The Department of Cultures, Societies and Global Studies is an open and dynamic academic platform for interdisciplinary research and teaching on the transformative power of culture as an instrument for social change and innovation. We approach the challenges facing humanity through perspectives that are primarily, though not exclusively, informed by the experiences of the peoples from the Global South (Africa, Asia the Caribbean and Latin America) and its diasporas.
As we search for the tools to foster sustainable economic growth and social well-being on a global scale, we aim to reevaluate and learn from the historical experiences, belief systems, intellectual traditions and pressing concerns of the greater part of the world’s population. This requires a critical reexamination of the persistence of Euro-centric postulates that were developed to support modern colonialism and nationalism with their variegated world of “otherness”. As such, we adhere to the broadest and most inclusive definition of languages and cultures as we aim to understand, shape and thrive in a global community characterized by increased social connectivity, economic integration, intellectual exchange and cultural hybridity.
Working on the premise that constructive public engagement grows out of empathy and respect to reach mediated understanding, we engage in a broad critique of cultural forms and know-how, ideologies and aesthetics, institutions and public policy. We aim to furnish each student with the dedicated set of multi-disciplinary tools and targeted experiences that make truly informed, culturally agile and invested global-citizen leaders.
Our graduates are public intellectuals and change-makers prepared to serve society, working in private and non-profit sectors to shape policy and offer visionary leadership for global governance through cultural innovation and social transformation.