Aims and Scope of IBACS

Posted in About IBACS


The Iberian Association for Cultural Studies (IBACS) was founded in Alcalá de Henares, in 2001, on the occasion of the 7th International ‘Culture and Power’ Conference

Clauses 1.2 and 1.3 of the Rules of IBACS explain why it was founded:

1.2. In the Iberian higher education and cultural institutions and systems, due to specific historical causes which have affected the relationships between political and intellectual elites and their classes or class fractions, culture and education have functioned predominantly from above as extensions of authoritarian nation-state configurations and their hegemonic national programmes. In such national contexts, significant cultural and educational movements, practices and forms have originated from below in oppositional or alternative democratic projects of subordinated classes, class fractions or groups. As a fully democratic intellectual practice, cultural studies, in all its diversity of origins, locations and theoretical orientations, is committed to the critique of all hegemonic power-knowledge regimes and to developing and imagining alternatives to the existing configurations of power.

1.3. In the Iberian nations, for reasons which are closely tied to the specific processes of their formation, to the power structures and relations which promoted or blocked them, and to the historical development of their higher education systems, disciplinary traditions and institutions, cultural studies not only has not been given academic status, but is also actively and passively, deliberately and routinely denied as a legitimate scholarly, academic and intellectual pursuit. The foundation of IBACS aims at changing those institutional contexts of denial and unrecognition by setting up an organisation of scholars and workers committed to the intellectual practice and pursuit of cultural studies and to demonstrating its knowledge-producing power.

Clauses 3.1 and 3.2 define some of main objectives of IBACS:

3.1. IBACS will promote and represent cultural studies as an intellectual practice of work constitutive of a legitimate scholarly, academic and cultural pursuit aimed at a practical transformation of existing social and political relations. By providing a broad structure for a plurality of approaches constitutive of cultural studies, IBACS will promote public understanding of the goals, agendas and traditions of cultural studies. Whenever cultural studies, or particular programmes and scholars are under attack, IBACS will speak in their defence.

3.2. IBACS will help establish knowledge of and links among the diverse scholars and groups and communities of cultural studies scholars and workers in the Iberian Peninsula, its nations and regions. IBACS will help establish, strengthen and maintain contacts between cultural studies scholars and workers across different disciplines, in this way enabling those scholars and groups to find out about work being done on particular topics, and to take advantage of and develop the possibilities of collaborative work. IBACS will encourage collective and collaborative projects among cultural studies scholars and groups and communities. IBAC S will encourage and facilitate, in the ways made possible by its means, the work of formal and/or informal national, regional and local cultural studies groups, and provide an opportunity for them to be linked in ways that enable their cooperation.