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Faculty of Culture, Creative and Performing Arts

Course Descriptions - Cultural Studies Graduate Programme

Kindly note that not all courses are offered in any given year. You may check the Cave Hill On-Line course schedule at the beginning of the semester for the
list of courses available for that semester.

TITLE: Theory and Conceptualisation of Culture
Assessment: 100%
The course explores the development of the culture concept and the academic study of culture. Caribbean debates and research on Caribbean culture are linked to global trajectories of thought on the scholarly practice of culture. The discipline of Cultural Studies is outlined against the background of longer research traditions focusing on culture. The course also explores some of the main areas of interest and theoretical debates in Cultural Studies and investigates how the various theories and concepts of culture can be applied to the study of everyday life. The aim of the course is to provide students with the opportunity to examine the productive and important questions that arise from current cultural debates.  Students will review the following topics: Marxism, Africana thought and the culture question, Gramsci, The Frankfurt School, Althusser, Stuart Hall and the Birmingham School; Orientalism; Slavery and Colonialism; Creolisation; Critical race theory, Globalization and neoliberalism.

TITLE: Debates in Caribbean Cultural Identity
ASSESSMENT: 100% Coursework

This course examines key issues on the construction of identities in the Caribbean.  Students will wrestle with the questions of what defines the Caribbean / West Indies / Antilles and the relationship of the Caribbean Diaspora to these entities. The course also introduces students to a wide range of epistemological developments within the field of Caribbean cultural thought and offers a cross-disciplinary approach to analyzing the cultures of the region beyond that of the Anglophone Caribbean.  We will also examine the ideological debates surrounding identity formation with special reference to the issues pertaining to the colonial and the post-colonial context.  The relationship between identity, race, culture, gender, nationality, sexuality and ethnicity in the Caribbean will also be explored.  Consequently, such concepts as creolisation, transculturation, as well as national, sexual and diasporic identities will be assessed.  Starting with a survey of the region, the course explores the making of Caribbean identities by examining a range of inter-dependent themes.

TITLE: Dynamics of Caribbean Culture
CREDITS: 8       (Yr long course)
ASSESSMENT: 100% Coursework

This course is designed to provide an understanding of the cultural dynamics of Caribbean societies and their diasporas.  It will explore issues of identity, critical consciousness, ways of knowing and provide insights into music, festivals, visual art, sport, language, literary and oral discourse and the religious expressions of Caribbean societies.
The objectives are: To analyse distinctive Caribbean cultural practices and creative expressions; To locate Caribbean cultural concepts, and processes within their global frames; To articulate relationships of power such as class, ethnicity, colonialism as they are implicated in Caribbean culture; To analyse the gender dynamics within Caribbean cultural expressions; To interpret the ways in which these cultural dynamics are connected with development; and
to assess the theoretical implications that emerge from these phenomena.
TITLE: Caribbean Cultural Diasporas
ASSESSMENT: 100% Coursework

This course explores the complex cultural connections between Caribbean peoples in the region and diaspora. It seeks to understand the question of transnational identity as a lived experience, as well as the meaning of home. The course explores the meanings of the Diasporic experience by reviewing the history/ies of migration and by examining the racial and gender issues that arise.  Caribbean cultural circuits created through festivals as well as the spiritual practices that link the metropolitan cities of Toronto, New York and London will also be assessed. As a result, this study of Caribbean Cultural Diasporas challenges the concept of frontiers and boundaries and examines the roots/routes used to create and re-create the Caribbean experience in the metropole.

TITLE: Methods of Inquiry in Cultural Studies
ASSESSMENT: 100% Coursework

This course explores the range of approaches to engaging in socio-cultural research and guides students through the methodological approaches applicable to the interdisciplinary field of Cultural Studies.  By examining the conceptual formulations that constitute knowledge (epistemology), it assesses how that knowledge is to be validated and verified (methodology).  The course explores such questions as how to read culture as a text, how to shape a theory of culture and how to develop a transdisciplinary research proposal. It further gives students the methodological tools for anchoring their research in alignment with specific research philosophies and provides an interactive workshop/seminar environment to foster discussion around modes of data collection and analysis. We will seek to understand the significance of core assumptions in formulating research questions and determining the research outcome. As such, attention will also be paid to questions of methodology as well as the relationship between theory and methodology

