Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

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Cultural Studies Courses 2019-2020

Cultural Studies MA and PhD students must take "CUST 802/902 Cultural Studies Colloquium" plus four or six other courses (depending on program of study).  Students are required to complete at least two core courses listed below, one of which must be CUST 803 Cultural Studies Historiography.  Remaining courses may be chosen from the Cultural Studies elective and/or micro courses listed below, or selected from elective courses offered by other departments.  All courses are generally completed during the first year of study.

Please note that the dates and times for all graduate level courses are scheduled in July; this page will be updated as details are confirmed.

Cultural Studies Courses Fall 2019
Calendar View - Fall 2019


CUST 802/902 Cultural Studies Colloquium (6.0 Units)
Fall 2019/Winter 2020.  Required Course.

Ian Fanning
Wednesdays, 2:30-5:30 (Mackintosh-Corry Hall B176 Area - Lecture Theatre - B125)
This course is designed to acquaint graduate students with both current work in the field and various professional issues, through a combination of research presentations and participatory workshops. Grading is on a Pass/Fail basis. Students are required to attend at least 50% of the sessions of this course during their first year in the program.

CUST 803 Cultural Studies Historiography (3.0 Units)
Scott Rutherford
Thursdays, 8:30-11:30 (Mackintosh-Corry Hall B176 Area - CUST Board Room - B138)
This course introduces students to key debates, concerns, and texts that have shaped the field of Cultural Studies over time, tracing multiple genealogies of the field in its international and interdisciplinary origins.

CUST 805 Research-Creation Methodologies (3.0 Units)
Dorit Naaman
Wednesdays, 11:30-2:30 (Isabel Bader Centre, Room 307)
This course is designed to support students whose intellectual approach combines creative and academic research practices.  The course will value the development of knowledge and innovation through artistic practice, scholarly investigation, and experimentation. Please note that this course is offered primarily as a methods course for Research-Creation practitioners and the main method of evaluation is production of R-C work. 

CUST 892 Special Topics Course: The Aesthetics of Settler Colonialism (3.0 Units)
Jeremy Strachan
Fridays, 11:30-2:30 (Mackintosh-Corry Hall E202)
This course explores the aesthetics of settler colonialism from contemporary and historical perspectives. Scholar Mark Rifkin writes of “the unmarked, generic conditions of possibility for occupancy” that often render the settler colonial experience invisible. Yet despite its otherwise mundane nature, settler colonialism is seen, heard, felt, and embodied in many ways. We find evidence of its material presence in museum collections of stolen artifacts and anthropological recordings of stories and songs, but also in critical art practices and public actions. Students will engage with a broad range of literatures, media, and artworks in this interrogation of settler colonialism’s aesthetic dimensions.

CUST 816 Theory in Society: The Race and Politics Collective of the CCCS (1.0 Unit)
Scott Rutherford
Learn more about our micro courses
6:30-9:30pm October 15, 22, 29, November 5, 12, 19, 26 (Mackintosh-Corry Hall B176 Area - CUST Board Room - B138)
Rather than focusing on an individual theorist, this course considers original works produced individually and collectively by scholars associated with the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) in the late 1970s and 1980s. We will pay attention on to 'Race and Politics' sub-group at the CCCS, especially essays collected in The Empire Strikes Back and in Policing the Crisis. We will also read other selected works of the Women’s Studies Group, Hazel Carby, Angela McRobbie, Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy. We will read closely, questioning how Cultural Studies scholars situated theoretical work on racism and other inequalities within the society they lived in, the lead up to and early years of Thatcher-era Britain. Is it possible for theory to cross the boundaries of space and time? Do their insights offer avenues for understanding the current political moment within our own localities? What boundaries can we allow theory and scholarship to cross in helping explain similar, but still different, tensions? These are some of the questions we will pursue in this microcourse.
A secondary goal for this course is to establish our own series of working papers that future readers can return to in order to imagine new ways of understanding their own precarious moments.


