Global Cultural Studies

An IAS Major Concentration

Study where cultures collide and intersect.

This track focuses on the practical and theoretical issues arising from cross-cultural encounters around the world. It studies these both by examining conventional cultural products (literature, film, visual art, and music), and also by investigating their broader political and social contexts. This concentration addresses compelling issues of cultural interchange for students interested in cultures for their own sake, as well as in careers in NGOs and international business and law. It is committed to interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary problems, and students may take courses in the language-and-literature disciplines, as well as in anthropology, art history, film, history, music, and philosophy.


To satisfy the concentration requirements, browse the available courses.

Browse Global Cultural Studies Courses


This concentration requires 36 units of coursework:

  • 6 units of disciplinary introductions and methods coursework (from two different disciplines)
  • 6 units of world area coursework [any level]
  • 24 units of advanced Global Cultural Studies coursework from a minimum of three academic disciplines [at least one course must focus on gender, race or class, and at least two courses must be at the 400 level]

Additional requirements:

  • Students must satisfy the foreign language requirement:  the successful completion of four semesters of one (1) language appropriate to their concentration.
  • We strongly encourage students to study abroad. For those students who do not study abroad, an additional 3 unit course at the 300 or 400 level is required.
  • We strongly prefer students to select their study abroad locations and their regional specializations consistent with their chosen language of study (e.g., students who wish to study in Latin America must satisfy their language requirement with either Spanish or Portuguese).
  • Throughout the course of completing the Global Cultural Studies concentration, students must show depth in at least one world area by taking a minimum two courses focused on the same area, and breadth by taking a third course focused on a different area. We consider world areas to be Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America and South Asia.
  • All advanced credits counting for the IAS major must be unique to the IAS major.
  • Receive a grade of C+ or higher in all IAS courses; all courses taken for IAS credit must be taken for a letter grade, including language courses.

NB A single course may satisfy more than one of the distribution requirements (disciplinary; race, gender, class; or world area). Some of these requirements may be completed while abroad.


If you have questions about this track, please contact Professor Graebner.

Contact Professor Graebner