Chatham University

Cultural Studies Curriculum

Cultural Studies is an interdisciplinary major that examines issues of race, ethnicity, class, and culture. Drawing on social, cultural, and literary theories, this major introduces methods of interpretation for the analysis of cultural objects in their social contexts. Students learn to apply contemporary theory in their critical analysis of literature, film, and other cultural narratives. A required core of courses provides students with the tools necessary to analyze representations of culture. The electives allow students the opportunity to focus on an aspect of the field that meets their particular interests. Students pursuing the concentration in African American Studies will study the history, culture, politics, religion and literature of the African Diaspora – the communities created by the dispersion of peoples from the African continent.

Students must earn a C- or better in all major courses. Failure to earn this minimum grade will result in the need to repeat the course thereby possibly extending the student’s course of study beyond four years.

Program Requirements

+Cultural Studies: African American Studies Concentration

12 courses, including

CST183 Representations of Race and Gender

This course introduces students to the methodology of cultural studies. In this survey students learn those skills essential to analyzing social constructions of identity. Specific attention is paid to diverse texts, including film, in order to locate how representations of race, gender, ethnicity, and "otherness" are culturally produced and disseminated.

3
ENG350W Seminar in Literary Theory and Scholarly Writing

An advanced course in writing literary analysis and methods of literary research; required of all junior English majors and interdepartmental majors before enrollment in the tutorial. Prerequisite(s): Second-term junior status.

3
ENG385 Toni Morrison Seminar

This seminar is a study of Toni Morrison’s literature within the context of African-American critical theory. Through Morrison’s work, students will engage in current issues regarding the politics of language, narrative authority, historical revision, the production of meaning, and African-American subjectivity.

3
FDT300 Critical Theory

Critical theory offers a critical study of the key debates in theories of media and communication interfaced with cultural studies. This course also examines the communication circuit from production to consumption within the broader paradigms of cultural studies, feminism, politics of identity, and theories of ideology and postmodernism. Connections are made between these debates and wider debates in communication studies.

3
ENG287 African-American Writers

This course provides an introduction to the African-American expressive tradition, including poetry, fiction, autobiography, song and folktales from the 18th century to the present. Examining writers such as Douglass, Chesnutt, Brooks, Baldwin, Ellison, and Walker, this course works to delineate the critical and historical contours of the African-American literary tradition.

3
HIS285 African-American History

This course examines the history of African Americans within a global context from the 1500s through present. The course explores the role of West Africa in the Atlantic economy and slave trade; the nature of slavery in the US as compared to Latin America; emancipation in the US and Latin America; industrialization and migration; and the civil rights movement in its international context.

3
HIS401 History of Pan-Africanism

This course examines the birth and development of the ideology that promoted a universal approach to the rehabilitation of the philosophical traditions, need for self-respect, political consciousness, and aspirations for transatlantic unity among Black people between the 1770s to the end of the 20TH century. Prerequisite(s): Any 200-level history course or permission of the instructor.

3
1 African American Studies elective (3)
1 Film Studies elective (3)
INTCST303 Internship - Cultural Studies

3
CST490 Integrative Capstone

The integrative capstone , undertaken by the student during the senior year, is an extended project that helps the student complete their transition from an undergraduate student to a world-ready professional.  The study usually centers on the student’s major and may be conducted, at least in part, in the context of a group experience.  Such programs are crafted to meet the unique needs of each major, and could include, for example, fieldwork, theatre production, creative work in the arts, independent research, or independent readings. The integrative capstone in an interdisciplinary major must have the approval of both academic programs.  

3
Integrative Capstone must confront a significant cultural studies topic and demonstrate the relationship between cultural studies and the other subject in the major

+Interdisciplinary Major Requirements

10 courses, exclusive of the Integrative Capstone:

CST183 Representations of Race and Gender

This course introduces students to the methodology of cultural studies. In this survey students learn those skills essential to analyzing social constructions of identity. Specific attention is paid to diverse texts, including film, in order to locate how representations of race, gender, ethnicity, and "otherness" are culturally produced and disseminated.

3
ENG350W Seminar in Literary Theory and Scholarly Writing

An advanced course in writing literary analysis and methods of literary research; required of all junior English majors and interdepartmental majors before enrollment in the tutorial. Prerequisite(s): Second-term junior status.

3
ENG385 Toni Morrison Seminar

This seminar is a study of Toni Morrison’s literature within the context of African-American critical theory. Through Morrison’s work, students will engage in current issues regarding the politics of language, narrative authority, historical revision, the production of meaning, and African-American subjectivity.

3
FDT300 Critical Theory

Critical theory offers a critical study of the key debates in theories of media and communication interfaced with cultural studies. This course also examines the communication circuit from production to consumption within the broader paradigms of cultural studies, feminism, politics of identity, and theories of ideology and postmodernism. Connections are made between these debates and wider debates in communication studies.

3
1 film-related course
2 courses in multi-ethic studies
2 courses in African-American studies
1 Internship (3)
Integrative Capstone must confront a significant cultural studies topic and demonstrate the relationship between cultural studies and the other subject in the major

+Minor Requirements

Cultural Studies is not available as a minor. See Minor Requirements for African-American Studies.

+African-American Studies Minor

The minor in African-American studies is an interdisciplinary program of study designed to expose students to the history and culture of African Americans in the United States and to place their experiences, conditions, social institutions, and artistic contributions within the context of the literature, histories, and cultures of the African Diaspora.

CST183 Representations of Race and Gender

This course introduces students to the methodology of cultural studies. In this survey students learn those skills essential to analyzing social constructions of identity. Specific attention is paid to diverse texts, including film, in order to locate how representations of race, gender, ethnicity, and "otherness" are culturally produced and disseminated.

3
4 African or African-American Studies electives