Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

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Curious about an MA or PhD in Cultural Studies?
Learn more. The application for 2020-2021 is open.

  • Are you passionate about social justice and transformation? Have you been thinking about doing your MA or PhD?  In the Cultural Studies program you can opt to do a thesis OR carry out a community-based, research-creation, or portfolio project that can be presented in a variety of media formats.  Apply today

  • Cultural Diplomacy and the City.   Sascha Priewe is Associate Vice President, Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships, at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, and a Co-Founder of the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative. He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of History of Art of the University of Toronto, and an Affiliate Associate Professor in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University. He holds a Ph.D. in Archaeology from the University of Oxford.

  • I’ll use your pronoun.  It’s no big deal.  Learn more. #nbdcampaign

  • How a master’s thesis is pushing the boundaries of scholarship … learn more!

  • Queen's to teach med students about historic ban on black applicants to program, thanks to research by Edward Thomas. Read the full story here.

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 100 faculty and postdocs from across the arts, humanities, and social sciences. We are committed to interdisciplinary research, social justice and community engagement. Learn about our research areas here. 

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.

Cultural Studies at Queen’s University offered me the challenge of working across disciplines with supervisors and fellow graduate students from different formations. The program hosts a heterogeneous and lively community of scholars, artists, and activists with a broad array of scholarly interests and creative practices. I believe I became a more integral scholar by having the opportunity to build a research-creation project that I continue to mobilize in Canada and internationally. —Zaira Zarza, PhD 2015

We differ from traditional academic disciplines in three key ways: 

  1. All our research is interdisciplinary. Supervisory committees draw on faculty from more than one discipline.
  2. 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
  3. 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 focused 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.