School of Cultural & Critical Studies

The School of Cultural and Critical Studies includes four interdisciplinary units with distinct but complementary missions:  the American Culture Studies Program, the Department of Ethnic Studies, the Department of Popular Culture, and the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.  These units share a multidisciplinary approach, eclectic methodologies, a commitment to critical thinking and engagement, and an emphasis on how differences -- cultural, national, economic, racial, sexual, etc. -- are constructed and expressed.

Our undergraduate students engage in a dynamic core curriculum that includes service-learning, training in qualitative research, and a senior capstone project.

Graduate students in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies participate in a lively intellectual community. We offer a PhD or MA in American Culture Studies, an MA in Popular Culture, and graduate certificates in Ethnic Studies, Public History, and Women’s Studies.


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Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight

Check out what some of our alumni have gone on to do. Read More

News and Stories

Wallach Book Published in Indonesian Language

Wallach Book Published in Indonesian Language

Dr. Jeremy Wallach’s doctoral research took him to Indonesia in 1997, a pivotal time in the political and social life for that country, and his topic—the Indonesian music scene—played a role in the change that led from dictatorship to democracy. That research—which took him to college campuses, cafes, recording studios, rock concerts, rural villages and urban neighborhoods—found its way into his 2008 book, “Modern Noise, Fluid Genres: Popular Music in Indonesia 1997-2001.” It has now been translated into Bahasa Indonesia by Jakarta publisher Komunitas Bambu with a new introduction by Wallach and a new title. Read More

Kinney’s New Book Tackles “Beautiful Wasteland”

Kinney’s New Book Tackles “Beautiful Wasteland”

Detroit has become what Dr. Rebecca Kinney calls a “beautiful wasteland.” A wasteland because of the perception of its postindustrial devastation, and beautiful because of its potential to rise like a phoenix from its ashes to reclaim its place among the country’s great cities. But who will this gleaming new city be for? Kinney’s book, “Beautiful Wasteland: The Rise of Detroit as America’s Postindustrial Frontier,” published in late 2016 by University of Minnesota Press, concerns how the stories we tell of Detroit’s past, present and future reveal our ongoing investment in white privilege. Read More

Brown’s Book Explores U.S. Superhero Infatuation

Brown’s Book Explores U.S. Superhero Infatuation

Superhero infatuation is at an all-time high. Superman and Batman are as well known as some of the most-beloved storybook characters. Dr. Jeffrey Brown addresses the trend of exalted superhero status in his book, “The Modern Superhero in Film and Television.” In the textbook, recently published by Routledge, Brown says superheroes are stars of the big screen as well as television, and their fame crosses into vast merchandising. “The 21st century is a new golden age for superheroes. We became terrified and insecure after 9/11, surrounded by a culture of fear of terrorism,” he said. Read More