and within pedagogy/social relations
  • Activism locally outside of these sites, exposing the Capitalist reproductive nature of those sites both per se,  and Activism locally, linked to other sites of economic, ideological and cultural contestation, mobilisations and struggle
  • Activism within Mass movements, United Fronts, and within democratic Marxist/ Socialist groupings, fractions and organisations.

On the Matrix of Hybridisation: Challenges to the Frames of Representation and Communication of Knowledge

Yvonne Spielmann

Changes in the production, access and communication of knowledge under the sign of digitization and mediatization demonstrate that we need other forms of literacy to understand cross-relations and transformations within and between different forms of media culture. The problem of defining parameters of knowledge production and forms of representation results from the increase of hybridisation. In order to come to terms with hybrid phenomena viewed together on an intercultural and intermedial level, I propose "Cultural literacy" as a concept that works on different media levels and also address shifts in cultural processes as these have effects on 'global cultures' and the manufacturing of 'knowledge', encompassing decentralisation, media convergence and networked communications

The End(s) of Critical Pedagogy

Handel Kashope

With many prominent critical pedagogy theorists and critics (Elizabeth Ellsworth, Henry Giroux, Patti Lather, Peter McLaren, Roger Simon) apparently having moved on- Ellsworth to feminist pedagogy and media studies, Giroux to cultural studies, Lather to feminist qualitative research, McLaren to multiculturalism and Simon to memorywork, it appeared that the theorizing of critical pedagogy (as opposed to its thriving application as educational praxis) had died. Whether its final gasps or indications of a revival, a recent flurry of activity (e.g. 1998 special issue of Educational Theory and the forthcoming (2002) special issue of Educational Philosophy and Theory on critical pedagogy), has signaled the patient is still alive. However, the essays of the revived theorizing of critical pedagogy reiterate (though with some interesting changes in political and discursive emphasis) the gendered impasse the discourse was thrown into in the early-1990s (1991 special issue of Education and Society). Feminists like Lather assert that the future of critical pedagogy lies in more modest poststructuralist investigation of local and personal pedagogy while male neo-Marxists like McLaren assert that the future of critical pedagogy lies in a more expansive political economy based examination of global capital. This divergence has not only created an impasse but has probably contributed to the turn away from theorizing critical pedagogy in North America. In this paper, I point to the arguments that have contributed to the current impasse and attempt to use both a black identity/identification politics, the notion of a floating signifier and Stuart Hall's notion of a politics without guarantees as tools for moving beyond the current impasse. More specifically, I argue that critical pedagogy be (re)conceptualized as a floating signifier and that "function" dictate the version of the discourse most apt for different projects. Secondly, I use the example of blackness to point to the fact that the revived theorizing of critical pedagogy de-emphasizes social difference and I indicate how addressing the politics of representation could contribute to the revival of a vibrant and utilitarian theorizing of critical pedagogy. Without holding up this point as a guarantee I conclude that addressing the ends of critical pedagogy in a much more flexible manner is crucial to staving off the end of the critical pedagogy.