chapter  1
26 Pages

Introduction

Now we demand a chance to do things for ourself We're tired ofbeatin our head against the wall Say it loud, I'm Black and I'm proud.

—James Brown, "Say It Loud"

The past three decades or so have been witness to a charged postmodern culturalist movement that has positioned identity-based politics at the scholarly fore. A great interest in all peoples, individuals, and subjectivities, issues and concerns from ideologies and identity politics to everyday, lived experiences, and the unique voices of people who belong to marginalized groups has been matched by a steady supply of books, journals, monographs, chapters, essays, and presentations that work to meet the tremendous demand for knowledge. Quite expectedly, the broadly defined "subcultures" that have so enamored cultural studies scholars have greatly benefited from the scholarly spotlight. If the sheer quantity and pervasiveness of the intellectual discourses mean anything, scholarly contributions such as Migrancy, Culture, Identity by Iain Chambers (1993), The Black Atlanticby Paul Gilroy (1993), Black Popular Cultureby Gina Dent (1992), Feminism and Youth Culture by Angela McRobbie (1991), and The Rites of Men by Varda Burstyn (1999) to name a very few have assured that we know much more about the repressed/oppressed/marginalized than ever before. Infused with the theories, methodological paradigms, and methods of fern-

inist/women's studies, queer studies, critical race theory, film theory (also

known as screen theory), Marxism, psychoanalysis, media studies,

(post)colonial studies, anthropology, and ethnography, cultural conversa-

tions around gender, sexual identities, race and interracial relationships,

representation, the subaltern, lived experiences, and meaning making are

now offered up in all their multi-culti, diverse glory in the scholarly litera-

ture. Lawrence Grossberg (1996,161) cites Stuart Hall (1981),' who calls for

an examination of our histories and current existence as they are shaped by

emerging forms of cultural power:

[TJhe domain of cultural forms and activities as a constantly changing

field . . . [to look) at the relations which constantly structure this field

into dominant and subordinate formations... [to lookJ at the process by

which these relations of dominance and subordination are articulated . . .