Based on a lecture delivered not long after the US launched its so-called war on terror in Iraq in the aftermath of 9/11, the paper addresses the challenges for cultural studies in the midst of “the emergence of a global network of quasimilitary states in tributary relations to the US super security state” and “the emergence of a global counter public or constituency.” With a note of urgency and particular attention to the Philippine context, the paper expresses the need “to interpret, articulate, and participate in the social struggles taking place in and through cultural practice” which begins with the recognition of “the continual subsumption of people’s labor—physical, mental, experiential, and psychical—into systems of domination and exploitation.” It asserts that “the realms of freedom” are “getting smaller” even as “small spaces of creativity and freedom are won,” thus, the challenge is “to locate and extend these spaces as well as their political potential and to extricate these cultural practices … from those that contribute to the containment, expropriation, and alienation of people’s labor, processes which operate everywhere, even in the most politically radical sectors.” In these spaces, cultural practice becomes “not only the means of a transformation” but “part and parcel of that very transformation we hope and strive for.”


9/11, cultural studies, political economy

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)