Purpose and Philosophy
Cultural Studies is an emphatically interdisciplinary area of inquiry that intersects the humanities, science studies, social sciences, and the arts. Its researchers theorize the forces that shape the lived reality of people in the 21st century.
Drawing on a range of practices, researchers investigate values, cultural processes and objects, economic and social relations, institutions and identities.
What distinguishes Cultural Studies from other approaches to the study of culture is its recognition that no single disciplinary approach can get at the complexity of cultural forms and its emphasis on power, social justice and social change.
Necessarily self-reflexive, Cultural Studies draws on a range of methods and critical theories. It offers opportunities to break down conventional divisions between academia and activism, between theoretical critique and cultural production.
Comprising over 100 distinguished faculty from over 20 disciplines to offer an innovative program at the M.A. and Ph.D. levels, Cultural Studies at Queen's is committed to a diversity of students and faculty and to the global expertise that they bring to the cultural and academic fields.
Our goal is to create an intellectual environment that combines a high level of academic scholarship and an ongoing meaningful engagement with cultural issues relevant to local and global communities.
The Cultural Studies Program offers support for each full-time student during the first two years in the masters program and the first four years in the doctoral program. Financial support is derived from university scholarships and research and teaching assistantships.
Applicants are encouraged to apply for the national and provincial awards listed earlier in this calendar. Attention is drawn to the submission dates for these awards, which normally fall well before the deadline for applications to the Cultural Studies Program, e.g. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Fellowships in October and Ontario Graduate Scholarships in January.
Fields of Research
The program integrates the range of theoretical and practical approaches used within Cultural Studies, and fosters scholarship in both historical and contemporary fields of research. The Ph.D .program has been designed around four field areas and offers a project component that allows those who choose to do so to develop their cultural practice (e.g. filmmaking or curating) or to engage in work in the community as part of their studies. Graduates will be prepared to continue in academic work or to work as critically engaged citizens in a variety of cultural environments. The four fields offered in the PhD program are:
- Communication, Media and Technologies
- Globalization, Nationalisms and Cultural Citizenship
- Social Movements
- Bodies and Identities
It is our intention that analyses of class, race, and gender, alongside other primary axes of social difference and inequality, will pervade all teaching and research conducted in these fields.
Students will be encouraged to gain facility in a language other than English that pertains particularly to their own scholarly and career interests. Where facility in a language is necessary to research in the candidate’s field, the student will be required to acquire it. In such cases, the requirement will be determined by the student’s supervisory committee. In such cases, students will be required to pass a language proficiency test before being allowed to undertake their field work.
Brison, J., Murray, L.
Baba, B., Brison, J., Guenther, L., Murray, L.
Aarssen, L., Adams, M., Bala, N., Burfott, A., Cameron, L., Chamberlain, D., Christou, T., Cockfield, A., Dickey Young, P., Dubinsky, K., Epprecht, M., Fachinger, P., Fort, T., Goebel, A., Smith, G., Graham, N., Green, M., Guenther, L., Hosek, J., Jessup, L., King, S., Kobayashi, A., Kuhlmeier, V., Kymlicka, W., Lahey, Little, Lord, S., M., K., Mackenzie, S., McKegney, S., McKittrick, K., Murray, L., Naaman, D., Pegley, K., Pugh, D., Rewa, N., Rogalsky, M., Salverson, J., Santeramo, D., Sismondo, S., Smith, M., Stephenson, J., Walker, C., Walker, M., Weldemichael, A., Wilmott, G., Zaccagnino, C.
Adelman, H., Aiken, S., Aziz, S., Bolden, B., Caron, C., Dhavernas, C., Haidarali, L., Hand, M., Hill, E., Husain, A., Inkel, S., Kibbins, G., Levine-Rasky, C., MacDonald, E., Masuda, J., Matrix, S., Mennell, J., Morehead, A., Morgensen, S., Murakami Wood, D., Pande, I., Pappano, M., Pedri-Spade, C., Power, E., Robinson, D., Salah, T., Salzman, A., Shulist, S., Thompson, P., Varadharajan, A., Vorano, N., Wallace, M.
