2016-17 Edition

Graduate Program in Culture and Theory

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Please visit the Culture and Theory Program website for contact and admissions information.  

Overview

The Ph.D. program in Culture and Theory provides a strong theoretical and critical approach to race, gender, and sexuality studies. It is the Ph.D. graduate program that is constituted by several interdisciplinary units including African American Studies and Asian American Studies, and works integrally with the Critical Theory Emphasis. Interdisciplinary in nature and buttressed by the established strengths in critical theory at UCI, the program uses a problem-oriented approach to issues of race, gender, and sexuality in diasporic, transnational, and postcolonial contexts, as they are engaged broadly in the humanities, social sciences, and arts.

The Ph.D. program in Culture and Theory is designed to take full advantage of the combined expertise of the nationally and internationally prominent faculty at UCI whose work exemplifies the best in contemporary, critical, interdisciplinary studies in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts.

Admission

For information about admissions, visit the Culture and Theory Program website

Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s, master’s, or equivalent degree in any discipline in the humanities, arts, or social sciences.

Applicants submit official transcripts, statement of purpose, personal history (U.S. citizens and permanent residents only), three letters of recommendation, aptitude scores from the Graduate Record Examination, and a sample of written work. In addition, an interview may be required. Incoming students are admitted for fall quarter only.

To be admitted formally into the doctoral program, students must satisfactorily pass an evaluation at the end of their first year of study; this includes students who entered with an M.A. from another institution.

NOTE: Ph.D. students will receive the M.A. degree after the satisfactory completion of specified requirements, as a step toward the Ph.D. Those students who complete the M.A., but whose committees assess their work as not meeting the standard for the Ph.D., will receive a terminal M.A. degree. Students who enter the program with an M.A. from another institution may receive full or partial credit for the M.A., depending on the assessment of the Executive Committee at the time the student is admitted or on the assessment of the student’s faculty advisor and committee during the student’s first year. Students who receive full credit for the M.A. will be exempt from writing the master’s paper. The procedure for formally requesting course credit is detailed in the Program Handbook.

Requirements

  1. CLT&THY 200A, CLT&THY 200B, CLT&THY 200C. Basic to the curriculum, this three-quarter core sequence provides a solid foundation in critical and cultural theories, their philosophical genealogies and institutional histories, and interdisciplinary methodologies. The core sequence also provides the space for an intellectual coherence and cohort building for Culture and Theory graduate students who will be taking most of their other courses in supporting departments and programs.
  2. Seven additional theoretical courses drawn from sets of offerings in the core supporting interdisciplinary units, the Critical Theory Emphasis, and other course offerings by core and affiliated faculty, which may include HUMAN 260A-HUMAN 260B-HUMAN 260C and HUMAN 270. One of these courses must be focused on research methods. Working closely with a faculty advisor and committee, students set up a coherent course of study related to one or more of the areas explored in the core courses. Typically the seven courses will revolve around a set of theoretical problems, e.g., feminist theory and practice, critical race studies, sexualities, postcolonialism, transnational circuits, globalization, theorizing the political, philosophical debates on ethics, the intersections of visuality and textuality, to name a few. The theoretical problem courses are centered on the philosophical and theoretical approaches that form the basis of much work in critical, cultural, and social theory regarding race, gender, and sexuality studies.
  3. Six courses on a focused area of study. This might include concentrations within and across a department, within the Critical Theory emphasis, or in one of the core supporting interdisciplinary units. In the latter case, students will take the dedicated core courses of a Graduate Emphasis. Students could also choose to work on a coherent area of focused study devised with their advisor. The courses in a focused area of study address a particular field in which various forms of critical theory have been applied, as well as a focus on groups, nations, and regions: examples include globalization, racism and the welfare state, diasporas of particular kinds, human rights, anti-colonial resistance movements in particular regions, Muslim women and questions of the veil, the Harlem Renaissance, Asian American feminism, modernity and race.
  4. CLT&THY 280. In this independent study course taken during their second year, students expand and develop a seminar paper into the master’s paper, with the guidance of their faculty advisor.
  5. Students must TA in a Humanities or Social Sciences department or program for a minimum of three quarters. They are also required to take the teaching seminar and workshops associated with the course in which they teach.
  6. CLT&THY 290. Students take this two-unit research and prospectus seminar in their third and fourth years to enable systematic progress toward their dissertation.
  7. Additionally, students are expected to participate regularly in the Culture and Theory Colloquium, a series of events comprised of lectures, conferences, and performances sponsored by the program and allied units, particularly in the social sciences and the arts. Each year, the Colloquium will also include academic workshops (e.g., faculty and student works-in-progress, as well as on grant writing and on framing the dissertation project) and professionalization workshops (e.g., preparation for conferences and, later, for the job market). In addition to exposure to diverse ideas and development of practical techniques, participation in the Colloquium is intended to strengthen relations among students, and between students and faculty who are otherwise stretched across several units and schools.

