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About Stuart Hall

  • Stuart Hall, the leading figure in British cultural studies, was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1932. He came to the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. In the 1950s Hall co-founded two radical journals, The New Reasoner and New Left Review.
  • Joining Richard Hoggart at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies in Birmingham, Hall became its director in 1968, influencing the development of cultural studies worldwide. In 1979 he became Professor of Sociology at the Open University.
  • Hall coined the term Thatcherism in a Marxism Today article in January 1979, months before Margaret Thatcher moved into Downing Street. He argued presciently that Thatcher's radical alteration of Britain's social, economic and political terrain would outlive her.
  • Hall's many books include Encoding and Decoding in the Television Discourse (1973), Policing the Crisis (1978), Questions of Cultural Identity (1996) and Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices (1997).
  • Following his retirement in 1997, Hall became a Professor Emeritus at the Open University and at Goldsmiths College, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He served on the Runnymede Trust's Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic BritainCollaborating with young artists and film-makers, he chaired Autograph (the Association of Black Photographers) and the International Institute of Visual Arts at Rivington Place, in Hoxton, east London (home of the Stuart Hall Library).
  • He died, aged 82, on 10 February, 2014.
  • Stuart Hall in conversation:
  • • with CLR James, Channel 4, 1986;
  • • on Desert Island Discs, BBC Radio 4, February 2000;
  • • with Les Back, 2007;
  • • on Thinking Allowed, BBC Radio 4, March 2011;
  • • with Sut Jhally, Media Education Foundation, August 2012;
  • BBC Newsnight broadcast this video compilation in February 2014.
  • The Stuart Hall Project, a film by John Akomfrah (2013), with Miles Davis soundtrack, is here at the BFI.
  • (biog: Clare Sambrook, February 2014)

Articles by Stuart Hall

This week's editor

“Phoebe

Phoebe Braithwaite is openDemocracy’s submissions editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Castaway: Stuart Hall in his own words

Listening again to the leading cultural theorist on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. (podcast here)

The danger of common sense

'Common sense' is key to how we negotiate politics collectively. Rather than fighting the right on its own populist turf, the left must draw out, embrace, and frame its campaigns around, the ‘good sense’ which exists within ‘common sense’.

Divided city: the crisis of London

The contemporary city, London especially, was supposed to be the model for the workable, cosmopolitan multicultural future. But neo–liberal globalisation and its disastrous consequences are reproducing in the city the growing inequalities of the world, argues the foremost analyst of multiculture.

In an article written in 2000 I posed what I called ‘the Multicultural question’.

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