Essential Essays, Volume 1

Foundations of Cultural Studies

Essential Essays, Volume 1

Stuart Hall: Selected Writings

More about this series

Book Pages: 424 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 1: Foundations of Cultural Studies focuses on the first half of Hall's career, when he wrestled with questions of culture, class, representation, and politics. This volume's stand-out essays include his field-defining “Cultural Studies and Its Theoretical Legacies"; the prescient “The Great Moving Right Show,” which first identified the emergent mode of authoritarian populism in British politics; and “Encoding and Decoding in the Television Discourse,” one of his most influential pieces of media criticism. As a whole, Volume 1 provides a panoramic view of Hall's fundamental contributions to cultural studies.


"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

“Along with the other volumes that Duke University Press has published, these two books of collected essays are to be welcomed. They allow us to see a fertile mind in action, engaged in and with the real world. It is a model well worth emulating.” — Michael W. Apple, Educational Policy

“As one of the foremost intellectuals of his generation, [Hall] has made an enormous contribution to cultural and political thought, and his work has had a lasting impact in both social sciences and the humanities…. This collection is a treasure trove of Hall’s intellectual and political offerings; I recommend it highly.” — Avtar Brah, New West Indian Guide

“The late Stuart Hall was more than an intellectual giant of postwar Britain. He was the great illuminator, whose far-reaching insights into how the world is constructed show us why cultural studies is not about the manners learned from the masters, but a way of examining and understanding social reality as made by the people themselves.” — Okwui Enwezor Artforum

“Stuart Hall was one of the great political intellectuals of our time—learned, perspicacious, provocative, and wise.” — Wendy Brown

"[T]he most significant figure on the British intellectual left over the course of the last 50 years.” — Tim Adams The Guardian


Availability: In stock
Price: $30.95

Open Access

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: A Life in Essays  1
Part I. Cultural Studies: Culture, Class, and Theory
Introduction  27
1. Richard Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy, and the Cultural Turn [2007]  35
2. Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms [1980]  47
3. Cultural Studies and Its Theoretical Legacies [1992]  71
Part II. Theoretical and Methodological Principles: Class, Race and Articulation
4. The Hinterland of Science: Ideology and the Sociology of Knowledge [1977]  111
5. Rethinking the "Base and Superstructure" Metaphor [1977]  143
6. Race, Articulation, and Societies Structured in Dominance [1980]  172
7. On Postmodernism and Articulation: An Interview with Stuart Hall by Larry Grossberg and Others [1986]  222
Part III. Media, Communications, Ideology, and Representation
8. Encoding and Decoding in the Television Discourse [originally 1973; republished 2007]  257
9. External Influences on Broadcasting: The External/Internal Dialectic in Broadcasting—Television's Double-Blind [1972]  277
10. Culture, the Media, and the "Ideological Effect" [1977]  298
Part IV. Political Formations: Power as Process
11. Notes on Deconstructing "the Popular" [1981]  347
12. Policing the Crisis: Preface to the 35th Anniversary Edition [2013] (with Chas Critcher, Tony Jefferson, John Clarke, and Brian Roberts)  362
13. The Great Moving Right Show [1979]  374
Index  393
Place of First Publication  411
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0093-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0074-7
Publicity material