The window and the wardrobe: C.L.R. James and the critical reading of sport and literature

Smith, A. (2016) The window and the wardrobe: C.L.R. James and the critical reading of sport and literature. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 52(3), pp. 262-273. (doi: 10.1080/17449855.2016.1203100)

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This article explores the materialist reading of culture developed by C.L.R. James. Central to James’s approach was his refusal to respect the implicit segregation between “high” and “low” or “intellectual” and “popular” forms of culture. In important respects, the article argues, it is precisely because James begins from an analysis of the practices and audiences of popular sport that his approach to the analysis of literature is as valuable as it is. In particular, the article emphasizes three lessons which James appears to derive from his willingness to think carefully about the political and sociological meanings of sporting practice: first, his attention to the embodied and time-bound nature of cultural reception; second, his consistent rejection of a “determinist” reading of culture; third, his insistence on the necessity of continuing to make evaluative judgements with regard to cultural creativity.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Professor Andrew
Authors: Smith, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Postcolonial Writing
ISSN (Online):1744-9863
Published Online:20 July 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Author
First Published:First published in Journal of Postcolonial Writing 52(3): 262-273
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
592091Understanding the changes in ethnic relations: understanding the dynamics of ethnicity, identity and inequality in the uk.Satnam VirdeeEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/K002198/1SPS - SOCIOLOGY