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PhD Program in Communication, New Media and Cultural Studies

The challenges we face today—social and environmental injustice, climate change, precarious work, surveillance, and a shrinking public sphere—are big, complex and multifaceted.   Among their many other dimensions, they are questions of communication and culture, which demand urgent engagement. The PhD in Communication, New Media, and Cultural Studies (CNMCS) is for creative students who embrace complexity, love difficult questions, and hunger for intellectual, artistic, and pedagogical risk-taking driven towards positive social change.

This program brings together three interdisciplinary fields that all originated in attempts to understand and debate big problems using tools from the arts, humanities, and social sciences: cultural studies began by trying to articulate the significance of culture beyond the privileged space of the university, communication studies wanted to understand how mass media was changing modern society, and new media scholars and artists wanted to probe how computing and digital communications were changing human knowledge and creativity. Each of these fields understands that the problems we face today, with all their varied technological, economic, ecological, and political implications, are, fundamentally, problems of communication and culture. Learning to read, critique, and create culture, media, and communication is critical to seeing things, and doing things, in new ways.

The PhD in Communication, New Media, and Cultural Studies (CNMCS) is a joint program between the Departments of Communication Studies and Multimedia (CSMM) and the Department of English and Cultural Studies (ECS).  Our many complementary strengths are in areas including new media arts, performance, policy, visual culture, digital culture, music/sound, gender and sexuality, critical race studies, indigenous studies, postcolonial and diasporic studies, transnational culture and international communications, critical environmental studies, political economy, professional communication, and media analysis and strategy. The program draws faculty members from CSMM and ECS as well as other departments in the Humanities to act as supervisors of CNMCS doctoral students.


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