Undergraduate Models

Cultural Studies

Diverse cultural forces – political, aesthetic, economic, technological and ideological – produce all texts. At the same time, though, we use such texts to invent, contest and remake our cultures from moment to moment. The Cultural Studies model invites students to explore these processes of cultural production, the challenges involved in conceptualizing them and the possibilities for transforming them.

The model organizes its approach to the English major by identifying five areas of questions: (1) the general domain of questions posed by critical and cultural theory; (2) the issues raised by specific forms and genres – from epic to romance, and from film noir to the sitcom – as the shaping devices through which cultures represent their conflicts and aspirations to themselves; (3) the questions that emerge at the intersection of forms of cultural production and a variety of social differences – for example, racial, ethnic, gendered, national, and sexual; (4) questions regarding the different configurations of material, social and economic relations of technology that obtain in oral, manuscript, print, film and electronic cultures; (5) problems having to do with the historical study of the transformations from medieval to early modern, modern and postmodern forms of culture.

Note: an asterisk placed by a course title indicates that it will not always fulfill the requirements of the heading under which it has been listed since it is a variable topics course. Check with an English department advisor to make sure that the course fulfills the requirement in question.

One course on The Practices of Cultural Studies:

One course on Critical and Cultural Theory:

One course on Forms and Genres:

One course on Difference and Cultural Production:

At least two courses on Technologies of Cultural Production:

One each from two of the following categories:

(a) Oral


(c) Film

(d) Electronic Culture

At least two courses on Historical Areas in the Study of Culture – one each from two of the following categories:

a) Cultural Studies in the Medieval Period

(b) Cultures of Early Modernity

(c) Cultures of Modernity

(d) Cultures of Postmodernity

The remaining 2 courses should be taken from one group in order to consolidate an area of concentration within the Cultural Studies model. Although a single course may be listed in more than one group, a student may not take a single course to satisfy the requirements of more than one group.


Department of English faculty who regularly teach courses in this model include: