Cultural studies explores how human beings understand, articulate and produce cultural work to influence, shape and reflect their worlds. Cultural studies may include concentrations in communications and media, writing, languages, literature, philosophy, religious studies and other areas.
Students designing programs in the area of cultural studies are expected to develop the following knowledge and skills, as appropriate to their particular concentration or focus.
- Identify major authors, works, ideas and developments in the field.
- Distinguish among and apply different forms and approaches in the field. (For example, literature students may investigate fiction, drama and poetry; students of communication and media should understand the advantages and disadvantages of print vs. video vs. online forms of communication; philosophy and religion students may investigate major religions or philosophical approaches.)
- Explain and apply theories, critical approaches and methodologies in the field.
- Examine diverse cross-cultural and historical perspectives which may address questions of gender, class, race, sexuality, disability, etc.
- Demonstrate understanding of current issues and trends as appropriate to the selected field. (For example, concentrations in religion might examine the rise of extremist religions in politics; concentrations in writing might examine writing for digital media.)
- Critically read and interpret information, including the ability to distinguish main and supporting ideas, evaluate the logic of a presentation, identify underlying assumptions and interpret levels of meaning.
- Communicate ideas fully, precisely and creatively in discussion and writing.
- Research and use sources appropriate to the field from a variety of modes, including digital and social; evaluate sources; cite sources correctly.
- Demonstrate research that includes comparison and analysis of diverse perspectives, values and beliefs.
Specific guidelines have been developed for concentrations in the following areas:
- Communication and media.
- Religious studies.