DOCTORAL PROGRAM in Theory and Criticism
The Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism has been the preferred destination for students of excellent calibre from Canada and from abroad, and this tradition has continued at the doctoral level since the launching of the PhD program in 2002.
Through its programs and the work of its accomplished Core Faculty, the Centre has successfully established itself as one of Western’s well recognized and celebrated research intensive graduate programs, one that has been successfully guided by the strength of cross-disciplinary collaboration.
The program has established strengths in social & political theory and media & cultural studies, while maintaining its traditional strengths in critical theory and continental philosophy. This trend toward greater diversity has resulted in a wide range of course options each year, and continues to attract an interdisciplinary body of students into its PhD program. What distinguishes the Theory Centre from other graduate programs is the serious attention given to intellectual history, and to its connection to contemporary forms of critical theory. Although the program emphasizes the study of theory as a distinct object of inquiry, and thus supports speculative inquiries about particular forms of theory, it also encourages students to engage with contemporary critical aesthetic, social and political inquiry.
Each Doctoral student is required to write a dissertation. The thesis is a formal statement of the theory, source materials, methodology, and findings of a student's major research project. The examination of the thesis exposes the student's work to scholarly criticism.
Though students may also take classes in other departments, courses at the Centre differ from theoretically oriented courses offered by other departments in focusing on theory as an object of enquiry in itself rather than on its application to a particular discipline. The distinction has proved itself important in ensuring that work at the Centre does not duplicate work that can be, or is, done in graduate programs in other Departments.
Looking ahead, the Centre is building on its strengths and engaging with emerging areas of Critical Theory that make the program a leading national and international institution in this area. The Centre is committed to developing its PhD program, which already attracts excellent students both from Canada and internationally. We continue to provide doctoral students with a rigorous intellectual training and to help them with the resources and professional support necessary to ensure their success. Our goal is to equip PhD students for professional and academic careers in established and emerging interdisciplinary fields, as well as in traditional disciplines and departmental settings.
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