A key figure in Cultural Studies who focused much on race, class and culture has passed away. Rest in peace to Professor Stuart Hall
Here is an extended obituary
He was the Du Bois of Britain," said Henry Louis Gates Gates Jr., editor-in-chief of The Root and the founding director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.As someone who makes a living teaching sociology and specifically the sociology of culture, I have long been a fan of Hall's and have been deeply informed and inspired by his work, studies which cover a lot of the same territory as politically informed British punk and reggae. He brought an outsider's perspective and a sharply analytic and critical eye to everything he looked at and wrote about. He will be missed but his scholarly legacy will live on
Hall was born on Feb. 3, 1932, in Kingston, Jamaica, to a middle-class family. According to the Voice, Hall had long felt like an outsider, even in his own home, where he was "at least three shades darker" than the rest of his light-skinned family. "The first social fact I knew about myself," Hall said at one point on the subject.
He went to Jamaica College, a prestigious all-male secondary school, before arriving in Britain in 1951 as a Rhodes scholar, under funding from the Jamaican government, to read English literature at Merton College, one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford. He was an outlier once again, differing from the rest of his generation, who typically went to the country looking for menial work.
Hall eventually became a vital fixture in British sociology textbooks for his perceptive observations about culture, identity and race, which are still as applicable today as they were in the '60s, '70s and '80s, the Voice notes.
"What can I really say about this man? I am very sad to hear of his death," Jamaican high Commissioner Aloun Ndombet-Assamba said. "His work and observations in the areas of cultural identity and society in the U.K. speaks for itself. At the time Hall came to Britain, most Jamaicans came to take up menial work. He came as a scholar. He offered Britain a different view of Jamaica, the learned side of Jamaica. He is a great loss to the Jamaican academic community."