In What Is Cultural Studies Anyway? Richard Johnson attempts to define this new field of study: “Cultural Studies is about the historical forms of consciousness or subjectivity, or the subjective forms we live by, or, in a rather perilous compression, perhaps a reduction, the subjective side of social relations”. Stumbling as it is, Johnson’s definition stresses the fact that Cultural Studies is an interdisciplinary perspective or collection of investigative tools which allow for a unique approach, opening new forms of discourse or perspectives.
It borrows from the Humanities (disciplines proper like History, Literary Studies, Linguistics, Art History, and others) much of the concrete material from which it works; from Archaeology an inherent respect for all of the physical productions of a culture, although it is directed at a more contemporary culture, not an ancient one; from Anthropology Cultural Studies borrow an inherent respect for the integrity and unquestioned value of a culture’s perspectives, customs, teachings, and social bondings; from Sociology an inherent classification system which preferences a view of the group as opposed to the unique individual; but it borrows from dozen other disciplines as well.
Themes of our conferences express the attempt to find new ways of looking at those aspects, which the society already sees as traditional, but which in new contexts gain completely new and enriching meanings. The ability to seek new meanings and new views of cultural phenomena and products represents a theme, which is not only academically interesting, but also socially significant. With the changing paradigm of our period, mainly with the growing influence of globalizing tendencies, the ways of capturing our reality are different, no matter whether we are considering literary or other portrayal, or whether we are considering the different ways of understanding these cultural representations and phenomena. Thus, the themes of our conferences are rather wide and open to a variety of views. The previous years have proved that the members of the academia understand the importance of changes and new ways of looking at the reality and its reflection in cultural products. Let us hope that the future conferences will continue in this promising trend and let us look forward to new themes and new interesting interpretations!
Bubíková, Roebuck, Kaylor