Literature, Culture, and Society

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Amidst continuing debates about the literary canon, Literature, Culture and Society poses a revealing question—if academics find it valuable and stimulating to discuss texts ranging from Genesis to Bladerunner in their leisure time, why do they act as if this is sacrosanct in their formal work? In this well- argued and refreshing discussion of the history and importance of literary criticism, Milner embraces a reality that many in the academy still fear, that cultural studies is alive, and it's here to stay.

Andrew Milner begins with an introduction to the field of cultural studies and its parent disciplines of English literature and sociology. He reviews the defining terms and the theoretical traditions in a manner that is sophisticated but accessible. He discusses just how and why cultural studies evolved, and what it has to offer our appraisal of all texts, be they old or new, print or film. Milner eschews both cultural populism and literary elitism in favor of a criticism that is more concerned with value than with exclusion. The author concludes this significant and insightful book with a demonstration of his theories, tying together a group of narratives ranging from Paradise Lost to the latest Frankenstein films. Literature, Culture and Society cogently examines the question of scholarship and forcefully demonstrates that rigorous academic inquiry need not be reserved for dust-covered texts alone.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814755648
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 6/11/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224

Meet the Author

Andrew Milner is Associate Professor and Course Director of the Centre for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at Monash University, Melbourne. He is the author of Contemporary Cultural Theory and Cultural Materialism.

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Table of Contents

1 Literature, culture and the canon 1
2 Analytical strategies 27
3 Mechanical reproduction: the forces of production 61
4 Commodity culture: the relations of production 95
5 Texts and contexts: from Genesis to Frankenstein 131
6 Texts and contexts: from Frankenstein to Blade runner 161
Notes 189
Bibliography 215
Index 227
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