Cultural Studies is an emerging and increasingly influential field of study. Through Cultural Studies, students are trained to understand the political dimensions of culture, examining in what ways culture is a site of contestation conveying different ideologies to the people. Our programme introduces new perspectives for students to understand contemporary local and global culture, inviting them to critically engage in the study of culture in order to arrive at more advanced and sophisticated understanding of power.
We have a broad range of interests. Through close readings of different kinds of text, including films, literature, theatrical performances, popular music, advertisements, shopping malls, theme parks, and even the web, we analyze a diversity of issues and topics related to contemporary culture, including travel, body politics, modernity, city, feminism, technoscience, myth, consumer culture, visual culture, youth culture, and globalization. Our programme also closely works with the Religious Studies programme, offering a range of courses related to Culture & Religion. In general, we study both the elite culture and the popular culture critically, and our programme cultivates students an acute sensibility in understanding culture, an expertise highly valued in many professional sectors of our contemporary society.
Cultural Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong
There are several major pedagogical principles of the Programme of Cultural Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. We believe in differences; we also believe in the polysemous natures of signs. Therefore, we are extremely cautious and critical to the manipulation of meaning productions by different kinds of forces. We also emphasize self-reflexivity, constantly encouraging students to reflect on their own prejudices and cultural experiences. Our programme is particularly strong in training students to analyze texts contextually, paying special attention to their variant contemporary forms, questioning how meanings are produced, mediated, circulated, and received in the various dynamic and fluid cultural fields. We are sensitive to cultural manifestations in different local environments, but we are also committed in examining how transcultural forces operate across cultures through the variables of gender, sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, and age.
Career Prospects of Students
Although the program is not designed as one for professional training, graduates from this program will be highly competitive in different cultural and media sectors. Graduates will meet the growing need of our society to become social and cultural leaders with adequate cultural sensibility, ethical concern, critical ability, and social commitment. We are convinced that a large number of professions, including media, tourism, teaching, public relation, cultural policy, and advertising, will welcome the intellectual training we provide in this program, especially in its approach to life-long learning emphasizing broad-base critical analysis and adaptability in a rapidly changing world.