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About the Program

What is Cultural Studies?

Cultural Studies is an interdisciplinary field, drawing on theories and practices from a range of humanities and social sciences disciplines, that seeks to investigate the central role played by culture in the organization and distribution of power locally and globally. At the centre of Cultural Studies sits a host of questions, such as what constitutes a text, how some texts, visual images, and cultural artifacts come to be valued over others, and how questions of value relate to the distribution of power and authority.

Rather than concentrating exclusively on the group of elite texts that make up so-called "high culture," Cultural Studies takes as its focus the whole complex of changing beliefs, ideas, feelings, values, and symbols that define a community’s organization and sense of itself. Culture in this sense is often understood to be a primary vehicle of globalization in the contemporary world and deeply enmeshed in particular social, economical and political environments. As such, when we study culture, we are studying the world we live in and how we function in it.

What is the Cultural Studies MA program like at the University of Winnipeg?

Small seminars, individual attention from dedicated instructors, and strong academic development are just some of the benefits of being a student in the MA in Cultural Studies. Students specialize in one of two areas: 1) Texts and Cultures, which emphasizes theoretically-grounded cultural analysis and 2) Curatorial Practices, which focuses on museum studies.

Students in the MA in Cultural Studies take a total of 24 credit hours (the equivalent of 4 full-year courses) in a range of topic areas, including Cultural Theory; Visual Cultures; Curatorial Practices; Cultures of Childhood; Gender, Sexualities and Culture; Local, National and Global Cultures; and Manuscript, Print and Digital Cultures.

What is a multidisciplinary degree?

A multidisciplinary degree is one that allows you to study courses in a variety of subject areas. The Cultural Studies MA degree incorporates theories and methods from a variety of disciplines, including Literary Studies, History, Art History, Women’s and Gender Studies, Politics, and Rhetoric and Communications. In the Cultural Studies MA program at the University of Winnipeg, instructors from these disciplines regularly teach courses in the program and are available for Special Studies courses in which they direct the research projects of individual students.

What should a student study in preparation for an MA in Cultural Studies?

Cultural Studies is an academic field that uses critical and cultural theories to study social, political, and cultural phenomena. Therefore, it is recommended that a student choose classes that use feminist theory, social theory, political theory, literary theory, art history/theory, and/or screen/media theory while pursuing their undergraduate degree in order to prepare for an MA in Cultural Studies.