Cultural Studies

Culture is Power

Culture is not just the traditions we follow or the values we hold. Culture is how we know ourselves and even make ourselves. The Cultural Studies major program at JCSU will empower you to examine how culture is a powerful driver in our media-saturated world.

What will I study as a cultural studies major?

The Cultural Studies program seeks to create a community of students and faculty who study the ever-changing practices, expressions, and definitions of culture. Specifically, the Cultural Studies program trains students to analyze the relationship of power (social, political, structural, etc.) and representation (self-expression, media, art, etc.). Since culture can be studied across disciplines, the program pursues this aim through transdisciplinary analysis in humanistic methods such as textual analysis, media studies, identity studies, and critical theory. Our aim is to train students to be strategic cultural disruptors, acting as change makers through the precise analysis of power and representation in various professions.

After completing introductory coursework on the roots of cultural studies, you will be able to choose between four major tracks:

  • popular culture
  • critical studies in race
  • gender and sexuality
  • religion

You will be both permitted and encouraged to take classes across academic disciplines, studying your selected topic through courses offered in psychology, political science, history, and more.

We Prepare You for Success Beyond the Classroom

To supplement the foundationally valuable skills of critical analysis and writing, the cultural studies program will introduce you to key media creation skills that will help you stay competitive in an ever-changing job market. Students will practice podcast creation, web design, and archival work during their tenure as cultural studies majors.

Additionally, the Cultural Studies program is committed to helping students network with key figures in their prospective fields in order to help them build strong professional relationships. Students have had the privilege of interfacing with key figures in fashion, music, photography, and more. Since the culture industries are notoriously difficult to navigate, we will give you opportunities to learn firsthand from the cutting-edge innovators in a variety of fields.

Research Opportunities You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

We take great pride in the quality of our instruction in the cultural studies major. Students have the opportunity to take innovative, interdisciplinary course offerings in topics like hip-hop, fashion, and film. We teach across disciplines too, featuring co-taught courses between our faculty and award-winning faculty in political science and sociology at JCSU and Davidson College.

We are dedicated to moving students beyond the classroom in our instruction. We have taken field trips to visit the NMAAHC to visit with a curator from the Smithsonian, partnered with local leaders on archival and oral history projects, and visited local institutions such as the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture. We want you to have hands-on learning experience that will prepare you for the rigors of your career.

Personalized Attention Gives You the Tools to Succeed

As a small, liberal arts institution, JCSU offers students the opportunity to receive one-on-one mentorship from their faculty advisors. In cultural studies, we strive to care for the whole student, ensuring that our students are balancing full time studies and student life with attention to their mental and physical well-being.

We will work with each individual student on their career goals, ensuring that we serve as a bridge between your time at JCSU and the beginning of your career. We will labor to make sure that you are prepared for the job market with resume/cover letter assistance, advising, and thoughtful connections to key professionals in the field.