What is Cultural Studies?

Cultural Studies is a relatively new and contested discipline which straddles the boundary between the humanities and social sciences. Though it has no generally accepted definition, and its methods are continually the subject of negotiation, cultural studies emerged as a counterpoint to more traditional forms of humanistic study.

W. J. T. Mitchell of the University of Chicago made the following remarks about Cultural Studies in a recent review of the Program (2004):

"Cultural studies is not just the name of [a] program at Trent, but designates an internationally recognized field of interdisciplinary research in literature, the arts, and their relation to social, political, and technical issues. [...]

As difficult to define as many other interdisciplinary initiatives in the sciences (biophysics, ecology, evolutionary psychology, cognitive science), cultural studies is an umbrella term for a large number of innovative developments in the human sciences over the last half century.

Trent University has the oldest Cultural Studies Department in North America, a fact worth pondering. It has a well-earned reputation as a pioneering program, both in the character of its research, and its engagement with educational initiatives in the community"