Critical Social Thought

Undergraduate

The Program in Critical Social Thought is designed to help you learn to interrogate cultural and social phenomena outside the confines of traditional disciplinary boundaries with the goal of analyzing relations of power embedded in knowledge production and social life.

Program Overview

You will apply critical thought from a wide array of intellectual traditions, including critical ethnic studies, performance studies, disability studies, the history of science, psychoanalysis, Marxism, the Frankfurt School, critical race studies, queer theory, feminist theory, and postcolonial theory. Critical Social Thought puts less emphasis on the social, cultural, or scientific objects under study than on its distinctive, interdisciplinary methodology in which student-driven inquiry and research combines political critique with a concern for addressing pressing social and cultural issues.

Community Voices

Spotlight on Critical Social Thought students and alums

Courses and Requirements

Learning Goals

The learning goals of Critical Social Thought are:

  • Interrogate pressing social and cultural issues outside of traditional disciplinary boundaries.
  • Analyze the relations of power in knowledge production and social life.
  • Apply interdisciplinary methodology informed by an array of critical traditions.
  • Conduct independent research on a self-designed course of study.

Requirements for the Major

A minimum of 40 credits:

CRPE-205Foundations in Critical Social Thought4
Two courses at the 200 level from the approved course list for Critical Social Thought8
Two courses at the 300 level from the approved course list for Critical Social Thought8
One capstone seminar to complete a senior capstone project 14
Two electives at the 300 level across two departments/programs from the approved course list for Critical Social Thought8
Two additional electives at any level from the approved course list for Critical Social Thought8
Total Credits40
1

Students enroll in CRPE-392/GNDST-392 to fulfill this requirement. In the event that there are insufficient numbers of graduating seniors to fill this class, students will complete their capstone projects through independent study or in another 300 level seminar. The capstone project is a thesis, research paper, performance, or multimedia project that serves as a culminating intellectual experience of a self-designed course of study.  Normally this project will be completed in the capstone seminar.

Other Requirements

  • Declaring the major. Students who wish to major in critical social thought will meet with the program chair to discuss their major interest and to select two advisors from the program faculty.
  • Proposal. Submitted after completion of CRPE-205 and prior to declaring the major. Students must submit a 2-3 page proposal that identifies the focus of their course of study, explains its genesis and significance, and includes an annotated list of the courses they have and intend to take for credit in their major. Students will submit the proposal to their two advisors for approval before submitting it to the chair.

Additional Specifications

  • The Critical Social Thought major and minor are available only to students who entered the College before fall 2023. Students entering fall 2023 or later should instead refer to (CRPE).
  • No more than a total of 8 credits of independent study (CRPE-295 or 395, or before fall 2023 CST-295 or 395) may be counted toward the major in addition to 8 credits of CRPE-395 senior thesis work.
  • Students who declare a critical social thought major automatically fulfill the College's "outside the major" requirement.

Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 20 credits:

CRPE-205Foundations in Critical Social Thought4
One course at the 200 level from the approved course list for Critical Social Thought4
One course at the 300 level from the approved course list for Critical Social Thought4
One elective at the 200 or 300 level from the approved course list for Critical Social Thought4
One elective at the 300 level from the approved course list for Critical Social Thought4
Total Credits20

Other Requirements

  • Declaring the minor. Students who wish to minor in critical social thought shall meet with the program chair to discuss their minor interest and to select an advisor from the program faculty.
  • Proposal. Submitted after completion of CRPE-205 and prior to declaring the minor. To declare the minor, students must submit a 2-3 page proposal that identifies the focus of their course of study, explains its genesis and significance, and includes an annotated list of the courses they have and intend to take for credit in their minor. Students will submit the proposal to their advisor for approval before submitting it to the chair.

Additional Specifications

  • The Critical Social Thought major and minor are available only to students who entered the College before fall 2023. Students entering fall 2023 or later should instead refer to (CRPE).
  • No more than a total of 4 credits of independent study (CRPE-295 or 395, or before fall 2023 CST-295 or 395) may be counted toward the minor.

