Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
In a recent article in Cultural Studies, Jennifer Daryl Slack called for the jettisoning of ecocultural studies as an add-on to Cultural Studies and the revitalizing of Cultural Studies with the eco as integral to it. One way I propose of doing so in this article is to revalue and re-establish the beginnings of Cultural Studies, and of ecocultural studies, in the work of Raymond Williams in which both were integral to the other. I call Williams both a founder of Cultural Studies and the founder of ecocriticism and ecocultural studies, though of course he did not use these terms, nor make these distinctions between them, but that is the point. Williams is exemplary in this respect in that he just got on and did the eco and this is no more the case than in his development of the concept of livelihood sadly missing from the glossaries of Cultural Studies' terms. This article traces the development of the concepts of culture, nature, landscape and livelihood in Williams' work. It argues that livelihood deconstructs the culture/nature binary and decolonizes the commodification and aestheticization of land as landscape. It reinstitutes nature as ordinary, as the stuff of work and everyday life. Nature, like culture for Williams, is ordinary too.