What cultural studies means to me
Student spotlight | Zachary Gray, BA (Hons) History
Zachary Gray is a student on the BA (Hons) History course within The School of Cultural Studies and Humanities at Leeds Beckett University. He shares with us what cultural studies means to him.
- Course: BA (Hons) History
What drew you to The School of Cultural Studies and Humanities?
One of the defining aspects of cultural studies is its interdisciplinary nature. Pioneers of cultural studies recognised and embraced the frequent intersection of ideas, methods and research between disciplines. By tearing down these disciplinary boundaries, cultural studies re-imagined the potential for academic studies. This philosophy of interaction and co-operation between the various disciplines in cultural studies and humanities is evident at Leeds Beckett and I am proud to be a part of it.
Why did you choose to study history?
I love learning about the past and cultural studies has a strong British historic tradition, emerging in the mid-twentieth century as a revolutionary but often controversial field of study. Early works such as Hoggart’s 'The Uses of Literacy' were pioneering for their recognition of the social and cultural significance of the working classes, where they had been overlooked before.
Also the legacy of Marxism’s philosophical roots and in its focus on people, power, and the inequalities between the two, which has had a powerful effect in re-framing how we understand society past and present.
What has been your favourite thing about being a student in The School of Cultural Studies and Humanities?
Students are encouraged to look outside of their course and bring depth to research. I strongly believe that this has been instrumental in creating socially aware graduates conscious of ever-present inequalities and an essential educational step towards institutional change.
Cultural studies to me stands for equality and integrity, and a persistent attempt to expose where these are undermined in society – which I love learning about!