Airton, L., Bertrand, K., Brook, J., Brule, E., Cordoba, D., Davies, C., Hall, R., Healey, J., Jacobson., Kennedy, J., Kukreja, R., Lawford, K., Lefort-Favreau, J., Menotti, G., Moriah, K., Mosurinjohn, S., Na, A., Palomares Salas, C., Pelstring, E., Prouse, C., Renihan, C., Reyes, M., Sen-Choudhury, A., St. Amand, I., Tienhaara, Kyla., Xavier, S., Zaiontz, K.
Boutilier, A., Hovorka, A., Lovelace, R., Martin, B., Martyn, B., Pedersen, A., Smith, S.
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Brison, J., Davies, J., de Szegheo Lang, T., Maynard, S., Robinson, I., Rutherford, S., Tomac, A.
Cahill, S., Coleman, S., Cronin, K., Goldring, L., Haque, E., Hopkins, C., Lewis, M., McBlane, A., Priewe, S., Wilkinson, M.
Programs of Study
Applications are accepted under the general regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Admission to the masters program is normally limited to students with a minimum strong upper second-class standing in the upper years of their B.A. programs. Admission to the Ph.D. is normally limited to applicants with first class standing on their Masters work. Masters students in the fourth term may apply for promotion to the PhD program.
The master’s program leads to the degree of Master of Arts. The doctoral program leads to the degree of Ph.D. In addition to coursework and participation in the weekly seminar series, the requirements for the M.A. degree include options for students: Pattern I requires students to write a thesis or undertake a major research project, while Pattern II includes completion of the Professional Development Certificate and (CUST 850 Capstone Project). The Ph.D. includes a project option in addition to a dissertation, required coursework and participation in the weekly seminar series.
Not all courses are offered each year. Note that CUST 815, 816 and 817 are micro courses for 1.0 credit units. CUST 802/902 is a non-credit course. All other courses are 3.0 credit units, except CUST 850, 898, 899 and 999 which are 6.0 credit units.
CUST 800 Cultural Studies Theory
This course introduces students to a range of major theoretical strains within Cultural Studies such as those associated with Marxism, feminism, postcolonialism, and visual, critical race, Indigenous, and queer studies. Students will learn to mobilize key conceptual vocabulary of foundational and emerging frameworks of the field. Three term-hours. Winter. A. Na.
CUST 801 Critical Methodologies in Cultural Studies
The field of Cultural Studies is characterized by a refusal to endorse a singular method or to conceive of and apply methodological tools as rigid, formal templates. This course explores how scholars choose, mobilize, and combine methods including field research, archival research, research-creation, and textual analysis. Three term-hours. Not offered 2021-22.
CUST 802 Cultural Studies Colloquium
This course is designed to acquaint MA students with both current work in the field and various forms of professionalization, through a combination of research presentations and participatory workshops. Students are expected to attend regularly and complete some reflective writing activities. Grading is on a Pass/Fail basis. Fall and Winter terms. J. Brison.
CUST 803 Cultural Studies Past & Present
This course introduces students to the global and interdisciplinary scope of Cultural Studies research practices by surveying key debates, concerns, and texts that have shaped the field over time. Fall. h. burcu baba and S. Rutherford.
CUST 804 Community-Based Research
As cultural producers, activists, and/or researchers, Cultural Studies students interact with various communities within, beyond, and on the margins of the academy. This course engages with the theoretical, political, practical, personal, and institutional challenges and opportunities of community-based research. Three term-hours. Fall. A. Tomac.
CUST 805 Research-Creation Methodologies
This course is designed to support students whose intellectual approach combines creative and academic research practices. The course will value the development of knowledge and innovation through artistic expression, scholarly investigation, and experimentation. Three term-hours. Fall. D. Manning.
CUST 806 Topics in Indigenous Studies
This course will examine issues pertaining to Indigenous knowledge, traditions, cultures, histories, and experiences. Three term-hours. Not offered 2021-22.
CUST 807 Settler Colonialism and Incarceration
A critical examination of issues raised by the intersection of settler colonial and carceral power. Three term-hours. Winter. L. Guenther.
CUST 815 Skilling It
This course offers intensive instruction in a method or skill important within Cultural Studies. One term-hour. (1.0 credit units.) Grading is on a Pass/Fail basis. Spring/Summer. Instructor TBA.
