Bringing together the most important theoretical work defining the role and practices of culture, this volume provides a historical overview of the field. It includes a wide range of texts from nineteenth-century thinkers and contemporary theorists such as Raymond Williams and Antonio Gramsci, enabling the reader to construct their own maps of cultural studies, criticism and debate. The book focuses on the central issues of cultural criticism in America and Britain. Writers from Britain, America, as well as Europe, Asia and Africa are represented, bringing the reader up to date with current issues such as post-colonialism and identity politics. Each section is introduced with a general description of the field, its contents and practitioners and contains a bibliographical summary of the writer's work. A discussion of the future development of cultural studies concludes the book and this contains original interviews with leading commentators Stuart Hall and J Hillis Miller.