Theory, Culture & Politics
heoretical and interdisciplinary in focus, the M.A. Program emphasizes contemporary issues concerning the interpretation and analysis of culture and politics. Using the terms 'culture' and 'politics' broadly, the Program responds to a situation in which the human sciences, without having resolved traditional problems of their various kinds of knowledge, have been overtaken by even more perplexing new issues. In the intellectual ferment of recent decades, new forms and areas of inquiry have come to the fore, confounding an older pattern of specialization and requiring a multiperspectival approach. At the same time, the self-certainty of time-honoured methods of humanistic inquiry has been undermined, and fundamental categories and assumptions (e.g., the integral subject, representationalist theories of language, instrumentalist concepts of politics, the culture/nature distinction) have been radically challenged by critical deconstructionist, feminist, ecological, queer, cybernetic and post-colonial forms of thought.
The aim of the Program is to enable students to engage self-critically with these issues in the context of substantive projects of research. Areas of concentration include textuality, semiotics, and discourse; nature, culture and technology (including media); gender, body and psyche; science as discourse and knowledge; social and political theory.
The M.A. degree is intended both as a preparation for doctoral studies (whether in traditional or new areas of study) and as a qualification in itself for those seeking professional enrichment or re-orientation in such career fields as communications, the environment, education and law. The degree can be taken either full or part-time. To accommodate part-time students, the required TCP Seminar (T500) is normally scheduled as an evening course.
The M.A. Program is connected with the Centre for the Study of Theory, Culture and Politics. The Centre encourages faculty and student research, publications, visiting speakers and conferences. Each year the Centre and the Program adopt a loosely overarching theme for the main speakers series and seminar. Past themes have included the practice of theory, media and discourse, time and historicity, science and culture, rethinking the political, borders and boundaries, Re-presentations.
The M.A. Program was founded in 1988 by a group of faculty from a wide variety of disciplines, including Cultural Studies, Philosophy, History, English, Classics, Computer Studies and Sociology. The original name of the Program - Methodologies for the Study of Western History and Culture - was changed to Theory, Culture and Politics in 2002.
Master of Arts
International Student Requirements:
Proficiency in English usage, both written and oral, is essential to pursue graduate studies at Trent University. Applicants whose primary language is not English and who completed their previous university education in a language other than English, must provide proof of proficiency in English before admission.
Where the language of instruction in the previous university education has been English, the Committee on Graduate Studies is prepared to consider alternate proof of English language proficiency. Applicants who studied at a university in Bangladesh, India, Nigeria or Pakistan are not eligible for this exception and must provide proof of English language proficiency.