Cultural Studies is Queen's flagship interdisciplinary graduate program in the humanities and social sciences. Our 2 year MA program our 4 year PhD program bring together 100 students and over 90 faculty and postdocs from across the arts, humanities, and social sciences. We are committed to interdisciplinary research, social justice and community engagement.
The complexity of contemporary culture means that more than ever before society needs people trained in multiple disciplines, theories and practices. Our mandate is to work with communities throughout and beyond the university to create new forms and methods of research that could not be done in traditional departments.
I valued the freedom to research what I wanted how I wanted without having to appease the disciplinary sensibilities of a committee who was set in their ways—Sharday Mosurinjohn, PhD 2015
We differ from traditional academic disciplines in three key ways:
- All our research is interdisciplinary. Supervisory committees draw on faculty from more than one discipline.
- Students do not have to write traditional theses but can also do projects that involve other media (such as visual arts, dance, theatre) or projects that involve working with communities outside the university
- We are committed to social justice. That is to say, all our research is in some way applied research, and should aim towards some positive social change, however defined or articulated
Cultural Studies draws on a range of methods and critical theories and empowers researchers to break down conventional divisions not only among academic disciplines but also between academia and activism, and between theoretical critique and cultural production. In this way we bring together researchers focussed on areas and fields, rather than disciplines and traditions.
We are committed to the local context, including the recognition that Queen's University sits on the traditional lands of the Anishnaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples. We conduct research with community partners in the fields of arts and social justice in the city of Kingston and more broadly in Ontario. We are equally committed to the diversification and internationalization of our research and have active partnerships with universities across the world with whom our faculty and students regularly collaborate. Our students have participated in established programs in Cuba and China, and we strive to make opportunities for international research available to all students where relevant.