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Culture & Development

DEVS 240/3.0

Provides students with a broad overview of debates relating to development and culture, including issues of religion, music, sport, art and literature, and how these interact with economic policy and political change.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

After completing DEVS 240, students should come away with the following knowledge and skills:

  • A thorough understanding of the contested meanings of the term ‘development’ and the historical contexts and power relationships that give these meanings their legitimacy
  • Be able to outline and explain the different and relationship between material and representational inequalities that shape ‘development’
  • Comprehend the ways in which thinking about development as an outcome of representational inequality, cultural exchange and flow, and struggle holds implications for policy, political activism, and academic analysis
  • Be able to demonstrate and critically analyze the ways culture has been used to institutionalize inequality and imperialism as well as to mobilize social justice and creative struggles


In this course we study the ongoing constitution of the relation between ‘culture’ and ‘development’ as concepts and practices. Questioning the assumption that culture is bounded and belongs to ‘others’ we explore the possibility that development and modernity are themselves fundamentally material and cultural constructs. We examine different theoretical and descriptive analyses of how modernization ideals articulate with lived realities of colonized, ‘Third World’, or ‘underdeveloped’ people. The debates we address in this course are controversial. One of your goals in taking this course should be to transform your opinions into critical analyses by situating controversies in their social contexts and understand meanings, interests, and power relations within which the controversies emerge.


Fall 2018
Course Dates: 
Sept 6 - Nov 30, 2018
Exam Dates: 
Dec 5 - 20, 2018



**Evaluation Subject to Change**

Final Examination

Students must write their exam on the day and time scheduled by the University. The start time may vary slightly depending on the off-campus exam centre. Do not schedule vacations, appointments, etc., during the exam period.


Professor Scott Rutherford (ruthers@queensu.ca)

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend approximately 10-12 hours per week in reading, studying, writing, and online activities.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

  • Laptop or Desktop computer purchased within the last 5 years. (mobile devices are not supported)
  • Windows Vista SP2/Mac OSX 10.9 or higher
  • Up to date versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Please note that Google Chrome is not recommended for use in our courses.
  • Most recent version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash

 See also Getting Started.


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.