This is not a discussion lead: I just like to jot down questions and ideas while they're still fresh, and what better way to get some practice with the blog?
I was engaged by Johnson's discussion of how fragmented--perhaps multidisciplinary is a better term--cultural studies is. His suggestion, that the various disciplinary components of cultural studies should not be compressed into an aggregate, is fascinating to me; nearly all other academic reading I've done suggests otherwise, that a rigid and well-articulated means of inquiry should. . .no, must be employed. In Johnson, it seems less about forming an unbending, formal approach, and more about redefining and repositioning the different components and how they work together. It struck me that this is very similar to the type of inquiry cultural studies, at least to some degree, undertakes: an investigation of how different individuals and groups interact and grapple for power or position in their environments.
The question Johnsons poses at the outset of the piece also caught my eye: "should cultural studies aspire to be an academic disciplne" (75). For me, it raised the question of disciplinary validity. Historically, composition and rhetoric struggled to escape the stigma of a "soft science" until it was legitimized in the eyes of critics through theory-building and research (quantitative and otherwise). The means of inquiry Johnson presents is fascinating to me and clearly valuable, but I wonder if its openness and versatitlity would incite resistance to it being considered a discipline all its own.
That's all for now,