Major in Global Culture and Theory

Requirements for the Major

The Global Culture and Theory Major in the Program in Literature investigates the forms of life and culture produced in today’s interconnected, globalized world.  To that end, we offer courses that deal with important conceptual discussions in theory, philosophy, psychoanalysis, neuroscience, film, media, literature and Artificial Intelligence and offer seminars that give students an in-depth look into the work of individual thinkers and writers such as Simone de Beauvoir, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault, Karl Marx, and Roland Barthes. The courses we offer also concern contemporary social movements, (such as Black Lives Matter, the Umbrella Movement and #YoSoy123), and delve into questions of Latin American and Caribbean identity. They engage in the study of a range of international cinemas and Hollywood classics, such as the works of Alfred Hitchcock. 

Engagement in interdisciplinary humanities builds a distinct knowledge essential for understanding our complex contemporary social environment. The courses we offer in literary studies, critical theory, gender studies and queer theory, philosophy, political theory, visual culture, sound studies, film and media studies, and Artificial Intelligence form the foundation for this inquiry. Our major thus equips students with a broad knowledge base and the analytical skills they need to take on leadership roles as global citizens. Graduates of the major have pursued unique careers in law, medicine, public policy, teaching, journalism, publishing, and the creative cultural industries. Many have advanced to top graduate programs in the humanities.

10 Courses

  • LIT201 Intro to Global Cultural Studies
  • LIT 301S Theory Now: Introduction to the Study of Literature
  • 4 courses taught by faculty who have primary, secondary or joint appointments in Literature.*
  • 3 electives from humanities fields, with DUS review and approval
  • Senior culminating experience completed in the senior year in one of the following three formats. The instructor/supervisor of the course/project chosen from the three options below must be a faculty member with a Literature appointment.
    • LIT 393 Research Independent Study, producing a significant research paper of 15-20 pages subject to review by both the study supervisor and DUS, OR
    • Graduate-level Course Numbered 500-699, OR
    • Completed Honors Thesis Track, including both completed seminars LIT 495 and 496, along with a successful panel-reviewed defense
Requests for enrollment to our Honors Thesis Track are assessed by our committee-reviewed application process. Applicants for the Global Culture and Theory Honors Thesis must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, with a GPA of 3.2 or higher in the Global Culture and Theory Major. Applicants should ideally have completed two or more classes with faculty holding appointments in Literature in order for us to assess the applicant’s readiness for the work. Please note that completion of all components of our honors thesis track is required to satisfy the Senior Culminating Experience Requirement. These components include both seminars LIT 495 Honors Thesis I and LIT 496 Honors Thesis II, along with a successful panel-reviewed defense resulting in a final grade of B+ or higher. Without completion of the entire honors thesis track components as a whole, neither LIT 495 nor LIT 496 will count separately as one of the ten courses required for our major.

*Only courses taught by faculty who have primary, secondary or joint appointments in Literature will count toward our Major, Minor, or Film and Media Concentration, unless DUS approved.

ALL courses MUST have a letter grade to count toward any major/minor requirements in our program.