As one of the founding figures of cultural studies, Lawrence Grossberg was an early participant in the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies’ project, one which sought to develop a critical practice adequate to the complexities of contemporary culture. The essays in Bringing It All Back Home bring a sense of history, depth, and contestation to the current success of cultural studies while charting Grossberg’s intellectual and theoretical developments from his time at Birmingham to the present day. Written over a twenty-year period, these essays—which helped introduce British cultural studies to the United States—reflect Grossberg’s ongoing effort to find a way of theorizing politics and politicizing theory.
The essays collected here recognize both the specificity of cultural studies, by locating it in a range of alternative critical perspectives and practices, and its breadth, by mapping the extent of its diversity. By discussing American scholars’ initial reception of cultural studies, its relation to communication studies, and its origins in leftist politics, Grossberg grounds the development of cultural studies in the United States in specific historical and theoretical context. His criticism of "easy" identification of cultural studies with the theories, models, and issues of communications and his challenge to some of cultural studies’ current directions and preoccupations indicates what may lie ahead for this dynamic field of study. Bringing together the Gramscian tradition of British cultural studies with the antimodernist philosophical positions of Foucault, Deleuze, and Guattari, Grossberg articulates an original and important vision of the role of the political intellectual in the contemporary world and offers an essential overview of the emerging field of cultural studies by one of its leading practitioners and theorists.