CUST 816 Up Close
This course offers intensive consideration of a major book or work in any medium. One term-hour. (1.0 credit units.) Grading is on a Pass/Fail basis. Spring/Summer. Instructor TBA.
CUST 817 Signs of the Times
This course offers intensive consideration of an issue or event of contemporary social, political and cultural relevance. One term-hour. (1.0 credit units.) Grading is on a Pass/Fail basis. Spring/Summer. Instructor TBA.
CUST 850 Capstone Project
In this workshop course, students will substantially revise or transform work from a previous Queen’s graduate course with the goal of publication or other dissemination, and produce a reflection on professional development activities pursued throughout the year. This course is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Six term hours. (6.0 credit units). Spring. L. Murray.
EXCLUSION: Students accepted into the 2-year thesis-based MA (CUST 899).
CUST 890 Directed Studies I
Directed study under the guidance of a faculty member in an area of the instructor’s expertise.
CUST 891 Directed Studies II
Directed study under the guidance of a faculty member in any area of the instructor’s expertise.
CUST 892 Special Topics I: McWorld in the Making: Capitalism, Consumerism, and the Commodification of Everything
In 1990 Barbara Kruger, translated René Descartes epistemological (and ontological) founding principle into a neoliberalism conceptual slogan: “I shop therefore I am.” Capitalism’s fantasy of unlimited growth and ideology of private accumulation has yielded a planet of unparalleled extremes of excess, waste, and want, teetering on the edge of mass extinction. Multi-disciplinary studies have documented the sociology, culture, politics, symbolism, economic and ecological consequences of rampant consumerism and metastatic commodification on, among many other topics, social relationships, artistic expression, health, work, ethics, emotions and the environment. Departing from readings of some of the classic works on commodities and consumerism (Marx, Veblen, Sombart, Baudrillard, Harvey) and key analysis of the imperialist structures upon which modern mass consumerism continues to rely (Mintz, Patel-Moore) the course explores cases studies of commodification and consumption from the perspective of history, anthropology, sociology, and the arts. Three term-hours. Winter. A Salzmann, A Tomac.
CUST 893 Special Topics II: Ethics, Care, and Participatory Culture
Participatory cultural production implies working outside of standard forms of production, where roles are clearly divided, authorship is stable and singular, and where the subject is presented as unified and coherent. Whether described as co-creation, collaborative, polyphonic, dialogic, or community based, these works, from the outset, are developed by lateral processes, involving various stake holders, artists, subjects and multiple levels of participation. Participatory work often exhibits varied aspirations, numerous outputs, and several target audiences and outcomes. In this course we will introduce students to exemplary case studies, including visits from practitioners. We will build literacy in the literature and histories of the ethics of participatory work, and consider collaborative authorship; participatory methods, and polyphony of subject-participants as inter-related but also unique aspects to take into account. Using a Mapping Participatory Practices tool (developed by the instructors), students will interview established practitioners in their field, and plan their own participatory projects. (3.0 Units.) Winter. D. Naaman.
CUST 894 Directed Community-Based Practicum
This course is intended to support a student's MA or PhD research through organizational and social experience gained from involvement with relevant off-campus institutions, organizations, and community groups. A CS faculty member will oversee each placement in collaboration with a member of the relevant organization or group. (Equal to other one-term course offerings, the internships are expected to be the equivalent of 1.5 – 2.0 days of work per week for 12 weeks.)
CUST 895 Agnes Etherington Art Centre Practicum
Internship in a professional art museum environment offering insights into collection research and development and an understanding of curatorial projects from conception through research and public presentation phases.
CUST 898 Master's Essay/Minor Project
CUST 899 Master's Thesis/Project
CUST-902 Cultural Studies Colloquium
This course is designed to acquaint PhD students with both current work in the field and various forms of professionalization, through a combination of research presentations and participatory workshops. Students are expected to attend regularly and complete some reflective writing activities. Grading is on a Pass/Fail basis. Fall and Winter terms. J. Brison.
CUST-990 Directed Studies I
Directed study under the guidance of a faculty member in an area of the instructor's expertise.
CUST-991 Directed Studies II
Directed study under the guidance of a faculty member in an area of the instructor's expertise.
CUST-999 Ph.D. Thesis or Project