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 Create 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
Alternatives in and to Capitalism: Hands-on from Cascadian Grain to Basque Cooperatives SO-SR
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Asian/American: Pop Culture Crosscurrents JR-SR
  • Spring
16
Becoming A Changemaker: Learning and Acting Locally and Globally FR-SR
  • Winter
  • Spring
8
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
Color Grows in the Garden FR-SR
  • Summer
4
Consciousness, Dreams, and Everyday Life: Self, Other, World SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Critical Indigenous Studies I FR-SR
  • Fall
4
Critical Indigenous Studies II FR-SR
  • Winter
4
Critical Indigenous Studies III FR-SR
  • Spring
4
Cuban Salsa (A) FR-SR
  • Winter
2
Cuban Salsa (B) FR-SR
  • Winter
2
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
European Ethnobotany in Historical Context FR-SO
  • Spring
16
Experiments in Text FR-SR
  • Fall
4
Film and Gender FR-SR
  • Summer
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
Independent Readings in the French Revolution FR-SR
  • Summer
4, 6, 8
Indigenous Art/Contemporary Times FR-SR
  • Summer
12
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
Intensive French: Beginning and Intermediate FR-SR
  • Summer
8
Introduction to Law from a LGBTTQ Perspective FR-SR
  • Summer
4
Languages of Unsaying: Islam, Secularism, and American Poetry JR-SR
  • Spring
16
Literature, Literacy, and Disability SO-SR
  • Winter
16
Mediaworks: Animation, Documentary and Experimental Approaches to the Moving Image SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Medicine Grows in the Garden FR-SR
  • Summer
8
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
Not a Melting Pot: American Identities, Migrations, and Places SO-SR
  • Winter
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 FR-SR
  • Summer
16
Practice of Organic Farming: Culture and Agriculture (Fall) FR-SR
  • Fall
16
Projects in World Music Theater FR-SR
  • Spring
16
Protest in Sports and Media FR-SR
  • Spring
16
Race and Social Change FR-SR
  • Summer
8
Reality Check: Indian Images and [Mis]Representations FR-SR
  • Winter
16
Repair: Sustainability and Visual Arts as 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
8
Student-Originated Studies: Collaborative Learning for Social Change SO-SR
  • Winter
16
Student-Originated Studies: Community-Based Learning and Action (CCBLA) SO-SR
  • Fall
16
Student-Originated Studies: Food and Agriculture SO-SR
  • Fall
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 Art of the Illuminated Manuscript FR-SR
  • Summer
2
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
Therapy Through the Arts (Day) FR-SR
  • Summer
16
Therapy Through the Arts (Evening) FR-SR
  • Summer
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
Arts of Urgency: Latin American Film and Literature FR-SO
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Arts, Culture, and Spirit on Silk Roads FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
8
Catastrophe: Community Resilience in the Face of Disaster FR
  • Winter
16
Chinese - First Year I FR-SR
  • Fall
4
Chinese - First Year II FR-SR
  • Winter
4
Chinese - First Year III FR-SR
  • Spring
4
Competency: The Road to an Excellent Helping Professional JR-SR
  • Fall
16
Experiments in Text FR-SR
  • Fall
4
French Language, Arts, and Culture: Dark Romantics SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Gateways for Incarcerated Youth JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Gender and Performance FR-SR
  • Fall
12, 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
Illustrations of Character: Faith, Reason, and Ethics FR-SO
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Inscribing the Body: Embodiment and the Performance of Identity in Creative Writing FR-SR
  • Winter
4
Intercultural Communication: Local to Global FR-SR
  • Spring
8
Ireland in History and Memory JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Justice at Work: Labor, Civil Rights, Immigration and the Law FR-SR
  • Winter
  • Spring
8, 12, 16
Literary Arts Foundations: Texts and Contexts SO-SR
  • Winter
  • Spring
12, 16
Madness and Creativity: The Psychological Link FR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Media Artists Studio JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Mediaworks: Experimental and Documentary Approaches to the Moving Image SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Monsters: A Literary and Cultural Exploration SO-SR
  • Fall
8
Play On! The Art and Analytics of Sport FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
8
Political Economy and Social Movements SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Practice of Organic Farming: Entrepreneurial Culture and Agriculture FR-SR
  • Spring
16
Psychology and Social Justice: Making Change Happen JR-SR
  • Winter
  • Spring
8, 12
Public Health, Human Biology, and Community Resilience FR-SO
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Shifting the Margins: Revolutionary Writing in Times of Crisis FR-SR
  • Spring
4
Songs That Connect: People, Place, and Power FR-SR
  • Fall
8
South Asia: Environment and Development SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Stories and Histories: El Cuento Latinoamericano FR-SR
  • Spring
16
Studio Projects in Interdisciplinary Art: Material Gestures in a Shared Space FR-SO
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Temporality, Word and Image JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
The Dyer's Art: Understanding, Creating, and Growing Color FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
8
The Power of Stories: Language, Communication, and Leadership for Creating Change FR-SR
  • Winter
8
The Western Film Genre and the American Frontier Myth SO-SR
  • Spring
8
Why Business Succeed: Finance and Management for Small Businesses and Non-Profits FR-SR
  • Winter
8