TITLE: Caribbean Popular and Creative Culture
ASSESSMENT: 100% Coursework

This postgraduate course will build on some of the work covered in the two undergraduate courses in Caribbean popular culture. This course acknowledges that “popular culture” is a very broad area of study and engagement within the academy. It however wants to provide an avenue by which students can begin to undertake analysis of specific areas within this field. It recognizes that “popular culture” often refers to those areas of expression that are subversive, counter-cultural, and which challenge more traditional ways of knowing and ways of doing. While this course will engage and interrogate notions of the “popular” and other important contested concepts, it also wants to provide a context for an examination of popular expression as creative process. In effect, the course therefore examines the contradictory nature of popular expression.
The reference to “creative culture” in the title also allows for an examination of late 20th century responses by Caribbean governments, practitioners, private sector institutions, and education centres to the repositioning of culture globally.
The course takes note of the ways in which Caribbean culture is affected by and responds to international phenomena. To this end, the course will concern itself with a set of areas. These areas relate to specific genres of expression, or specific movements, or specific conceptual and practical phenomena which continue to preoccupy scholars of popular culture.

TITLE: Under Western Eyes: Rethinking Cultural Hegemony in Caribbean Gender Relations
ASSESSMENT: 100% Coursework
This course is designed to question the canonical, unitary and hegemonic aspects of Caribbean gender relations as reinforced by culture.  It provides a feminist critique of the production of knowledge and power.  Using this feminist critique of knowledge production, the course draws on an array of thinkers’ critique of hegemonic forms of representation and prompts students to address questions of identity construction and intersections of race and class in the representation of gender in the Caribbean.  Throughout the course students will analyse the dialectical relationship between gender and culture in which gender hierarchies reinforce forms of cultural power. Simultaneously, class discussion and analysis will also consider the impact that cultural and social phenomena have had on the ways in which various constituencies of Caribbean women and men experience their bodies, gender identities, relationships with each other and the state.  This course will survey how “nation forming” gestures such as colonialism, nationalism have shaped the experiences and practices of gender in the Caribbean.
TITLE: Diploma Research Paper/Project
100% Project Report/Research Paper
Upon completion of their coursework (particularly CLTR 6500), candidates should submit a research proposal to the Coordinator of the Cultural Studies Programme. Once the proposal has been approved, a Supervisor will be appointed to guide the candidate in her/his research. The research paper must be 12000 words in length, exclusive of bibliography and footnotes.
: Project
Candidates can present their findings as follows: as performance, as a documentary, as video/film, as a work of art. Other formats can be employed, subject to the approval of the supervisor. The project must be presented with an accompanying analysis of not less than 8000 words, exclusive of bibliography and footnotes.

TITLE: MA Research paper
100% Research Paper
Students produce a research paper of approximately 15,000 words under the supervision of a member of Faculty.

TITLE: MPhil Cultural Studies
Students are required to register for this section every semester and are expected to produce a thesis of approximately 50,000 words under the supervision of a member of Faculty.

TITLE: PhD Cultural Studies
Students are required to register for this section every semester and are expected to produce a thesis of approximately 80,000 words under the supervision of a member of Faculty.


MPhil Programme
GRSM6000 MPhil Research Seminar 1
This is the first of two research seminars to be presented by the MPhil student.
GRSM6001 MPhil Research Seminar 2
This is the second of two research seminars to be presented by the MPhil student.
CLTR6995 MPhil Cultural Studies Thesis

PhD Programme
GRSM8001 PhD Research Seminar 1
This course is the first of three research seminars to be presented by the PhD student.

GRSM8002 PhD Research Seminar 2
This course is the second of three research seminars to be presented by the PhD student.

GRSM8003 PhD Research Seminar 3
This course is the last of three research seminars to be presented by the PhD student.

CLTR8000 PhD Cultural StudiesThesis
Students are required to register for this section every semester and are expected to produce a thesis of approximately 80,000 words under the supervision of a member of Faculty.
Faculty of Culture, Creative and Performing Arts
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