Academic Calendar 2021-2022

Cultural Studies - Doctor of Philosophy

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Year 1

Doctoral students are expected to take a minimum of four one-term graduate courses in their first year plus CUST 902 Cultural Studies Colloquium. Cultural Studies offers a range of theory, methodology and topics courses (see Courses of Instruction section for descriptions). Students are required to complete CUST 803 Cultural Studies Past& Present plus one additional Cultural Studies course.  Students choose the remaining two courses from available courses in CUST and other units.

Doctoral students with a Queen's M.A. in Cultural Studies need only take two courses (6.0 credits), plus CUST 902 Cultural Studies Colloquium.

Year 2

By the beginning of the second year, each student finalizes their supervisory committee (a supervisor and two other faculty members who will support and monitor the student’s progress throughout the degree), and in consultation with their supervisor prepares for the qualifying examination and Ph.D. thesis.

To complete the qualifying examination, the student submits a 1000 word proposal and an annotated bibliography. Upon approval by the committee, the student writes a 3500 to 5000 word exam in a two-week period, based on questions created by the examining committee which address the theoretical, methodological, and substantive aspects of the dissertation. If the student fails the exam (which occurs when two or more examiners say the exam has been failed), the student has one chance to re-write it within the next six months.

By the end of the second year, the student will have completed the qualifying examination and will have commenced a Special Research Seminar, reading with a supervisor in the area of an intended thesis or project in order to prepare a thesis or project proposal.

Ph.D. Project Option

This option allows students to create a cultural product (exhibition, performance, film, play, text) or become involved in community-based work as a means of partially fulfilling the requirements for a Ph.D.

Students taking the project option are required to provide an analytic-theoretical commentary based on the work, its conditions of production, and its implications for academic scholarship.

This option is comprised of the same course work, plus a project of a scale and scope that may be completed within the time it takes to write a doctoral thesis, i.e. three years. The analytic component will be approximately 20,000 -25,000 words in length.

Ph.D. Proposal

All students are required to prepare a thesis or project proposal. The thesis or project proposal must identify the object of study, research method, and theoretical framework, and must include an annotated bibliography of works relevant to the chosen area(s) of study. For the project option, a clear and detailed description of how the student will meet the requirements for that option must also be included. Students in the project option whose work will involve community collaborators must show that they have appropriate participants, and they must justify their choice of participants given the theoretical, political, and methodological contexts of their thesis work. Proposals are defended before the student’s supervisory committee. The examination focuses upon the relevant theoretical, methodological and substantive areas germane to the student’s program. It also tests the student’s understanding of the discipline, the viability, scope and coherence of the thesis proposal and the preparedness of the candidate to undertake the proposed research.

Should it be necessary, the student has the opportunity to re-write the proposal and defend it twice.

After the thesis proposal is approved, thesis or project research commences. Students are expected to complete and defend their thesis or project within four years of starting the program.

Elective Courses

The elective course component of the program is designed to foster in-depth study in one or more areas and to provide flexibility to meet diverse student interests and career goals. Students can select their electives from the course offerings issued each year by the program.