Courses Meeting Requirements for Critical Social Thought

Anthropology
ANTHR-216WCSpecial Topics in Anthropology: 'Writing Capitalism's Ruins'4
Critical Race & Political Econ
CRPE-205Foundations in Critical Social Thought4
CRPE-208Introduction to Twentieth-Century Critical Race Theory4
CRPE-228Visualizing Immigrant Narratives: Migration in Film4
CRPE-239Latina/o/x Urbanism4
CRPE-240FDIntermediate Topics: 'U.S. Latinx Foodways'4
CRPE-244The Historical-Grammar of Black Feminist Thought Across the Caribbean and the Americas4
CRPE-254Nueva York4
CRPE-256Trap Doors and Glittering Closets: Queer/Trans* of Color Politics of Recognition, Legibility, Visibility and Aesthetics4
CRPE-257Transforming Justice and Practicing Truth to Power: Critical Methodologies and Methods in Community Participatory Action Research and Accountability4
CRPE-261Race, Racism, and Power4
CRPE-308Luminous Darkness: African American Social Thought After DuBois4
CRPE-323Latina Feminism(s)4
CRPE-339Abolitionist Dreams And Everyday Resistance: Freedom Memoirs, Struggles, and Decolonizing Justice4
CRPE-352Latina/o/x Studies in Action4
CRPE-356Latinas/os/x and Housing: Mi Casa Is Not Su Casa4
CRPE-364Critical Refugee Studies4
CRPE-366Disposable People: A History of Deportation4
CRPE-371Free Them All: Abolition Feminism and Anticarceral Action Research4
CRPE-372Transforming Harm and Mutual Aid: A Transformative Justice Lab4
CRPE-374Latina/o Immigration4
CRPE-392Senior Seminar4
Economics
ECON-306Political Economy of Inequality4
ECON-349ECAdvanced Topics in Economics: 'Analysis of Empire of Cotton'4
English
ENGL-257Survey of African American Literature4
ENGL-274Introduction to Asian American Literature4
ENGL-280Literary and Cultural Theory4
ENGL-325Victorian Literature and Visual Culture4
ENGL-334BGAsian American Film and Visual Culture: 'Beyond Geishas and Kung Fu Masters'4
ENGL-338Aesthetics of Racial Capitalism4
ENGL-350ABTopics in African American Literature: 'Abolition and Climate Change'4
ENGL-350ATTopics in African American Literature: 'Race and the Aesthetics of Taste'4
ENGL-366Love, Sex, and Death in the Anthropocene, or Living Through the Age of Climate Change and Other Disasters4
ENGL-368Shapeshifting Through the Nineteenth Century and Beyond4
ENGL-382ANAdvanced Topics in English: 'American Animality'4
ENGL-389Revolution and Change in the Age of Necropolitics4
Environmental Studies
ENVST-150DVIntroductory Topics in Environmental Studies: 'Introduction to the Histories and Theories of Development'4
ENVST-210Political Ecology4
ENVST-321CPConference Courses in Environmental Studies: 'Political Economy of the Environment: Capitalism and Climate Change'4
Entrepreneurship, Orgs & Soc
EOS-349BCTopic: 'History of British Capitalism'4
Film, Media, Theater
FMT-330PAAdvanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Natural's Not in It: Pedro Almod贸var'4
FMT-330RRAdvanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Anti-Fascism in Film: Reel Revolutions'4
FMT-330SVAdvanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Media and Surveillance'4
FMT-333RRAdvanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Anti-Fascism in Film: Reel Revolutions'4
Geography
GEOG-206Political Geography4
GEOG-331Water, People, and Politics in the Anthropocene4
Gender Studies
GNDST-204TJWomen and Gender in the Study of Culture: 'Transforming Justice and Practicing Truth to Power: Critical Methodologies and Methods in Community Participatory Action Research and Accountability'4
GNDST-210SLWomen and Gender in Philosophy and Religion: 'Women and Gender in Islam'4
GNDST-241PHWomen and Gender in Science: 'Pharmocracy: Empire by Molecular Means'4
GNDST-333ANAdvanced Seminar: 'Love, Sex, and Death in the Anthropocene, or Living Through the Age of Climate Change and Other Disasters'4
GNDST-333ECAdvanced Seminar: 'Gender and Economic Development in the Global South'4
GNDST-333EMAdvanced Seminar: 'Flesh and Blood: Naturecultural Embodiments'4
GNDST-333MSAdvanced Seminar: 'Multi-Species Justice? Entangled Lives and Human Power'4
GNDST-333PAAdvanced Seminar: 'Natural's Not in It: Pedro Almod贸var'4
GNDST-333THAdvanced Seminar: 'Transforming Harm and Mutual Aid: A Transformative Justice Lab'4
GNDST-392Senior Seminar4
German Studies
GRMST-231YNTopics in German and European Studies In A Global Context" 'Yiddish Nation: Language as Homeland'4
History
HIST-141Introduction to Modern African History4
HIST-276U.S. Women's History Since 18904
HIST-277History of Energy4
HIST-279Modern Civil Rights Movement4
HIST-280DDTopics in North American History: 'Diversity, Inclusion, and Daily Democracy in US History'4
HIST-357History of British Capitalism4
Jewish Studies
JWST-269Citizens and Subjects: Jews in the Modern World4
Latin American Studies
LATAM-287FMTopics in Latin American Studies: 'Frames of Mind: Tracking Power/Knowledge'4
Politics
POLIT-234Black Metropolis: From MLK to Obama4
POLIT-252Urban Politics4
POLIT-355Race and Housing4
POLIT-387PDAdvanced Topics in Politics: 'Other Political Dreams'4
Psychology
PSYCH-213Psychology of Racism4
Religion
RELIG-172Religion and Ecological Movements4
RELIG-181Introduction to African Diaspora Religions4
RELIG-207Women and Gender in Islam4
RELIG-209Disability and Religion4
RELIG-225APTopics in Religion: 'Apocalypse Now? Spiritual Responses to Ecological Catastrophe'4
RELIG-225CQTopics in Religion: 'Colonialism Then and Now: Religion, Law, and Conquest'4
RELIG-225NRTopics in Religion: 'Reimagining American Religious History: Race, Gender, and Alterity'4
RELIG-248Islam in America: From Slavery to the "Muslim Ban4
RELIG-267Buddhist Ethics4
RELIG-269Citizens and Subjects: Jews in the Modern World4
RELIG-331AFAdvanced Topics in Religion: 'African American Spiritualities of Dissent'4
RELIG-352Body and Gender in Religious Traditions4
Sociology
SOCI-214Race in America: Inequality, Immigration, and Other Issues4
SOCI-316RMSpecial Topics in Sociology: 'Consumer Culture: Race in the Marketplace'4
Spanish
SPAN-230HYIdentities & Intersections: An Introduction: 'Hybrid Identities of the Spanish-Speaking World'4
SPAN-340PAAdvanced Studies in Visual Cultures: 'Natural's Not in It: Pedro Almod贸var'4
SPAN-340RRAdvanced Studies in Visual Cultures: 'Anti-Fascism in Film: Reel Revolutions'4

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Critical Social Thought helps students interrogate cultural and social phenomena outside the confines of traditional disciplinary boundaries with the goal of analyzing relations of power embedded in knowledge production and social life.

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