More about Cultural Studies
The Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies (APCCS) has a long history of forward-looking scholarship on the ethnography of performance, visual culture, representation, aesthetics, affect, space, and publics. APCCS has been combining anthropology and cultural studies for several decades. The Center’s previous directors—Américo Paredes, Richard Bauman, José Limón, Stephen Feld, Richard Flores, and Kathleen Stewart —have left the cumulative marks of their intellectual styles and interests on the research conducted in the program today. Located within the Department of Anthropology, APCCS draws affiliated faculty from such diverse fields as English, ethnomusicology, Asian Studies, history, Mexican-American Studies, communications, Radio-Television-Film, and theatre. This fertile exchange between the Department of Anthropology, APCCS, and other UT departments puts the program at a unique crossroads of the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
In that spirit, APCCS offers both a graduate concentration in Cultural Forms as well as a doctoral portfolio program, both of which play a major role in the free exchange of ideas at UT Austin. What imbues these programs and the APCCS with their unique approach is a shared interest in how culture is constituted and expressed—that is, how we actually produce and project cultural forms through verbal, visual, musical, kinesthetic, material, and dramatic means. Our understanding of cultural studies locates cultural forms amidst the give and take of every day life, heightened moments of festival, and celebratory practices, and hence, implicates them in the production and politics of social life. While expressions of cultural life are often unique and local, we do not imagine them to be somehow detached from society at large. Rather, we look at how the concrete production of cultural practices fits together within the broader subject of "popular" or "public" cultures, an approach that includes historical transformations in small-scale societies throughout the world (including, for example, urban enclaves in the US) as well as broad trends toward mass culture on a global scale (for example, worldbeat).
Text, Practice, Performance, the center's journal, provides a space for the publication of the work of UT graduate students, an additional locus for interdisplinary exchange, and an opportunity for students to edit and bring to press journal volumes.