Cultural studies in the English classroom

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Wall, Cathrine E.
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The shift from a literary studies to a cultural studies paradigm of teaching English language arts was Investigated from the perspective of a classroom teacher. The study was a hermeneutic inquiry examining the foundations of the paradigm o literary studies, the epistemological challenges to this paradigm, and the formation of a new paradigm of cultural studies. Employing elements of the cultural studies paradigm, including media studies, ideological critique, new historicism, semiotics, Marxist; feminist; and psychoanalytical criticism, and other postmodern discourses, five films were investigated: 'Frankenstein ' (1931), 'Mary Shelley's Frankenstein' (1994), ' Romeo and Juliet' (1968), 'Romeo + Juliet' (1996), and 'The Edge' (1997). This investigation also applied the methods of narrative inquiry to illustrate the personal transformation in thinking about text and representation undergone by the researcher throughout the course of the study. The study found that a cultural studies approach to the teaching of film provided insights not afforded by the more traditional paradigm of literary study while still drawing upon many of the same techniques used in traditional literary analysis.