Drawing on Stuart Hall’s influential “Notes on deconstructing ‘the popular’” [Hall, S. (1981). In R. Samuel (Eds.), People’s history and socialist theory (pp. 227–240). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.], this essay maps out some of the major shifts in cultural studies’ relationship to popular culture over the past several decades. It concludes with a call for cultural studies to find ways to work from the terrain of the popular, rather than merely studying that terrain, or trying to “translate” its scholarly analyses for popular audiences. This is a necessary path to fulfilling its mission as a political project.