Cultural Studies Courses Winter 2020
Calendar View - Winter 2020


CUST 800 Cultural Studies Theory (3.0 Units) 
burcu habibe baba
Mondays, 2:30-5:30 (Mackintosh-Corry Hall D405)
This course introduces students to a range of major theoretical strains within Cultural Studies such as those associated with Marxism, feminism, postcolonialism, and visual, critical race, Indigenous, and queer studies. Students will learn to mobilize key conceptual vocabulary of foundational and emerging frameworks of the field.

CUST 803 Cultural Studies Historiography (3.0 Units)
Scott Rutherford
Wednesdays, 11:30-2:30 (Mackintosh-Corry Hall B176 Area - CUST Board Room - B138)
This course introduces students to key debates, concerns, and texts that have shaped the field of Cultural Studies over time, tracing multiple genealogies of the field in its international and interdisciplinary origins.

CUST 804 Community-Based Research (3.0 Units)
Ayca Tomac
Fridays, 11:30-2:30 (Mackintosh-Corry Hall C508)
As cultural producers, activists, and/or researches, Cultural Studies students interact with various communities within, beyond, and on the margins of the academy. This course engages with the theoretical, political, practical, personal, and institutional challenges and opportunities of community-based research.

CUST 807 Settler Colonialism and Incarceration (3.0 Units)
Lisa Guenther
Tuesdays, 2:30-5:30 (10 Dunning Hall)
In Canada, Indigenous people are ten times more likely to be incarcerated than non-Indigenous people.  The disproportion is even more extreme in the Prairie provinces, reaching a factor of 33 in Saskatchewan.  The number of Indigenous women behind bars more than doubled between 2001 and 2012, even as the cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women were routinely neglected by police.  And yet, in spite of this national crisis—as well as similar patterns in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States—there is relatively little theoretical research on the relation between settler colonialism and carceral power.  The seminar undertakes to address this gap by Indigenous scholars such as Glen Coulthard, Audra Simpson, and Eve Tuck, as well as non-Indigenous critics of settler colonialism such as Robert Nichols, Sherene Razack, and Patrick Wolfe, alongside prison scholars and activists such as Angela Davis, Dylan Rodríguez, and Foucault.

CUST 893 Theories of Race in Cultural Studies (3.0 Units)
Katherine McKittrick
Thursdays 11:30-2:30 (225 Jeffrey Hall)
This course will focus on race, racism, and racial-sexual identification as they relate to the interconnections between oppression, liberation, and cultural production. The central course themes—intimacies (Lisa Lowe) and articulations (Stuart Hall)—will illuminate how the logics of white supremacy and dispossession (slavery, indentureship, colonialism, racial capitalism) produced entangled communities that refashioned modernity. Intimacies and articulations, then, will provide us with an analytical route to grappling with practices of marginalization and resistance without situating oppression as the primary condition of otherness. We will also study how creative practices (visual art, critical theories, music, poetic or fictional works, activisms) evidence entanglement, intimacies, and articulations.

CUST 817 Signs of the Times - Bodies in Motion: Refugees in Modern Times (1.0 Unit)
Asha Varadharajan
Learn more about our micro courses
11:30-2:30 March 3, 10, 24, 31 (Dunning Hall, Room 10)
This course will offer specialized in-depth consideration of issues of contemporary social, political, and cultural relevance.
In the wake of the Holocaust, Hannah Arendt argued that the scale and depth of displacement she witnessed demanded a new guarantee for human dignity.  Arendt's writings indicate that displacement is not unprecedented, but that its scale and brutality continue to escalate.   Both ecologically and politically motivated forced displacement are the highest on record in our historical moment; thus, it is imperative to revisit the "refugee crisis" with a new set of questions and a different form of hope.

Our keywords will be:  "bare life," biopolitics, risk, rights, humanitarian intervention, "economies of abandonment," "hostipitality" and deterritorialization. In each case, we will ask how and why the figure (in both senses of the word) of the refugee recalibrates and reinvents these keywords. The required readings will be drawn from studies of visual culture, political philosophy, socio-cultural anthropology, UN policy documents, investigative journalism, new media, documentary, poetry and fiction.  Our aim is to comprehend the singularity and historicity of the condition of the refugee.  We will hold a preliminary meeting as a diagnostic exercise to determine needs, interests, and skills of the projected participants in the seminar.  The required readings for the seminar will strike a balance between the results of this conversation and the instructor's knowledge of crucial scholarship in the field that must be encountered.  All assignments for this course will be expressed in a public voice designed to appeal and provoke widely while informed by scholarly and analytical rigour.  Posters, audio/video, spoken word, song (lyric and music), art and photography, investigative reporting, interviews, are all welcome but must be discussed with the instructor in advance.

