Culture and Politics Major Requirements
The Culture and Politics (CULP) major is designed to provide students with a complex understanding of the relationship between culture, knowledge, and power.
It aims to provide students with theoretical frameworks and analytical skills that enhance cross-cultural tolerance, social justice, and ethical leadership, in order to make a difference in a world marked by power hierarchies and cultural conflicts. Students learn to apply analytical tools from multiple fields as they to practice critical reflection on self and society and enhance their analytic sophistication through collective problem solving.
Students build their substantive expertise in the politics of culture through an in-depth foundational course that stresses fluency in a variety of theories, definitions and genres of culture. Students then go on to assemble their own course sequence around their individually chosen topical concentrations. All students are expected to master the analytical methods and skills necessary to become thoughtful, rigorous readers and writers of scholarship on cultural power relations in the international arena.
CULP majors must take:
- CULP 045: Theories of Culture and Politics
- 3 courses designated as CULP Humanities
- 3 courses designated as CULP Social Science
- 5 courses from relevant departments selected by students in consultation with the CULP field chair and curricular dean to reflect the student’s topical interest.
SFS-Q offers a variety of courses that fulfill the requirements of the CULP major. Below are some recently offered elective courses:
- ANTH 360: War Ethnography (Social Science)
- ARAB 364: Introduction to Arabian Nights (Humanities)
- ENGL 380: Self & Society in American Literature (Humanities)
- FREN 337: Intercultural Differences (Humanities)
- HIST 184: Understanding American Individualism (Humanities)
- HIST 467: Islamic Law and Gender (Social Science)
- INAF 257: Media, Culture & Politics in the Middle East (Social Science)
- INAF 258: Lebanon’s History, Society and Politics (Social Science)
- PHIL 387: Philosophy of Religion (Social Science)
- THEO 170: Christian Response to Islam (Humanities)
HONORS AND AWARDS
Honors in the Major at SFS-Qatar Culture and Politics
The honors program in CULP allows a student to examine a scholarly issue in detail and to focus time and attention on an important issue in which the student is deeply interested. Honors theses are original works of thought and research, not merely summaries of the work and ideas of others. The standards and expectations for honors-quality work are consistent with the idea that students graduating with honors from the school are among the premier thinkers and writers at Georgetown.
To apply for honors, students must do the following by March 1 (or posted deadline) of the junior year:
- Earn a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.33 or higher, or show strong evidence of the capacity to achieve it
- Submit a complete research proposal using either the proposal form or following the proposal guidelines. (insert link here)
- Identify a mentor who has agreed to work with you on this project
Research proposals may be approved, not approved, or returned with a request to revise and resubmit by a certain date.
Admission to the honors program will be determined by the CULP curricular dean, the CULP field chair and a CULP faculty member who is not serving as a thesis mentor for the upcoming academic year.
To graduate with CULP Honors, students must do the following:
- Successfully complete two semesters of work dedicated to preparation of the thesis. In the fall of the senior year this will be an honors research seminar (covering research design and methods), and in the spring the student will enroll in a tutorial with the thesis mentor to do the substantial written component of the thesis.
- Earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.33 and a grade point average of 3.67 in the CULP major.
- Submit a senior thesis by April 10 of the senior year, which is judged to be of honors quality by a faculty committee appointed for this purpose. The committee will comprise the CULP curricular dean, CULP field chair and a CULP professor who is not serving as a thesis mentor.
- Make a formal public thesis presentation in late March (specific date announced each year) of the senior year.
- Note that a thesis paper can be judged to be of honors quality, but if other requirements are not met, the student can’t earn honors. If this is the case, the honors classes, if completed successfully, will still count toward the student’s CULP topical electives and degree program.
Details and guidelines for proposal submission, CULP honors students, thesis mentors and readers, and honors committees are available here, including the following (insert link):
- Honors thesis proposal submission form and guidelines
- Roles of thesis mentors and readers
- Overview of fall semester honors research design and methods course
- Overview of spring semester tutorial and thesis writing timeline
- Rubric for assessing CULP honors theses
- Public thesis presentation expectations and guidelines
Outstanding CULP Graduating Senior Award
An award is given every year to the Outstanding Graduating Senior CULP major who has demonstrated excellent performance as demonstrated through written work, cumulative grade point average, leadership, and other markers of academic success, throughout his or her undergraduate years.
HOW TO DECLARE A CULP MAJOR
During the second semester of the sophomore year, students meet with their advisory dean to declare their major. When declaring a major, sophomores prepare a major declaration proposal outlining the reasons why they are pursuing one of the majors offered at SFS-Q, including how the intended major coincides with academic interests and possible career goals.
Major declaration form
CUILP is unique in that it offers students the opportunity to develop an area of study specific to their interests, which is called the CULP topical area. Students are required to take five courses for the CULP topical area as part of the CULP major. Hence, it’s an opportunity to design a component of the curriculum tailored to student interests. CULP majors are asked to identify an area of topical concentration at this point, and as students take courses toward the topical area, they must articulate how each course connects to the CULP topical focus. It is expected that this topic may evolve over time as majors explore topics in their upper-level coursework.
Examples of past CULP topical areas include, but are not limited to, the following:
- cultural hybridity in the GCC
- statehood and identity in the Middle East
- identity politics, law and marriage
- women and politics in the media
- Arab/Israeli conflict
- identity, othering and Qatar
- women and children in conflict zones
- gender, religion and economic development
- psychology of addiction
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What kind of careers do CULP majors enter upon graduation?
A. Previous CULP graduates from SFS-Q have pursued careers in higher education, government ministries, cultural or non-profit organizations, and private industry.
Q. What is a topical concentration?
A. Choosing an area of topical concentration affords each CULP major the ability to design the major around a topic that is of particular interest to him/her. Students then choose five courses that enable them to explore the topic in depth. The high degree of flexibility afforded to CULP majors allows them to become independent agents of knowledge capable of designing their own program of studies according to their individual interests and talents.
Q. What’s the difference between IPOL and CULP?
A. IPOL focuses on political actors and agents whereas CULP focuses more broadly on the factors that shape cultures, such as religion, gender roles, ethnicity, and examines how these shape relations between states, communities and people.
Q. Can I enroll in Honors and complete a certificate at the same time?
A. One cannot pursue Honors and a Certificate simultaneously, given the heavy workload. If the student insists to do both, he or she MUST complete the Certificate thesis in the junior year. The deadline for submitting the certificate thesis in its approved form would be the first day of classes in the student’s senior year.