The Purpose of Cultural Studies
Cultural studies at Marylhurst University is dedicated to interdisciplinary inquiry, combining methods and insights from anthropology, literary theory, media studies, history, sociology, psychoanalysis, film studies, semiotics and philosophy.
Its principal focus is historical and contemporary social life, the political nature of popular contemporary culture, and the way meaning is produced through various social practices, religious and political ideology, and economic structures within a given culture.
Cultural studies examines how a cultural artifact or event (for example, a film like Brokeback Mountain or Slumdog Millionaire, a natural catastrophe like Katrina, or The War on Terror) relates to matters of social class, nationality, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, ideology, or identity.
Graduates of cultural studies are positioned to make significant contributions in fields that require analytical skills and practical sensitivity to cultural differences; such as education, international policy and business, the nonprofit sector, community organizing and activism, and the new media. Cultural studies provides a strong foundation in critical, interpretative, communicative, and writing skills which prepares students for graduate work in most fields, especially law, education, the social sciences, and the disciplines within the humanities.
Learning Outcomes for the BA in Cultural Studies
- Interpret cultural artifacts or events as meaningful in the context of social processes and power relations.
- Critique a representation of gender in either a literary, media, historical, or philosophical context.
- Analyze how the media reflects and/or contests socially and politically accepted values.
- Demonstrate an understanding of how the heterogeneity of U.S. identity is both shaped and altered by historical context and socio-political influence.
- Demonstrate how the effect of globalization on the diverse cultural values of peoples living in areas of the world outside the West.
- Demonstrate an understanding of some of the major socio-political movements that animate modern history.
- Demonstrate an understanding of a theoretical perspective that provides a reading of a cultural artifact or phenomenon.
- Apply a methodology of cultural studies to a scholarly research paper
Major Requirements for the BA in Cultural Studies
Core Requirements - 18 credits
Required Study - 12 credits
Track of Study - 15 credits
Students choose a track of study related to the field of cultural, media and film studies; such as gender studies, global studies, American studies, social philosophy, media studies, film studies, history, environmental studies, communication studies, literature, text/image, media production, or sociology.
Electives in the Major - 15 credits
Total for the Major: 60 credits