cultural studies

Cultural studies is both its own unique field and an approach that works across the humanities and social sciences.

You’ll find programs and courses with an emphasis in African American studies, international studies, maritime studies, queer studies, and women’s and gender studies.

How to Choose Your Path

You’ll choose what you study to earn a Bachelor’s degree that’s meaningful to you. Some students decide their programs as they go, while others chart their course in advance.

Aim for both breadth and depth; explore fields that may be related or that may seem very distant. You'll be surprised at what you discover.

If you're new to college, look for programs where you can gain a foundation, build key skills, and broaden your knowledge (FR only, FR-SO, or FR-SR).

If you already have a foundation in this field, look for programs with intermediate or advanced material (SO-SR, JR-SR, or FR-SR). These programs may include community-based learning and in-depth research. Some of these programs have specific prerequisites; check the description for details.

Talk to an academic advisor to get help figuring out what coursework is best for you.

Planned offerings for 2018–19
Class Standing Quarters Offered Credits
A People's Geography of American Empire SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Advertising and Social Media JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Africa Is Not a Country FR-SR
  • Fall
16
Asian/American: Pop Culture Crosscurrents FR-SR
  • Spring
16
Botany: Plants and People FR-SR
  • Fall
16
China and Japan: Traditional and Contemporary "Silk Roads" FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
8, 12
Chinese - First Year I FR-SR
  • Fall
4
Chinese - First Year II FR-SR
  • Winter
4
Chinese - First Year III FR-SR
  • Spring
4
Climate Justice SO-SR
  • Spring
16
Consciousness, Dreams, and Everyday Life: Self, Other, World SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Critical Indigenous Studies I FR-SR
  • Fall
4
Diversity, Democracy, and Fake News: Making Our Way in the Time of Trump FR-SO
  • Fall
16
Ecological Agriculture: The Science, Justice, and Policy of Food Systems SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Education and Empowerment: Understanding Culture and Qualitative Research JR-SR
  • Spring
16
European Ethnobotany in Historical Context FR-SO
  • Spring
16
Experiments in Text FR-SR
  • Fall
4
First Peoples Multicultural Scholars Program FR-SR
  • Fall
2
Flight of the Firebird: What Ignites Russia's Imagination in Literature and Culture SO-SR
  • Fall
16
Future History: Indigenous Speculative Fiction FR-SR
  • Fall
4
Gardens as Creative Non-Fiction FR-SR
  • Spring
12
Gateways for Incarcerated Youth: Critical Literacy and Critical Numeracy SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Global/Local Realities and Alternative Visions JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
God(s): An Inquiry SO-SR
  • Winter
16
Housing and Community Development SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
8
Indigenous Identity Through the Arts FR-SR
  • Fall
2
Inscribing the Body: Embodiment and the Performance of Identity in Creative Writing FR-SR
  • Winter
4
Languages of Unsaying: Islam, Secularism, and American Poetry JR-SR
  • Spring
16
Mediaworks: Animation, Documentary and Experimental Approaches to the Moving Image SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Medicine of Community and Place FR-SR
  • Fall
8
Medieval Mystics: Artistic Inquiry and Printmaking SO-SR
  • Spring
16
Mortality FR-SR
  • Spring
8
Multicultural Counseling JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Native American Women Standing Strong for Justice FR-SR
  • Fall
16
Native Pathways Program: An Indigenous Approach to History (Olympia) JR-SR
  • Fall
12
Native Pathways Program: An Indigenous Approach to History (Peninsula) JR-SR
  • Fall
12
Native Pathways Program: An Indigenous Approach to History (Quinault) JR-SR
  • Fall
12
Native Pathways Program: An Indigenous Approach to History (Salish Sea Olympia Hybrid) JR-SR
  • Fall
12
Native Pathways Program: An Indigenous Approach to History (Tacoma) JR-SR
  • Fall
12
Native Pathways Program: Indigenous Sovereignty and Decolonization (Olympia) JR-SR
  • Winter
12
Native Pathways Program: Indigenous Sovereignty and Decolonization (Peninsula) JR-SR
  • Winter
12
Native Pathways Program: Indigenous Sovereignty and Decolonization (Quinault) JR-SR
