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Interdisciplinary Programs at Queen's University

Interdisciplinary Programs

Interdisciplinary programs combine two or more academic disciplines leading to a degree plan. It is the creation of something new by crossing boundaries, and thinking across them. It is related to an interdisciplinary field, which is an organizational unit that crosses traditional boundaries between academic disciplines or schools of thought, as new needs and professions have emerged.

Cultural Studies researchers investigate values, beliefs and belongings, cultural processes and cultural objects, economic and social relations, institutions and identities. Comprising 85 distinguished faculty from 21 disciplines to offer an innovative program at the MA and PhD levels that includes opportunities for cultural production and community-activist fieldwork, 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.

The Earth's environment is under stress, and the search for solutions is anything but simple: It requires an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving and education. Our program, both Environmental Science and Environmental Studies, emphasizes the diverse contributions of technology, the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences to understanding and solving environmental problems. The School of Environmental Studies at Queen's University takes a new, innovative approach to environmental education. Our faculty draw on a wide variety of backgrounds ‐ biology, chemistry, geography, geological sciences, economics, history, and policy studies, to name but a few ‐ and so can offer a truly multidisciplinary perspective on the challenging en vironmental problems facing humanity today.

Without its visual media, the modern world would be unimaginable. In Film Studies, we approach many varied types of visual medias as means for understanding and participating fully in that world. The concentration includes historical inquires into the forces that have shaped the cinema and media; critical analysis of films and television and video productions; theories that explore the principles and functions of film; and the methods of making film and video. In most Film Studies courses, a film or video is used like a textbook in any other course, or like a specimen in a biology lab.

The Gender Studies Department at Queen’s University teaches feminist, anti-racist, and queer theories and methods that centre activism for social change. Gender Studies is an innovative interdisciplinary field that investigates social life and creative works by examining gender, our key category of analysis, through its interdependence with race, nationality, class, sexuality, disability, religion, colonization, and globalization.

Global Development Studies offers students critical insights into development theory and practice. They explore contested meanings of ‘development’ and analyze the institutions that are integral to the apparatus of development at local and global levels. They provide students with the analytical perspectives needed to understand how inequality is produced and reproduced, how resources are distributed, and how hierarchical relationships are maintained and challenged over time. Our courses cover economic and political systems, cultural norms, physical environments, and status differences. The nature of interactions between and within the countries of the North and the South extend to issues such as poverty, cultural imperialism, human rights, social policy, and trade relations. Courses on Aboriginal communities in Canada further help students appreciate ‘development’ as a relationship rather than as a characteristic of particular places and people.

The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures is a multidisciplinary unit that offers students the opportunity to learn languages, develop an understanding of literary and cultural traditions, and pursue studies in the field of Linguistics.  The Department offers language courses in Arabic, Chinese, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish, and Degree Plans in German Studies, Indigenous Studies, Italian, Linguistics, Spanish, Spanish and Latin American Studies and World Language Studies.  On an ad-hoc basis other languages such as Inuktitut, Mohawk and Portuguese are offered. Learning a language prepares students to travel, live, or work internationally and makes them more linguistically competent in Canada’s multicultural environment.  A degree focusing on languages, literatures and cultures, or Linguistics provides students with valuable transferable skills that are increasingly important in our global world.  The Department encourages students in all our disciplines to participate in one of the many international study opportunities supported by Queen's.

Why go into Religious Studies at Queen's? Because we care about how much religion is in the news. We think about the ways that misunderstandings of religion play a role in conflict around the world. We see evidence that creating better understanding of religious diversity contributes to a more cohesive and peaceful society. Gaining a critical understanding of religion helps interpret it as an essential dimension of human life.

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