Master of Arts in English in Cultural Studies
What is Cultural Studies?
The study of literature, music, film, television, shopping malls, sports events, cartoons, 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, cartoons from Japanese American internment camps during WWII, and 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. 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.
Kansas State University's department of English has offered a master's degree with specialization in Literature and Cultural Studies since 1992. Coursework in the program includes The Theory and Practice of Cultural Studies, a Seminar in Cultural Studies, as well as other advanced courses in literature, criticism and theory, and cultural studies. 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.
The Program in Cultural Studies hosts an annual Cultural Studies Conference which draws important scholars, critics, and writers from around the world. Conference topics have included:
- Walter Benjamin (2010)
- Seventh Annual Cultural Studies Association Conference (2009)
- Extremism and the Excluded Middle (2008)
- Entertainment! (2007)
- Privacy (2006)
- Visual Culture: Image Imagination Ideology (2005)
- Sex and the Body Politic (2004)
- Brain Power (2003)
- Late Modern Planet (2002)
- Family, Kinship & Cultural Studies (2001)
- Who Counts? (2000)
- Real Culture, Reproduction(s), and Rip-Offs (1999)
- Violence, Incorporated (1998)
- Property, Commodity, Culture (1997)
- The Ends of Nature (1996)
- Western Humanities, Pedagogy, and The Public Sphere (1995)
- Childhood, Market, State (1994)
- Money, Space, Culture (1993)
- Science/Fiction/Utopia (1992)
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 projects have ranged from Images of Women in Rap Videos to Technology, Hybridity, Bodily Reconstruction in Shakespeare. For a full list of student projects, please click on this sentence.
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 on this sentence.
For application materials or for more information about the Program or Conference, contact:
Director, Program in Cultural Studies
Department of English
English/Counseling Services Building
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-6501
Phone: (785) 532-2160
FAX: (785) 532-2192