  • Winter
12
Native Pathways Program: Indigenous Sovereignty and Decolonization (Salish Sea Olympia Hybrid) JR-SR
  • Winter
12
Native Pathways Program: Indigenous Sovereignty and Decolonization (Tacoma) JR-SR
  • Winter
12
Native Pathways Program: Prospering in a Postcolonial World (Olympia) JR-SR
  • Spring
12
Native Pathways Program: Prospering in a Postcolonial World (Peninsula) JR-SR
  • Spring
12
Native Pathways Program: Prospering in a Postcolonial World (Quinault) JR-SR
  • Spring
12
Native Pathways Program: Prospering in a Postcolonial World (Salish Sea Olympia Hybrid) JR-SR
  • Spring
12
Native Pathways Program: Prospering in a Postcolonial World (Tacoma) JR-SR
  • Spring
12
Native Women Standing Strong for Justice FR-JR
  • Spring
16
Plants in Art, Word, and Healing SO-SR
  • Winter
8
Political Economy and Environmental and Social Movements: Race, Class, and Gender SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Practice of Organic Farming: Culture and Agriculture (Fall) FR-SR
  • Fall
16
Practice of Organic Farming: Culture and Agriculture (Spring, Summer) FR-SR
  • Spring
16
Projects in World Music Theater FR-SR
  • Spring
16
Reality Check: Indian Images and [Mis]Representations FR-JR
  • Winter
16
Repair: The Art of Sustainability and Social Practice JR-SR
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Shifting the Margins: Revolutionary Writing in Times of Crisis FR-SR
  • Spring
4
Social Entrepreneurship and Development: Management, Sustainability and Finance FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
8
Student-Originated Studies: Community-Based Learning and Action (CCBLA) SO-SR
  • Fall
16
Student-Originated Studies: Food and Agriculture SO-SR
  • Summer
16
Student-Originated Studies: Food and Agriculture SO-SR
  • Fall
16
Student-Originated Studies: Food and Agriculture SO-SR
  • Winter
16
Student-Originated Studies: Food and Agriculture SO-SR
  • Spring
16
Student-Originated Studies: In Search of Asian/Pacific Islander America SO-SR
  • Fall
16
Studio Arts for Expressive Arts Therapy: Developing Cultural Competence JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
8
Teaching English Language Learners: Culture, Theory, and Methods SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Teachings of the Tree People: Culture Matters FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
The Authentic Self: Becoming an Instrument of Change JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
8, 12
The Essential Ingredients of Intercultural Competence FR-SR
  • Spring
16
The German Program: Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, Cultural Studies, and Social Psychology FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
4, 12, 16
The Spanish-Speaking World: Cultural Crossings SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Theory and Practice of Painting SO-SR
  • Fall
16
Tradition and Innovation in Indigenous North American Fiber Arts FR-SR
  • Fall
16
Transnational Identities, Migration, and Unequal Childhoods SO-SR
  • Spring
16
Unmasking the Material World: Discovering Objects as Stories FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Unruly Bodies: Health, Media, Biology, and Power FR-SO
  • Winter
  • Spring
12, 16
Visual Literacies FR-SR
  • Spring
4
What Are Trees For? Forest Ecology and Resource Conflicts FR-SR
  • Spring
8
Writing the South FR-SR
  • Spring
16
Planned offerings for 2019–20
Class Standing Quarters Offered Credits
Almighty God(s): Religion and Power in the Near and Middle East SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Gateways for Incarcerated Youth JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Gender and Sexuality History: 1800–Today FR-SR
  • Spring
16
Gender History: Europe and America, 1650-1850 FR-SO
  • Winter
16
Gender History: Medieval and Early Modern Europe FR-SO
  • Fall
16
Highway 101 Revisited: History, Literature, Music, and Ecology JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Madness and Creativity: The Psychological Link FR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Media Artists Studio JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Movements and Migrations: Sustainable South Asia SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Public Health, Human Biology, and Community Resilience FR-SO
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Temporality, Word and Image JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16