Attendance is mandatory unless prevented by a genuine emergency.  Be prepared for focus, depth, and intensity!  Participation will account for 25% of the grade, knowledge of and engagement with the required readings will account for 25% of the grade (think of ways to make these visible and audible), and major project for 50% of the grade.


Cultural Studies Courses Spring/Summer 2020
Calendar View - Spring 2020


CUST 803 Cultural Studies Historiography (3.0 Units)
Scott Rutherford
Tuesdays, 11:30-2:30 (online via MS Teams)
This course introduces students to key debates, concerns, and texts that have shaped the field of Cultural Studies over time, tracing multiple genealogies of the field in its international and interdisciplinary origins.

CUST 815 Methods in Practice: Ethnography in the Time of COVID (1.0 Unit)
Ayca Tomac
Learn more about our micro courses
Thursdays from May 7-June 11, 11:30-1:30 (online via MS Teams)

CUST micro-courses devote 12 hours to exploring a particular method, moment, or phenomenon. Although students can take 3 of them to make up a half-course credit, they are primarily meant to be opportunities for regrouping and enrichment at any point in the PhD or MA degree. This spring, we are excited to invite graduate students and faculty from across the humanities and social sciences to join Dr. Ayca Tomac in discussion of “Ethnography in the Time of COVID-19.” Whether you are engaged in ethnography specifically, or needing to adjust or be more self-aware in your approach to research and teaching given the constraints and urgent questions of this time, we invite you to join us. Readings include Max Brooks, World War Z; Wednesday Martin, Primates of Park Avenue; and articles on critical pedagogy, autoethnography, and collective response to social crisis. Class will take place via Teams between May 7-June 11, 11:30-1:30. Auditors are welcome but they must attend at least 4 sessions and participate in discussion. Students taking the course can expect assignments approximately 1/3 in weight from a regular half-course. Contact Ayca Tomac for permission to enroll in the course.


Practicum Courses

CUST 894 Directed Community-Based Practicum
This course is intended to support a student's MA or PhD research through organizational and social experience gained from involvement with relevant off-campus institutions, organizations, and community groups. A CS faculty member will oversee each placement in collaboration with a member of the relevant organization or group.  Please note that practicum courses must be arranged well in advance: do not wait until September.

CUST 895 Agnes Etherington Practicum
Alicia Boutilier (Chief Curator/Curator of Canadian Historical Art, Agnes Etherington Art Centre)
This applied research internship in a professional art museum cultivates understanding of the capacity and disciplinary protocols surrounding research and public presentation of critical cultures within an institutional framework. The focus of the course is a defined research project developed in consultation with the supervising curator and contributing to the Art Centre’s exhibition program or collection development. Practicum students work on-site at the Art Centre 10 hours per week, with additional research hours required. For information on the curatorial direction of our contemporary art program, please refer to the gallery website. Graduate students with relevant education and/or experience in visual and media art or art history in the Cultural Studies Programs at a Masters or Doctoral level are eligible to apply. Those interested should submit a letter of intent describing their goals and areas of interest, a CV and a transcript of their academic record. Admission will be based on interviews, and is contingent on identification of a research project aligned with student research interests and evolving gallery needs. Applications should be submitted well in advance of the desired semester, usually at the beginning of the previous semester to allow for planning. Practica may take place in the fall, winter or spring/summer semester.​  Please note that practicum courses must be arranged well in advance: do not wait until September.

Directed Studies Courses

Under the supervision of an individual faculty member, students may conduct intensive reading in a research area not offered in core or elective courses. Readings are to be arranged in consultation with the faculty supervisor, and accompanied by meetings during the term to discuss the readings and submission of written assignments. (This course will be offered when faculty resources are available.)

CUST 990 Directed Studies I
​CUST 991 Directed Studies II
CUST 890 Directed Studies I
CUST 891 Directed Studies II