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Mapping Identity and Identification Processes

Approaches from Cultural Studies

Edited By Eduardo de Gregorio-Godeo and Angel Mateos-Aparicio Martin-Albo

This book deals with the subject of identity and identification within contemporary cultural studies and includes a selection of papers from the 14th International ‘Culture & Power’ Conference held in Ciudad Real, Spain, in 2010. The volume contributes to contemporary debates on identity-construction practices from various theoretical positions in different social, historic and national contexts. The initial section presents various theoretical discussions on how identity construction and identification phenomena are framed within current disciplinary debates about cultural studies and its future as an academic inter- and transdisciplinary field of enquiry. In the following sections, identity and identification processes are analysed from a variety of perspectives.
In particular, the articles delve into the construction of marginalised identities and the exploration of identification processes that subvert dominant, established or accepted cultural identities. The authors explore the role of print media and videogames in constructing and representing identities; they examine the construction of masculinities and femininities in film, music and gay liberation movements; they analyse the interplay between globalisation and nationalism and its impact on cultural products in Asia or Africa; and provide examples of cultural history approaches to the articulation of several national identities. Considered together, the chapters engage with the most relevant concerns pervading identity theory and cultural studies today.

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Preface 7

Extract

LAWRENCE GROSSBERG Preface: On the Road with Don Quijote My first trip to Spain was, appropriately enough, to a conference in La Mancha—the very conference that has resulted in this book—a place that has had a special and continuance presence and privilege in my own “mattering maps,” ever since I first read Miguel de Cervantes’ novel as a precocious child, and it instantly became and has remained my favorite novel. I suppose its affective perseverance could be ascribed to its extraordinary fluidity or better, multiplicity, against the deceptive straightforwardness of this undecideable figure, but I prefer to believe that I was prescient and had realized, even as a youth, the ways Don Quijote intersects, amplifies and articulates many of the key passions—and problematics—of my political and intellectual life. Did I find, in the tensions among Alonso Quijano’s fantasies, his relation to Sancho Panza, and the realities others tried to impose, a first understanding of the complexities of life—of caring and hatred, of inequalities and possibilities? Did I understand that this story—forgive my banality and sentimentality (but then maybe these are good things sometimes)—about “impossible dreams” was a radical statement that “other worlds are possible”? Did I intuitively connect with Cervantes’ Jewish ancestry and the Levantine traditions out of which his imaginary might have emerged, traditions that would later become emblematic for me of the possibility of other modernities? Did the absurd adventures of “the ingenious gentleman Don Quijote of La Mancha” mimic my...

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