Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Kandinsky, Picasso, Bakhtin, Joyce, Eisenstein, Hitchcock: over the past two-hundred years, greatest writers, artists, philosophers and filmmakers have participated in expansive dialogues across world networks of artistic production. Each was highly conscious of their own cultural, geographical and political specificity, and engaged with the most fundamental questions of their national society and politics. Yet they each understood, in unique ways, that the most potent forms of expression were those that could reach across space and time, cut deep into the psyche, and bridge divisions of nation, politics, class, gender and generation.

Cultural Studies, too, takes a uniquely interdisciplinary approach to the critical analysis of cultures and cultural expression. At essence, our discipline is concerned with exploring the social, political and cultural contexts within which cultural expression—whether literary, visual, spatial or material—come into being. Engaging with established disciplines and modes of inquiry, Cultural Studies puts these objects into contact with more recent critical approaches to gender, race, class, nation and ability. The practices of Cultural Studies ultimately encourage us to reflect upon what manifestations of culture can reveal to us about social and political formations, conflict and change. By building upon an already rich tradition of literary and artistic production and critical analysis in Russia, we at the SAS, want to put this into contact with the most pertinent global trends in the study of culture.

The SAS offers a unique platform for studying culture in its widest range of forms. Our institution is home to a diverse internationally-trained faculty, with academic specialties including literary studies, critical theory, art history, performance studies, philosophy, anthropology and cultural history.

At the SAS we recognize that culture and cultural expression are complex objects of study, demanding nuanced and interdisciplinary approaches. Our aim, in putting our specialties into contact with one another, is to develop a truly vibrant program, one that will set Russia’s unique artistic heritage into dialogue with global cultural critique. By choosing the Cultural Studies Major at SAS, you will be committing to learning how to blend diverse methodologies, practices and critical perspectives to create innovative new interpretations of literature and culture. Across your time as a Cultural Studies Major you will study seven core courses and eight elective courses. Each core course is designed to deepen and develop your knowledge of the practices of cultural criticism, while each elective is designed to broaden your intellectual and cultural horizons. Finally, together, we aim to establish the Cultural Studies Major as a locus of artistic and humanistic endeavor at the University of Tyumen by encouraging events, readings, plays and student publishing alongside our teaching.

Cultural Studies Majors are trained to offer critical, insightful perspectives on culture, politics and society. At a personal level, this unique training can open up new ways of seeing the world around you. At a practical level, completing a Cultural Studies major will prepare you to undertake further study in other areas outside of the humanities; in law, business, the social sciences, and even medicine. Of all majors, Cultural Studies graduates are uniquely qualified to gain entry to a variety of masters and doctoral programs thanks to the broad set of transferable skills acquired during their studies. Similarly, graduates in the humanities are especially sought after by employers because they have developed important skills that are now considered essential in the global workplace: creativity, the ability to think critically and to challenge established perspectives, the willingness to engage in productive problem-solving, and finally and possibly most importantly, an ability to thrive in complexity and ambiguity. In an increasingly contingent global economic order, the habits and the mindset developed through a humanities degree are solid foundations for the cultivation of a fulfilling and enriching post-university career.

You will also have unique international advantages as an SAS Cultural Studies Major. By conducting all of your research in English, and by being exposed to a wide variety of international perspectives through teaching and coursework, you will be unrivaled in your preparation for the globalized job market or for international postgraduate study. SAS faculty are perfectly positioned to offer advice on pursuing further studies in the US and North America, Europe, or elsewhere. Equally, as many Russian businesses and institutions are increasingly looking towards a globalized future, your fluent English skills and practices working in international education will be an invaluable resource. As Cultural Studies develops the sharpest skills in critical thinking, global awareness, and cultural sensitivity, you will be uniquely prepared for building academic, business, and diplomatic ties across the world.

Mandatory Courses:

  • This team-taught course introduces students to research in cultural studies through a series of seminars led by individual faculty members and derived from their own work. These seminars will examine in detail specific cultural forms or objects, considering the relevant methods and theories to apply to their critical interrogation. In addition to these case studies, students will also work on developing their own independent research topics, methods, and practices for use in their theses projects.

  • This core course introduces cultural studies students to the most important interventions in critical theory from the mid-twentieth century to the present. We will examine the approaches of the Frankfurt School of critical theory, Post-Structuralism, post-colonial theory, Indigenous criticism, and theories of memory, subjectivity and culture such as psychoanalytic theory. Students will also be exposed to new approaches to a range of contemporary issues, from globalization to gaming. Overall, this course will help CS Majors to develop the necessary tools for the thoughtful examination of diverse modes of culture — from social structures to political processes to art objects.

  • Since at least the Ancient Greeks and the Qin Dynasty, art and culture have played a crucial role in politics, and in the understanding, celebration, and critique of political and economic formations. This core course examines the relationship between cultural production and political economy, social class, and subjectivity across ancient nations, colonial empires, and the post-colonial world. This core course is a broad survey of the humanities dealing with politics and culture, the nation, class and other markers of subjectivity using post-colonial, Marxist and intersectional critiques to as applied to representational modes of production.

  • This course establishes gender and sexuality as primary sites of cultural inquiry. Students will be introduced to the interdisciplinary study of gendered relationships of power through a range of texts, practices and contexts. Together we will work to uncover the ways in which ideologies and beliefs about gender and sexuality play a role in conditioning identity and how further categories, such as class, nation, age, race and ability make experiences of gender and sexuality all the more complex. The additional component of biopolitics will encourage students into an awareness of how states and institutions work to administer and optimize human life in the everyday.

  • This course explores diverse aspects of Russian culture, grappling with key aspects of Russian national identity both historically and in terms of their relevance to understanding contemporary Russia. In this course we will examine a broad range of the facets that make up culture, including literature, poetry, visual arts, folklore, music, performance, and film. We consider both established “classics” of Russian high culture and “avant-garde” challenges to the status quo.

  • This core course introduces the application of humanities theories, tools, and methods to digital culture. It includes both the theoretical study of contemporary culture in its digital and other media forms, and also the practices of making humanities projects with digital tools.

  • Modernism was an artistic movement emerging among urban intellectuals in the late nineteenth century out of a sense of disenchantment with great promise of “modernity.” Modernists often looked back to premodern or mythical cultures for their inspiration and used ironic or abstract forms of artistic experimentation. This course will introduce students to the literature, art and architecture of American and European Modernists including Joyce, Eliot, Stevens, Picasso, Hemingway, Le Corbusier and others.

  • You will write two BA Theses (one in third year, one in fourth year) on topics that you have encountered in your Cultural Studies Major. These theses will be written in the third and fourth modules with the guidance of an adviser. You will also attend a weekly thesis workshop/research seminar during these periods.

  • At the SAS you will have the opportunity to undergo practical training in areas associated with the humanities and culture. These practical opportunities include museum placements, archival work, art gallery volunteering or curatorial training, government cultural work, internships at theatres, publishing houses and newspapers, university publications office work, online journalism, film and theatre festival work, SAS research assistantships and SAS student journal publications. Our school has established many links with local and regional cultural institutions, and we are happy to work with you to refine your choice of work experience. The only barrier is your imagination!