Master’s Paper and M.A. Degree: During their second year, students work with their faculty advisor to expand and develop a seminar paper into a master’s paper. A master’s paper expands a seminar paper to a version that is of near-publishable quality. Upon completion of the paper, the faculty advisor and two other core faculty members will participate in an assessment of student’s work to date.

Ph.D. students will receive the M.A. degree after the satisfactory completion of the three core courses, seven theoretical problem courses, six courses on a focused area of study, and the master’s paper. Those students who complete the M.A. requirements, but whose committees assess their work as not meeting the standards for the Ph.D., will receive a terminal M.A. degree.

Qualifying Examination: Students work with a committee comprised of five faculty members, including one outside member, to draw up reading lists and head notes on four topics, as well as a dissertation prospectus. Three of these topics should relate to the major areas of study outlined in the 200A, B, C core course sequence, and one should relate to the student’s area of disciplinary or focused study. The examination itself will be comprised of a written and oral exam. A student shall advance to candidacy upon successful passing of the Qualifying Exam and fulfillment of the language requirement, normally by the end of the third year. For a more detailed explanation of the Qualifying Exam, the timeline for its preparation, and composition of its committee, consult the Program Handbook.

Language Requirement: By the time they qualify for candidacy, students must demonstrate through course work or examination the ability to do research in one ancient or modern language (other than English).

Dissertation: The dissertation topic should be drawn from a focused area of study, chosen in consultation with the dissertation advisor and other committee members. Students will draw up their dissertation committee, which must consist of at least three members, at least two of whom must be drawn from the core faculty in the program whose interests match the topic chosen for the thesis. Dissertations must be approved by the student’s dissertation committee and submitted to the executive committee.

Time to Degree: The normative time for advancement to candidacy is four years. The normative time for completion of the Ph.D. is seven years, and the maximum time permitted is eight years.

Courses

CLT&THY 200A. Identity and Difference. 4 Units.

Introduction to scholarship on social movements, institutions, and theories relating to the rise of identities based on race, gender, ethnicity, class, and sexuality.

CLT&THY 200B. Power and Resistance. 4 Units.

Focusing on questions of power and resistance, examines theorists, mostly from the middle twentieth century to the twenty-first century, whose work has led to the study of revolutions and resistance movements and their centrality in cultural theory.

CLT&THY 200C. Movement and Displacement. 4 Units.

Focusing on epistemologies of contemporary cultural theory, probes the genealogies of ideas of movement and settlement. Examines ways in which epistemologies of movement and displacement produce texts and contexts of knowledge formation.

CLT&THY 280. Independent Study. 4 Units.

Limited to students who have not yet received the M.A. degree.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

CLT&THY 289. Topics in Culture and Theory. 4 Units.

Seminars on various topics in Culture and Theory.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

CLT&THY 290. Research and Prospectus Seminar. 2 Units.

Bi-weekly seminar required for third- and/or fourth-year students. Students make presentations of dissertation prospectus for discussion. All graduate students welcome to attend and participate. Meant especially for students preparing for formal presentation of prospectus.

Grading Option: Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

CLT&THY 298. Directed Reading. 4-12 Units.

Directed readings on a specific topic agreed upon by students and their instructors. Limited to students who have completed their M.A. degree and are preparing for their qualifying exam.

Prerequisite: Completion of the M.A. degree.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

CLT&THY 299. Dissertation Research. 4-12 Units.

Dissertation research in Culture and Theory.

