Stuart Hall is gone at the age of 82. Hall, and the teachers who introduced me to him, changed my intellectual life irrevocably. Through him I learned that the news was, and had to be, a making; that hegemony was complicated, uneven, stratified, and, most importantly, an arena of creative, often heretical, struggle; and that youth music culture might be something worth reflecting on in a college classroom as well as in my own writing. Numerous teachers and mentors in my life had worked with Hall at one point or another and many had seen him speak and engaged his thought as it first emerged. I never met him, but his voice, writings, and image are seared into my mind. When I attended Goldsmiths as part of the University of London in the fall of 1997, I was humbled to even see his name on the mailbox in Media and Communications. His example and legacy underpin a great deal of my understanding of political honesty and academic achievement. I am in his debt.
It is my hope that the Critical Social Theory Cluster at Northeastern (#neucstc), of which I am a co-founder, will acknowledge Hall’s passing later this spring. Indeed, it’s existence is already a nod to his lasting impact.