Media Academics as Media Audiences: Aesthetic Judgments in Media and Cultural Studies

Matt Hills

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


In this chapter I want to argue that the dismissal of aesthetic considerations from much work in media/cultural studies--a foundational gesture aimed at distinguishing academics from both "naive" consumers and "imposed" ideologies--does not, in fact, work to install critical rationality or desired neutrality (Barthes 2005). I will suggest that via its anti-aesthetics (see also Sandvoss, this volume) much cultural studies work has constructed cultural distinction for itself bu implying that its scholars are exempt from the domains of fan culture and/or popular culture (Hills 2002, 2005b). However, such a fantasized exemption has not all produced an escape from "popular aesthetics" (Bird 2003) but has instead recoded aesthetic judgments within the supposedly pristine spaces of academia.  
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFandom
Subtitle of host publicationIdentities and Communities in a Mediated World
EditorsJonathan Gray, C. Lee Harrington, Cornel Sandvoss
PublisherNYU Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780814732380, 0814732380
ISBN (Print)0814731813, 9780814731819, 9780814731826, 0814731821
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


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