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 will open in September.

  • 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

  • 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!

  • Lois Klassen (PhD, 2019) has been selected for a 2020 Fulbright Scholar Award at University of Texas at El Paso. Her research will be hosted by the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts and the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies. This four-month research residency will enable Lois to expand a portion of her dissertation, “Figurations Following the Ethical Turn”, into a manuscript concerning artists' representations of human rights violations. This project puts art practices from the Texas/Mexico region into dialogue with art submissions to the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada. The principal purpose of the Canada-US Fulbright Program “is to increase mutual understanding between the people of Canada and the people of the United States of America.” (Hawes)

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.