In the humanities, we refer a lot to reading a text or interpreting a text. But what do we mean when talk about a cultural text or cultural texts? The use of the term text in English Literature and literary studies might seem fairly straight-forward, but, across the wider humanities, we also often hear references to artistic texts, filmic texts and performance texts.
On the face of it, these things may not seem like texts at all. So, what do we mean when we use the term text in film studies, for example, and how is that similar or different to our use of the term text in literary studies?
Starting from Roland Barthes' From Work to Text, in which he first employed the concept of the text to provide a new method for the analysis of literary texts, I seek to explore how the term has become used as a starting point for analysing culture more broadly.
Anyone interested in having a look at From Work to Text by Roland Barthes can find it here: http://www.d.umn.edu/~cstroupe/handouts/8500/barthes_work_to_text.pdf
In researching this video, I also found Peter Childs' book Texts extremely useful which, if you have institutional access to JStor, can be found here: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3366/j.ctt1r1zbd
Finally, the full text of Literary Studies: An Introduction can be found on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/stream/LiteraryTheoryAnIntroduction/literary-theory_an-introduction_terry-eagleton_djvu.txt
If you've enjoyed this video then please do check out the rest of my channel where I put out a whole range of videos discussing theatre and playwriting from the perspective of an aspirant and (some might say) emerging playwright and theatre maker as well as reflecting on my experience as a PhD Student.
Thanks for watching!