Robert Carley, Department of International Studies and Comparative


Robert Carley, Department of International Studies and Comparative Cultural Studies Texas A&M University, College Station Candidate Statement:

Taken together, my scholarly interests, research, and the communities where I place my work in dialogue with scholars, activists, and artists represent a committed interdisciplinary intellectual life. Cultural Studies and the Cultural Studies Association, in particular, is an integral part of that life and I welcome the opportunity to be more directly involved with the CSA. I received my Ph.D. in 2012 from the Sociology Department at Texas A&M University and my Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from George Mason University where I studied in the Graduate Program in Cultural Studies. I was visiting faculty in the Women’s and Gender Studies program at Texas A&M University between 2012 and 2013. Currently, I am an Instructional Assistant Professor in the Department of International Studies at Texas A&M University, College Station where I preside over a new Comparative Cultural Studies minor. I am a big fan of the Cultural Studies Association and have been from the beginning. I attended my first CSA meeting in 2002, in Boston (the second annual meeting). Since then, I have presented on panels, organized panels, and been an invited guest for the CSA special seminars. I am currently an active member of the CSA, The International Gramsci Society, The Association for Economic and Social Analysis (Rethinking Marxism), The American Sociological Association, and the Union for Democratic Communication (UDC) where I am currently completing a term on the organization’s steering committee and am also regional coordinator for UDC chapters. My research contributes to several ongoing dialogues in cultural studies, specifically in the areas of theory, race and ethnicity, and materialism and ontology. I am currently working on a manuscript tentatively titled, Modernity’s South: Racialization, Culture, and Ideological Contention from The Southern Question to Occupy Wall Street. In my manuscript I investigate configurations of “north” and “south” in the context of nation, region, and globe mediated, primarily, by race and secondarily by class across the “modern” period. I analyze how these relations change across the “neoliberal” period (by looking at protest strategies, tactics, and locations) culminating in movements like “occupy” movement. With regard to cultural studies, critical communications scholarship and interdisciplinary work I recently published an article that compares cultural and political theories of racialization in an international context across the 20 th Chinese for a special journal issue on the legacy of Stuart Hall. Second, I am century. It appears in The Journal of Historical Sociology (2013) and represents aspects of his current research. Also, this article is currently being translated into and published in finalizing an essay, which offers a materialist critique of social movement theoretical presumptions; it will appear in a peer-reviewed anthology entitled Revolutionary Voices: Marxism, Communication and Social Change (2015). Third, and most recently,

I have under contract with Rowman and Littlefield Publishers a manuscript: Collectivities: Politics at the Intersection of Disciplines (2015); it describes how theories in classical and public sociology, ethnic studies, and cultural studies contribute—through different perspectives and intellectual politics—to the autonomous political and cultural potential of groups of cultural and intellectual workers. I argue (using archival evidence) that ethnic studies, public sociology (grounded in the classical tradition) and cultural studies all depend, in similar ways, upon the political potential of collectives, which I call “collectivity”, or collective potential. Most recently, I have had an article accepted to a special issue of Sociological Focus on black social movements. This article focuses on the empirical effects of how political groups produce and circulate “counter-ideological” messages in the context of mobilizations where racial and ethnic identity is salient. My future research falls into the category of materialism and ontology. My paper, “Gramsci, Gobetti’s Death, and Bios Politicus: An Exploration of the Relationship between Neovitalism and Marxism Through the Problem of (In)determinacy.” challenges tenets of contemporary “neomaterialist” thought—specifically, “neovitalism (as it pertains to feminist thought)—with regard to contemporary politics and indeterminacy by asking the following question: “what is the epistemological status of political strategy and tactics in Marxist thought.” I demonstrate that Marxist thinkers make a distinction between conception, potential, and action not only strategically but, also, analytically and tactically by focusing on Antonio Gramsci’s discussion of the role of Piero Gobetti in mobilizing workers in Italy. More to the point I demonstrate that the category of tactics and strategy directly inform (i.e. change) categorical aspects of Marxist materialist thinking. In specific, Gramsci’s discussion of Gobetti’s murder raises questions about the direction of Italian politics within the rubric of (Gramsci’s) Marxism demonstrating a conceptual flexibility absent in neomaterialist discussions of Marxist thought. All of my research and conference activity testifies to scholarship done between disciplinary spaces. Cultural Studies in general and The Cultural Studies Association in specific has marked an intellectual home for my work and me. I would like to contribute more directly to the conversation that cultural studies scholarship generates by helping to organize, coordinate, and generate opportunities for young and continuing scholars. I would also like to do whatever I can to amplify the voices of association members through the CSA, in partnership with members, the associations’ Governing Board, and its officers.


Robert Carley


Instructional Assistant Professor Department of International Studies, Texas A&M University, College Station

Position You Are Running For:

Regular Governing Board Member

Other Professional and/or Activist Affiliations:

o Union for Democratic Communications (Steering Committee Member 2013 2015) o International Gramsci Society American Sociological Association o o o National Communications Association Association for Political Theory o Southwest Social Science Association

Leadership experience and involvement in the CSA and Cultural Studies:

I have been involved with the CSA since the second annual meeting in Boston, I was a graduate student in the Cultural Studies Program at George Mason University. I am also involved in association leadership at the national level. Currently, I am concluding a two-year term on the Steering Committee for the Union for Democratic Communications, an organization that promotes cultural studies scholarship in the field of communications.

Preparation and/or Experiences that would help in this position:

I am ending a two-year term on the Steering Committee for The Union for Democratic Communications where I assisted in conference organization for two association meetings, helped amend the organization’s by-laws, served on a committee to review and hire a new editor for our associations’ journal Democratic Communiqué, and organized and moderated panels at the associations’ conferences. I am also presiding over the design, curricular development, and implementation of an undergraduate minor in Comparative Cultural Studies in the International Studies Department at Texas A&M University, College Station. I have designed and am teaching the pilot introductory course and am actively recruiting students into the minor. Lastly, I have been a long-time and am currently a member in good standing of the CSA.

What would you like to accomplish while in office?

Two things in particular. First, I would like to form strong and regular links to existing associations (like, for example the Union for Democratic Communications and the International Gramsci Society) to expand conference participation and attendance as well as membership as well as the seminar series and, also, the working groups.

Second, as someone who is in the beginning stages of designing curriculum for an undergraduate minor I am interested in locating institutions who are involved in cultural studies instruction, pedagogy, and research and include undergraduates. I would like, in specific, to do three things:  Create a document detailing what types of programs exist for undergraduates nationally and, eventually internationally;  Create a forum where instructors can discuss cultural studies pedagogy;  Create opportunities for undergraduates to attend and participate in CSA; Lastly, I hope that this may lead to increasing institutional interest in the CSA meetings.

Please add anything else that would be of interest/use to voting members:

(Though this might hurt my chances of getting elected to the governing board for those CSA members who have been to College Station, TX) I would like, at some point, to bring the CSA Texas A&M University, College Station, for an annual conference.