Since taking over the Department of English Students’ Association this semester, the Cultural Studies Students’ Association is reaching out to English students by offering new courses, vegan bake sales, used American Apparel clothing swaps, and Mile End bike tours. But after seizing control of DESA, CSSA is preparing for bigger things. Rumours that the group is planning to take control of AUS have been confirmed.
CSSA meets every Tuesday in Architecture Café to drink organic fair-trade coffee out of mason jars and discuss issues pertinent to cultural studies students, such as Lacanian psychoanalysis, literary pretensions, plastic-rimmed specs, skinny jeans, and the comings and goings of various current and former members of Broken Social Scene.
CSSA is expanding the cultural studies department by expanding next year’s course offerings with an exciting new array of classes. New courses to be offered in the Fall 2010 semester include ENGL 353: Theories of Sameness, ENGL 443: Cinebrechtianism and Marxist Discourse in Godard’s Later Films, and ENGL 509: Derrida: Pre-Semantical Rationalist or Neo-Semioticist? An additional course has also been added in the Philosophy department, PHIL 417: Homoeroticism in Hegel and Schopenhauer, which may also be of interest to students pursuing a cultural studies degree.
CSSA is particularly enthusiastic about the Theories of Sameness course, and encourages all English students to enroll. “We’re taking a post-de-re-constructionist approach to critical theories of whiteness, using Foucauldian power relations as a lens through which to examine the othering of the white male subject,” says Professor Greene, who will be teaching the course.
Von Berg cites cultural normativity and neo-colonial misappropriations within the English literary canon as a reason for CSSA’s break from DESA. CSSA feels that the classical approach of the literature program should be supplanted with a more deconstructivist, postmodernist agenda. And it seems that AUS is CSSA’s next target
“There are hegemonic paradigms and heteronormative undertones at play within the operations of AUS,” says CSSA President Sebastian Von Berg. “If the Arts faculty was run by cultural studies students, we could eliminate the neo-capitalist forces at play in student politics at McGill.”
Von Berg accused the AUS of owning the means of production and enslaving workers.
“No worker is paid his fair share at Bar des Arts. Beers for the bourgeois are one dollar each, yet the staff go unpaid,” he said. “Also, we should abandon the failed Leacock SNAX franchise. Capitalism is dead! We must replace it with a socialized vegetable slop giveaway like Midnight Kitchen.”
According to Von Berg, a vote for cultural studies is a vote for continued post-dialecticalism within the faculty with no regard for Freudian transgressive sexual identity mythopoetics.
“It behooves us all to aspire to participate in an anarcho-syndicalist commune which is governed by du Garbandier’s great wisdom: ‘If one examines capitalist theory, one is faced with a choice: either reject neotextual materialism or conclude that society has objective value,’ ” he said.