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Department of English

Master of Arts in English in Cultural Studies

What is Cultural Studies?

The study of literature, music, film, television, shopping malls, sports events, comics, animations, etiquette manuals, bear-baiting, minstrel shows, and more. Cultural studies looks at all these things and the theories that help us understand their historical and cultural significance: marxism, feminism, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, queer theory, post-colonial theory, and race and ethnic studies.

For example, our students have written on such topics as cyberpunk and environmentalism, illustrations from Japanese American internment camps during WWII, contemporary novels, existentialism, and death.

While cultural studies scholars study many things, they share a commitment to interdisciplinarity, contextualization, and social and political engagement.

Our Cultural Studies Program is a track of the MA degree in literature. Kansas State University's department of English has offered a master's degree with specialization in Literature and Cultural Studies since 1992. 



What degree and coursework is offered?

Students in this program are introduced to major theoretical influences in a seminar on "The Theory and Practice of Cultural Studies," delve into a specific topic in the "Seminar in Cultural Studies," and choose from other advanced courses in literature, criticism, and theory. They also select relevant courses in other disciplines such as women's studies, anthropology, geography, history, sociology, philosophy, modern languages, political science, and mass communications. At the culmination of their degree, they develop an independent research project. Our courses in Cultural Studies cover a range of topics.

Students also select relevant courses outside the English department in order to pursue interdisciplinary study in areas such as women's studies, anthropology, geography, history, sociology, philosophy, modern languages, political science, and mass communications. For more information on degree requirements and policies, please visit the department's Graduate Student Handbook.


Cultural Studies Symposium

Cultural Studies Symposium Poster

The Program in Cultural Studies hosts an annual Cultural Studies Conference which draws important scholars, critics, and writers from around the world. Our 31st Annual Symposium features Prof. Aimee Bahng from Pomona College and Dr. Thea Quiray Tagle and will be held 4-5 pm on March 3rd, 2022 on Zoom.





Who are the faculty and what do they work on?

Who are the students and what do they work on?

Students in the program are able to take courses in literature, film and theory within the Department, and are encouraged to explore courses in other departments as well. In their second year, students develop an independent writing project with the Major Professor of their choosing. Past student projects have ranged from Images of Women in Rap Videos to Technology, Hybridity, Bodily Reconstruction in Shakespeare.

After graduation, may of our students go on to Ph.D. programs. Others have taken jobs in teaching, grant writing, technical writing, and the entertainment industry. For a full list of alumni/ae and what they are doing now, please click here. 

For More Information

For application materials or for more information about the Program or Conference, contact:

Tom Sarmiento
Director, Program in Cultural Studies
Department of English
English/Counseling Services Building
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-6501
Phone: (785) 532-6716
FAX: (785) 532-2192
E-mail: csdirector@ksu.edu