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Stuart McPhail Hall

(1932-2014), Sociologist, cultural theorist, academic and political activist; Chair of Iniva and Autograph ABP

Sitter in 2 portraits
Jamaican-born British academic and pioneer in the field of cultural studies. Hall was of mixed heritage, his father Jamaican and his mother Scottish. At the age of 11 he won a scholarship to Jamaica College, a top secondary school. Later, he was awarded the Rhodes scholarship at Merton College, Oxford (1951-7) for a MA in English. Growing up in Kingston he became acutely aware of a great class disparity in Jamaica which eventually resulted in his rejection of colonial Jamaica, at odds with his parents ideals and values. In Britain, as in Jamaica, he began to feel like an outsider. He eventually abandoned his study of literature to explore social theories. His work has been central to the formation and development of cultural studies as a discipline. He taught 'complementary studies at Chelsea College, London (1961) and was invited to join Richard Hoggart at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) at Birmingham University (1964-1979). He left Birmingham when he was appointed Professor of Sociology at the Open University (1979-98). His impactful published works include The Popular Arts (1964), Deviancy, Politics and the Media (1971), Encoding and Decoding in the Television Discourse (1973), A ‘Reading’ of Marx’s 1857 Introduction to the Grundrisse (1973), The Hard Road to Renewal: Thatcherism and the Crisis of the Left (1988), and Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices (1997) A documentary about his life and work, 'The Stuart Hall Project', was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013.

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Stuart McPhail Hall, by Dawoud Bey - NPG P730

Stuart McPhail Hall

by Dawoud Bey
colour polaroid print, 9 May 1998
NPG P730

Stuart McPhail Hall, by Donald MacLellan - NPG x88737

Stuart McPhail Hall

by Donald MacLellan
toned bromide print, 26 July 1996
NPG x88737

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