Grading Option: Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

Faculty

M. Ackbar Abbas, M.Phil. University of Hong Kong, Professor of Comparative Literature; Culture and Theory; Film and Media Studies; Visual Studies (Hong Kong culture and postcolonialism, visual culture, architecture and cinema, cultural theory, globalization)
Jonathan Alexander, Ph.D. Louisiana State University, Campus Writing Coordinator and Professor of English; Culture and Theory; Education; Gender and Sexuality Studies (writing studies, sexuality studies, queer theory, new media studies)
Luis Avilés, Ph.D. Brown University, Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese; Comparative Literature; Culture and Theory; European Languages and Studies (Golden Age literature and critical theory)
Christine Bacareza Balance, Ph.D. New York University, Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies; Culture and Theory; Gender and Sexuality Studies (Performance studies, popular music, critical race and ethnic studies, Filipino/Filipino American studies, queer & feminist theory.)
Catherine Benamou, Ph.D. New York University, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies; Culture and Theory; Visual Studies (Hispanophone and Lusophone cinema and television, U.S. Latino media, Orson Welles and maverick cinema, transnational flows, spectatorship, cinematic memory and cultures of preservation)
Victoria Bernal, Ph.D. Northwestern University, Professor of Anthropology; Culture and Theory
Susan C. Bibler Coutin, Ph.D. Stanford University, Associate Dean of the Graduate Division and Professor of Criminology, Law and Society; Anthropology; Culture and Theory (law, culture, immigration, human rights, citizenship, political activism, Central America)
Nahum D. Chandler, Ph.D. University of Chicago, Director of the Graduate Program in Culture and Theory and Associate Professor of African American Studies; Comparative Literature; Culture and Theory; European Languages and Studies (modern intellectual history, history of the human sciences)
Vinayak Chaturvedi, Ph.D. University of Cambridge, Associate Professor of History; Culture and Theory (modern South Asia, social and intellectual history)
Bridget R. Cooks Cumbo, Ph.D. University of Rochester, Associate Professor of African American Studies; Art History; Culture and Theory; Visual Studies (African-American art, museum studies, feminist and post-colonial theory)
Sohail Daulatzai, Ph.D. University of Southern California, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies; African American Studies; Culture and Theory; Visual Studies (African American studies, postcolonial theory, race, hip hop, Muslim diasporas)
Julia Elyachar, Ph.D. Harvard University, Associate Professor of Anthropology; Culture and Theory; Economics
Raúl A. Fernández, Ph.D. Claremont Graduate University, Director of the UC-Cuba Academic Initiative and Professor Emeritus of Chicano/Latino Studies; Culture and Theory; Social Sciences
Dorothy B. Fujita-Rony, Ph.D. Yale University, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies; Culture and Theory; History (U.S. history, Asian American studies)
David Theo Goldberg, Ph.D. The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Director of the UC Humanities Research Institute and Professor of Comparative Literature; Anthropology; Criminology, Law and Society; Culture and Theory (race, racism, race and the law, political theory, South Africa, digital humanities)
Gilbert G. Gonzalez, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Professor Emeritus of Chicano/Latino Studies; Culture and Theory; Social Sciences
Sora Han, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law and Society; African American Studies; Culture and Theory (law and popular culture, critical race theory, philosophies of punishment, feminism and psychoanalysis)
Douglas M. Haynes, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Vice Provost for Equity and Diversity and Professor of History; African American Studies; Culture and Theory; European Languages and Studies (social and cultural history of modern Britain, social history of modern medicine)
Winston A. James, Ph.D. University of London, Professor of History; Culture and Theory (Caribbean, African American, African diaspora)
Susan C. Jarratt, Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin, Professor of Comparative Literature; Culture and Theory; Education (histories and theories of rhetoric, ancient Greek rhetoric, writing studies)
Victoria E. Johnson, Ph.D. University of Southern California, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies; Culture and Theory; Visual Studies (television, critical race theory, sound, media policy, sport)
Arlene Keizer, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Associate Professor of English; Comparative Literature; Culture and Theory (African American and Caribbean literature, critical race and ethnic studies, feminist and psychoanalytic theory, cultural studies)
Claire J. Kim, Ph.D. Yale University, Professor of Asian American Studies; Culture and Theory; Political Science
Mark A. LeVine, Ph.D. New York University, Professor of History; Culture and Theory (modern Middle Eastern history, Islamic studies, histories of empire and globalization)
James K. Lee, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Asian American Studies; Culture and Theory (Asian American literature and culture, contemporary U.S. literature, race and ethnic studies, urban studies, religious studies)
Julia Hyoun Joo Lee, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies; Culture and Theory (Asian American literature and culture, African American literature and culture, ethnic literature, twentieth-century American literature.)
Felicidad (Bliss) Lim, Ph.D. New York University, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies; Culture and Theory; Visual Studies (Philippine cinema, temporality, postcolonial and feminist film theory, transnational horror and the fantastic, film archives)
William M. Maurer, Ph.D. Stanford University, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Professor of Anthropology; Criminology, Law and Society; Culture and Theory (anthropology of law, globalization, Caribbean, anthropology of money and finance, gender and kinship)
