Learning Outcomes for Culture and Theory Ph.D.

PLO 1. Critical Knowledge & Transdisciplinary Analysis of Culture and Theory

  • We train students to produce theoretically-driven critical knowledge of society and culture from topic-focused research on race, gender, and sexuality. This training supports students to formulate scholarly arguments against accepted disciplinary boundaries and forge transdisciplinary horizons of debate beyond accepted interdisciplinary approaches to cultural identity, social difference, and political critique. This is achieved through our core curriculum, flexible elective coursework across various departments in the humanities and social sciences, paper writing and revision, a Master’s paper, speaking at conferences (at UCI and nationally), comprehensive and directed reading of professional literature, a qualifying exam of dissertation reading lists and prospectus by a five-member faculty committee, and a professional dissertation.
  • Students demonstrate reading knowledge of one foreign language through an exam or approved coursework.
  • Students demonstrate basic knowledge of Marxism and psychoanalysis in the critical tradition, as well as traditions of knowledge emerging from radical social movements,  through our core seminar sequence, CLT/THY 200 A/B/C. This core seminar sequence is supplemented with additional coursework from across the humanities and social sciences planned between the student and their advisor.
  • Students use the seminar papers they write during their first and second years of coursework to develop a Master’s thesis which lays out a new, original framework for developing questions and analyzing their chosen transdisciplinary topic. The originality of students’ methodological frameworks emerge from coursework and directed research that draw on diverse disciplines, interdisciplines, and emergent critical discourses on race, gender and sexuality.
  • Students demonstrate competent knowledge of their chosen transdisciplinary topic through core and elective course work, seminar papers, independent and directed study, a  Master’s paper approved by a three-member faculty committee, passing a qualifying exam of dissertation reading lists, and building and defending a dissertation prospectus.
  • Students present at and participate in various academic and nonacademic venues where they receive and provide feedback on research, including the Culture & Theory graduate student colloquium, graduate student conferences at UCI and across the country, professional academic meetings and conferences, thematic speaker series, and publishing and editing written work in peer-reviewed professional journals.
  • Students develop and write essay- and book-length research projects that advance their transdisciplinary topic in relationship to existing disciplinary and interdisciplinary debates on race, gender and sexuality. This is achieved by researching and writing a Master’s paper, incorporating feedback from their qualifying and dissertation committee members, and building a prospectus and dissertation research and writing program.
  • Students demonstrate doctoral knowledge of their chosen transdisciplinary topic by writing a professional dissertation approved by their faculty committee.

PLO 2. Teaching

  • Students develop basic knowledge as classroom teachers, to engage students in person and remotely, and to see learning as a developmental process. Students are trained to deliver information and content, as well as develop ways of thinking, asking questions, and interacting with others. This is achieved through a pedagogy course they are required to take in order to hold a position as a teaching assistant; and their responsibilities as teaching assistants in various courses in the School of Humanities.
  • Students who have earned a Master’s degree are eligible to teach their own undergraduate courses. As a Graduate Student Instructor, students: design courses at the appropriate learning level and develop syllabi for the quarter; select course materials; shape writing assignments; guide students in argumentative writing, teaching them to develop a thesis and to conduct research to support their work; lecture in class and lead group discussion; comment on student papers in a way that encourages student to learn and revise; hold office hours on course content and writing assignments; grade papers and exams constructively and consistently, and direct underperforming and/or troubled students to UCI support resources including academic and personal counseling.

PLO 3. Professionalization

  • Opportunities for professional development include participation in all department committees; representation at faculty meetings; mock interviews (in preparation for job interviews); mock job talks; presentation of dissertation research in a public, on-campus forum; a workshop on academic publishing; presentation of papers at professional conferences both at UCI and elsewhere; and opportunities to apply for various fellowships and external research grants.
  • Students discuss their professional goals in greater detail with their advisors and mentors, and develop plans to achieve these goals by annually filling out an Independent Development Plan.
  • Students learn institutional processes and policies that govern and regulate departments and professional bodies so that they can maximize campus resources for individual dissertation projects; collective programming that promotes intellectual exchange, such as symposia and workshops; and participating in program and campus efforts to improve research, teaching and professionalization so that they are better aligned with the UC’s mission.
  • Students promote the program’s, campus’s, and UC’s goal of inclusive excellence through all of the above professionalization activities

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