Cultural Studies

Policy Last Updated: February 1, 2015

Subject: Cultural Studies

Purpose

The collection policy is a used as a guide for purchasing relevant collections and prioritizing purchases. Purchase decisions are the responsibility of the collections librarian in consultation with faculty in the program.

This policy has been developed by Joanne Oud, the Cultural Studies Librarian, in cooperation with the Cultural Studies Program Coordinator.

Collection Focus

Cultural Studies involves the interdisciplinary study of high, popular and everyday culture.  The Library collection supports teaching, study and research up at the undergraduate degree level, especially in support of current courses.  These include:

  • Culture in Historical Perspective
  • Culture in Thematic Perspective
  • Classics in Cultural Theory
  • Contemporary Cultural Theory
  • Cartoons and Comics
  • Cultural Studies of Popular Music
  • Cultural Studies in Action (service learning practicum)
  • Myths, Monsters and Machines: the Fantastic in Popular Culture
  • Game Cultures
  • Networked and Digital Cultures
  • Special Topics courses, which vary in content but include areas such as
    • Consumer Culture
    • Youth, Subcultures and Cultural Studies
    • Remix Culture

Collection Scope

  • Language:  works written or translated into English are preferred
  • Place of Publication:  priority is given to materials published in North America and the UK
  • Dates of Publication: emphasis is placed on recently published works
  • Chronological Period:  emphasis is placed on the contemporary period (late 20th and 21st century)
  • Geographical Areas: priority is given to works with a North American focus, although materials relating to both western and non-western cultural traditions are purchased
  • Publishers:  scholarly and academic publishers are given priority, although popular or trade publishers are considered for academic-level popular culture material and comics/graphic novels

Types, Formats, and Readership of Materials Collected

  • Readership: materials with academic-level readership are emphasized.  Popular materials such as comics and graphic novels are collected as primary sources of study.  
  • Format:  single copies of books in print formats are usually purchased.  Online format is preferred for reference sources, journals, and books of interest on multiple campuses or intended for course reserve or use for online courses.
  • Types of materials not purchased:  textbooks, abridgements, study aids, limited editions, works by vanity presses, juvenile works, pamphlets, reprints and partial contents (e.g. single issues of journals, single chapters of books). Non-scholarly publications are usually avoided except for primary sources (e.g. comics/graphic novels).

Subjects Collected and Collecting Priorities

The discipline of Cultural Studies involves a number of theoretical approaches to the study of culture, especially popular culture. Works collected have a Cultural Studies approach, particularly towards issues of representation and identity, as well as the production, consumption and regulation of culture.

Subject Collected

Priority

Cartoons, comics & graphic novels (secondary works)

A

Commodification and consumption

A

Consumer culture

A

Contemporary cultural theory

A

Cultural hegemony & resistance

A

Cultural studies of education

A

Cultural studies of:food

A

Cultural studies of:space/place/landscape

A

Cultural Studies practice

A

Cultural Studies research & methods

A

Cultural Studies theory

A

Digital and networked culture

A

Fan cultures

A

Popular music

A

Subcultures

A

Video games, gaming, and gaming culture

A

Youth culture & subcultures

A

Cartoons, comics & graphic novels (primary works)

B

Children’s culture

B

Class and culture/popular culture

B

Cultural industries and cultural production

B

Cultural representation

B

Cultural studies of:health/medicine

B

Cultural studies of:science

B

Gender and culture/popular culture

B

History of popular culture

B

Knowledge production

B

Monsters & the fantastic

B

Popular culture/mass culture

B

Race and culture/popular culture

B

Remix culture

B

Sexuality and culture/popular culture

B

Visual culture

B

Celebrity culture

C

Cultural policy

C

Cultural politics

C

Cultural studies of:tourism

C

Cultural studies of:work

C

Fashion

C

History & development of Cultural Studies

C

Sports and culture

C

 

A =highest emphasis. Materials supporting core teaching and research in Cultural Studies courses

B =secondary emphasis. Materials on major Cultural Studies topics but not directly supporting courses, or supporting less frequently taught courses

C =selective emphasis. Materials that are useful but less central to the discipline. 

 

Related Programs and Support

Related materials are also be purchased by departments and programs such as Communication Studies, English, Film Studies, Women & Gender Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, and Contemporary Studies (Brantford).

Materials purchased for Cultural Studies also support related undergraduate courses offered by programs such as Communication Studies and Women & Gender Studies, and at the master’s level by the Cultural Analysis and Social Theory program.  When purchasing, preference is given to materials that also support the MA program in Cultural Analysis and Social Theory. 

There are no Cultural Studies programs in other TUG Libraries (Guelph, Waterloo), but related programs include Media Studies at Guelph-Humber.  Library collections that support this program are available to Laurier students and faculty.