Jessica Millward, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Associate Professor of History; African American Studies; Culture and Theory (U.S., slavery, African diaspora, African American gender and women)
Glen M. Mimura, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies; Culture and Theory; Visual Studies (minoritarian and political film; media and race; popular culture and social movements)
Yong Soon Min, M.F.A. University of California, Berkeley, Professor Emerita of Art; Asian American Studies; Culture and Theory (minority, diasporic, and third cinemas; media, nationalism, and globalization; race, sexuality, and popular culture)
Michael J. Montoya, Ph.D. Stanford University, UCI Chancellor's Fellow and Associate Professor of Anthropology; Chicano/Latino Studies; Culture and Theory; Program in Public Health (social inequality and health, race and ethnicity, social and cultural studies of science, technology, and medicine, participation of ethnic populations in biomedical research, the U.S./Mexican border, critical bioethics)
Gonzalo Navajas, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese; Culture and Theory; European Languages and Studies (eighteenth through twentieth-first century Spanish literature and intellectual history, film, critical theory, cultural criticism, creative writing)
Jane O. Newman, Ph.D. Princeton University, Professor of Comparative Literature; Culture and Theory; English; European Languages and Studies (comparative Renaissance and early modern literature and culture [English, French, German, Italian, neo-Latin], Mediterranean Renaissance studies, Baroque, afterlives of antiquity, Walter Benjamin, Erich Auerbach, pre-modern lessons for the modern and post-modern)
Rachel S. O'Toole, Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Associate Professor of History; Culture and Theory (Colonial Latin America, African Diaspora, colonialisms, race, racism, indigenous histories, gender, Atlantic worlds)
Kevin E. Olson, Ph.D. Northwestern University, Associate Professor of Political Science; Culture and Theory (contemporary European political theory, cultural politics, politics of diversity, popular sovereignty, citizenship, nineteenth- and twentieth-century political theory)
Kristin Peterson, Ph.D. William Marsh Rice University, Associate Professor of Anthropology; Culture and Theory
Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan, Ph.D. Binghamton University, State University of New York, UCI Chancellor's Professor of English; Comparative Literature; Culture and Theory (critical theory, postcoloniality, nationalisms and diasporas, poststructuralism, postmodernism, democracy and minority discourse, cultural studies, globalization and transnationalism)
Nasrin Rahimieh, Ph.D. University of Alberta, Professor of Comparative Literature; Culture and Theory; Gender and Sexuality Studies (Modern Persian literature and culture, diaspora studies, women's writing.)
Belinda Robnett, Ph.D. University of Michigan, Professor of Sociology; Culture and Theory (social movements, race and ethnicity, gender, social change, African Americans)
Constance J. Samaras, M.F.A. Eastern Michigan University, Professor of Art; Culture and Theory (photography, intermedia, cultural criticism)
Jeanne Scheper, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies; Culture and Theory (feminist performance studies and visual culture, cultural studies, theories of race, gender and sexuality, trans-Atlantic modernism)
Annette M. Schlichter, Ph.D. Humboldt University of Berlin, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature; Culture and Theory; European Languages and Studies (feminist theory and criticism, queer theory, critiques of heterosexuality, contemporary American literature, gender and literature, voice studies)
Gabriele J. Schwab, Ph.D. University of Konstanz, Department Chair and UCI Chancellor's Professor of Comparative Literature; Anthropology; Culture and Theory; European Languages and Studies (modern literature, critical theory, psychoanalysis, comparative literature)
Jared Charles Sexton, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Program Director and Associate Professor of African American Studies; Culture and Theory; Film and Media Studies; Visual Studies (race and sexuality, policing and imprisonment, contemporary U.S. cinema and political culture, multiracial coalition, critical theory)
Rei Terada, Ph.D. Boston University, Professor of Comparative Literature; Culture and Theory (theory, poststructuralism, nineteenth- and twentieth-century poetry)
Heidi E. Tinsman, Ph.D. Yale University, Professor of History; Culture and Theory; Gender and Sexuality Studies (Latin America, gender and sexuality, world history)
Keith Topper, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Associate Professor of Political Science; Culture and Theory (political theory, critical theory, poststructuralism, theories of power, language and politics, theory and politics of interpretation, politics of culture, philosophy of the social sciences)
Rodolfo D. Torres, Ph.D. Claremont Graduate University, Professor of Planning, Policy, and Design; Culture and Theory; Political Science
Roxanne Varzi, Ph.D. Columbia University, Associate Professor of Anthropology; Culture and Theory; Film and Media Studies; Visual Studies (Iran, media, war, visual anthropology, film studies, ethnographic and fiction writing)
Frank B. Wilderson III, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor of African American Studies; Culture and Theory; Drama (Afro-Pessimism, film theory, Marxism, dramaturgy, narratology.)
Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associate Professor of African American Studies; Culture and Theory (South Africa, poor whites, race in foreign policy, diaspora, comparative racial politics, third world feminisms, feminist pedagogy, black political thought)
Mei Zhan, Ph.D. Standford University, Associate Professor of Anthropology; Culture and Theory (medical anthropology, cultural and social studies of science, globalization, transnationalism, gender, China and United States)
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