PhD in Cultural Studies

Cultural studies is a new and increasingly influential field of scholarly inquiry.

Broadly speaking, it studies cultural practices of all kinds - mass media, consumer culture, and literary texts - as well as other aspects of everyday life both past and present. Although cultural studies draws freely on theory and methods from traditional disciplines such as anthropology, history, and philosophy, it responds to questions that cannot always be answered by traditional means. It attempts to account for cultural objects under conditions constrained by power and defined by conflict and change.

The Cultural Studies Program trains students for scholarship and teaching. Most graduates go on to careers as university professors. Others pursue careers in cultural advocacy, museum work, and related areas. 

Students come to the doctoral program with degrees in anthropology, English, history, sociology, and other traditional disciplines, as well as in interdisciplinary programs such as Media Studies, Women and Gender Studies, and African-American Studies.



The Cultural Studies Program has a limited number of teaching and research assistantships for highly qualified students. If awarded a teaching assistantship, students with strong preparation may be assigned to teach their own course; others have the opportunity to develop their teaching skills by working closely with an outstanding faculty member.

Conference planning and participation

Cultural studies graduate students are expected to participate in the planning and execution of the annual conference hosted by the Cultural Studies Colloquium. Students help select and contact prospective guest speakers, develop advertising for the event, and produce written, audio, or visual records of the conference. In addition, the Cultural Studies Program supports a Student Organizing Committee, which also hosts its own one-day symposium - completely planned and executed by students in the program.