Steven Thrasher is a writer for the guardian and a PhD student in American Studies at New York University. In this conversation with University of Texas Sociology Professor Ben Carrington, Thrasher discusses his first encounter with Stuart Hall’s work.
The interview provides insight into Hall’s intellectual reach. Thrasher shares how his engagement with Hall comes from a journalistic perspective. Having first read the British intellectual in his American Studies classes, Thrasher discloses feeling initially confused about why a British scholar would be relevant to American Studies. However, he found Policing the Crisis to be especially important for his thinking about covering the aftermath of Michael Brown’s shooting and the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement.
The conversation includes a discussion of how being a public intellectual is not limited to the academy, but also how Hall created a space in which black people can take up the space of public intellectual. Likewise, Thrasher and Carrington comment on the importance of popular media as a “gatekeeper of intellectual space” and Twitter is posited as a useful platform for making intellectual interventions in the public sphere.