Cultural Studies:
I. "The Lady of Shalott"--A feminist or a victim? 
  • crisis in subjectivity--the use of mirror
  • her education--ideologies of Romantic love and Celibacy, etc.
  • different painters' interpretation
II. Culture Industry--theory of Adorno & Horkheimer  

 Right William Holman Hunt, The Lady of Shalott, Manchester, Manchester City Art Gallery (from Women/Image/Text) 

  • Other Images of Shalott

  • by Hunt, Waterhouse, Siddal, Egley 
    by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 
    Why do they choose the moment of the Lady's defiance?
    The Exotic & Chaotic background--  
    allegorical elements 
    Please pay attention to the wall's dark tapestries, "upon which swirl the twisting bodies of angelic and allegorical figures, while the two roundels supporting the great mirror feature scenes of the Fall and the nativity [Wadsworth]" (Pearce 79) 
    exotic elements:  
    sandals & samovars («X°ê»É³ý) 


    contending ideogies:
    in the poem
    The Lady is both a bewitching 'fairy' (Parts I and II) and a pure Virgin, clothed in 'snowy white' (Part IV).  --symbolic of a woman torn in two by her contradictory education; by the "contending ideologies of Christian Celibacy and Romantic Love, and both underscored by the socio-economic forces that required a woman to marry or be rendered invisible."

    in the painting by Hunt
    [The painting is]"littered with graphic symbols of the contradictory discourses (Celibacy and Romantic Love) by which the Lady has been interpellated.  Between the Garden of Eden and the Virgin birth, the harem and the cloister, Hunt's Lady makes manifest the impossibility of her situation" (Pearce 78, 80)

    Other Images of Shalott Hunt; Waterhouse
    Hunt "allegedly intended his  paintings and illustrations to be read as reproving texts on the 'dereliction of duty'" (Pearce 78) 

    Hunt analysed the text as a moral fable illustrating 'the failure of a human soul towards its accepted responsiblity" (qtd in Marsh 150). 

    Please pay attention to the strong limbs, the heavy hips and breasts, and the witch-like hair. 

    William Holman Hunt, The Lady of Shalott, 1857

    Is she a fallen woman or "snow-maiden"?  Languorouss, Doomed or expecting love? 

    John William Waterhouse 
    'I am Half Sick of Shadows' siad the Lady of Shalott, 1915

     Egley & Siddal
    William Mau Egley, The Lady of Shalott 1858 
    a High Ggothic version full of antiquarian detail, a relatively early example of the influence of Pre-Raphaelite medievalism on other artists. ...with the authentic 14th-century costume, which 'clothes somewhat incongruously the patently Victorian figure of Mrs. Egley, who was the model" (Marsh 150-51).
    Elizabeth Siddal, The Lady of Shalott, 1853 
    Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Lady of Shallott, 1857 
    Wood engraving, 35/16 x 31/16 in. 
    Victoria and Albert Museum, London

    The Production of Culture
    Culture industry, Standardization, Pseudo Individuality
    from Production of Culture/Culture of Production
    overriding theme:
    the concentration of culture production within an industry that is dominated by a few corporate producers [Disney+ABC+MacDonald's] who manufacture, own the rights to and distribute a vast number of the mass-mediated cultural products that are found in the world. The consequences of such concentration are viewed as leading to a process of standardization of form and homogeneity of content. The impact is perceived as, at best giving the consumer little real choice, at worst promoting cultural forms that are dulling our ability to think critically about the world in which we live and reducing the diversity of values, beliefs and customs across the world.

    Examples of standardization and pseudo-individuality
    criticism of Adorno's theory

    …TThis chapter will trace a broad theorectical shift from approaching the production of culture through a macro perspective which stresses social and organizational structures and economic relationships, towards a more micro approach which focuses on everyday human agency and the making of cultural meanings. The first approach foregrounds the issue of control over production and constraint on creative practices; the second emphasizes human autonomy and the active ability to engage in creative activities despite such constraints.

    Culture industry
    'production line' and 'sausage machine'--music industry, book publishing business and Hollywood film production

    Adorno and Horkeimer
    --how culture is industrialized
    --the impact of [industrialization]on how cultural items were created and consumed.
    Mass culture'in which cultural production had become a routine, standardized repetitive operation that produced undemanding cultural commodities which in turn resulted in a type of consumption that was also standardized, distracted and passive.

    [against instrumental rationality prevalent in the first half of 20th century.]
    [personal history: witnessed 1914-1918 war, fled from Nazism in 1938 to the U.S. to find both the Nazi party and the U.S. make massive use of media technologies.

    Summary of the Three major arguments: production-creation-consumption
    From a political-economy analysis which draws on Marx, they argue that the concentration of culture production in a capitalist industry results in a standardized commercial commodity.
    Free and autonomous art against the repetitive and unchallenging culture produced as a commodity
    cultural consumption has become a de-concentrated activity leading to passive and 'obedient' types of social behaviour.

    Further explanation of standardization and pseudo-individuality
    standardization: there is nothing spontaneous about the process of cultural production: it has become a routine operation that can be carried out in an office by the application of specific formulae. E.g. production procedure, plan, repetitive sequences and frequently recurring refrains.

    Examples: Artist and mass production: Springsteen and music video such as "Dancing in the Dark" "Born in the U.S.A."; the textbook's example: jazz improvization, psalm, traditional song, 'easy listening' -regressive listening

    consequences: passive, obedient and easily manipulated consumption--e.g. listen to the refrains and hooks of a hit song;

    pseudo individuality--trade marks of car, music and stars' images
    "The constant pressure to produce new effects (which must conform to the old pattern) serves merely as another rule to increase the power of the conventions…}Pseudo individuality is rife: from the standardized jazz improvization to the exceptional film star whose hair curls over her eye to demonstrate her originality. "

    Examples: Spice Girl, ±i´f©f¡A¤ýµá¡ADiana hair style; car'different brands' and diffent years' models


    1. popular culture--not always standardized, controlled;
    2. Do we need meaning and self-awareness in every activity, including entertainment?
    3. distinction between the standardization of 'functional artifacts' such as a car and 'music texts' such as songs.
    4. There is a limit in this productionist perspective. -- Different ways of consumption