Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture






1-8 pp.


As I mull the current issue – a wonderful collection of open submissions and a terrific supplement on “post-9/11” developments, about both of which I feel too intellectually impoverished to write adequately – I am filled with mixed feelings, thoughts and even theoretical positions. This last is kind of inescapable given my best efforts to put theory into practice whenever and wherever possible. The two cannot and should not be inseparable, at least for anyone who claims to be even the most remotely involved in Cultural Studies. And yet, I know that this is the area where Cultural Studies fails most abjectly in living up to its claims and to its promise. I know this from firsthand experience and from experience writ large. Too many times I have received an email on the faculty list – or worse, on one of the many Cultural Studies associations’ lists – from someone exhorting others to attend an important gathering, rally, action, etc. only to find that the originator of the impassioned plea could not be bothered to slip on the Aussie boots and the black turtleneck, fill the Volvo XC90 (or Subaru Legacy Outback) with properly decorated BPA-free jugs of free trade pomegranate infused coffee with smiley faces in the foam so they complement the gluten-free vegan 100 mile cupcakes, and attend the function in the official Cultural Studies uniform and regalia for all to see. In short, they cannot be bothered to put forth anything more than the daily spectacle of nonconformist conformity. As much as this might seem an indictment, bitterness, biting the hand that feeds, a complete lack of sympathy for people trapped by mortgages, childcare expenses, deadlines, bureaucracy, etc., it is not. In fact, it’s not anything. I cannot make sense of any of it. I’ve long since stopped taking stock of it other than to note it and to not behave accordingly. I am only responsible for myself and my own actions. If anything, it’s resignation.


© Marc Ouellette. Posted with permission of the author.

Original Publication Citation

Ouellette, M. (2011). Editor's Introduction: Activism and Anagnorisis. Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture, 11(4).