Courses

Students curious about the program are enouraged to take CST 100, Introduction to Critical Social Thought.

Majors work closely with their advisors when choosing courses from among the following six fields:

  • Social and Political Theory: On key tendencies and genres of critical inquiry, and competing conceptions of freedom, power, justice, and the good life
  • Order and Transformation: On the interplay between continuity and change, stability and disorder, tradition and experimentation in thought and practice
  • Cultural Expression and Social Reality: On the interpenetration of cultural representations, modes of perception, technological innovations, and practical reality
  • Class and Political Economy: On different social organizations of material production and their implications for relations among individuals, social groups, regions, and peoples
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality: On racial power relations, colonial and postcolonial identities, ethnic and communal solidarities and hostilities, and varieties of nationalism
  • Gender and Sexuality: On identities and relations grounded in the masculine/feminine distinction; and their transformation by ordinary and unconventional selves, marginal subcultures, social movements, and state policy

Majors are also required to take the Seminar in Critical Social Thought, a one-semester, 300-level, speaking and writing course in which they prepare and present a final analytical/research paper.

For First-Year Students

First-year students who are considering critical social thought as a major are encouraged to select courses, in addition to CST 100, with a critical or philosophical slant at the 100 and 200 level in the traditional disciplines and in other interdisciplinary programs (including, but not limited to, area studies programs, environmental studies, gender studies, and film studies). A small sample of courses appropriate for first-year students with an interest in CST are the following: Economics 210, Marxian Economic Theory; Educational Studies 109, Whiteness: The Other Side of Racism; Gender Studies 101, Introduction to Gender Studies; Politics 117, Globalization and Its Discontents; Politics 212, Modern Political Thought; Religion 226, Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. First-year students strongly interested in CST as a major may also apply to the instructors of 200-level courses in CST (CST 248 through CST 255).

First-year students interested in critical social thought are urged, moreover, to arrange a meeting with the program chair, Donald Cotter and/or the director of advising, Joan Cocks at their earliest convenience.

CST 100s, Experiments in Critical Social Thought, is designed especially for entering students curious about the program. Students may also consider other first-year seminars such as: CST 133, Gods and Monsters: Science and Scientist in the Modern Work; Politics 100 (03) The Self and Political Thought; German Studies (100) Memory and War

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