Completion of each phase of the program as described below is required. The expected time of completion of the degree is four years. The CUST PhD degree is granted once the Program confirms that all Program requirements have been met and once the dissertation is formally approved by the University. The general regulations and requirements of Trent University for a Ph.D. degree apply to the Cultural Studies Ph.D. program. The components that must be successfully completed are:
- 6100: Intellectual Traditions in Cultural Studies
- 6110: Research in Cultural Studies
- 6125: the Comprehensive Examination
- 6200: the Year Two Dissertation Seminar
- 6225: the Special Field Bibliography
- 6250: the First Project
- 6275: the Dissertation Proposal
- 6325: the Special Field Examination
- 6350: the Second Project
- 6450: the Third Project
- 6475: the Dissertation as a Whole, integrating the three projects
- Oral Defence of the dissertation
- Submission of a paper based on the projects for Publication
- Language Requirement
- Students beginning the program in fall 2024 and after, will be expected to take a 0.5 graduate elective course.
A year-long seminar concerned with questions, problems and traditions in Cultural Studies and organized around the materials selected for the Comprehensive Exam that year. CUST 6100Y will help students prepare for the exam (CUST 6125Y) and, indirectly, to integrate their research into the field of Cultural Studies. Excludes CUST 6110H.
An introduction to the practices of theory in Cultural Studies through the demonstration of approaches, models, and keywords by colleagues in fields such as visual studies, semiology, psychoanalysis, ethnography, narratology, cultural history, archival research. The seminar addresses topic formation and supplements the materials in CUST-6100Y. (For example 19th century preparations for 20th century cultural theory).
The comprehensive examination, held in April or May of Year One, tests the student’s familiarity with the Cultural Studies canon. Satisfactory completion of the Comprehensive Examination requires a grade of PASS. A student who does not pass (PASS) the comprehensive examination on the first attempt will be awarded a grade of INC (“incomplete”) and will be offered a second chance to take the examination, normally not later than August 31, the end of Year One.
A seminar in discourse formation with the aim to ensure that the dissertation arises from a continuous practice of research and writing in the context of academic and professional consideration. The main focus of the seminar is the elaboration of the students’ work in progress, having three outcomes, initial draft of the first project, special field bibliography, and a prospectus. Students will present a version of their first project at a Colloquium in May.
A reasoned bibliography, accompanied by a brief text of description and justification, of the student’s special field(s) of competency within the larger domain of cultural studies, which evolves under the supervision of the Supervisory Committee. The bibliography and accompanying text should be submitted not later than August 31 of Year One.
By August 31 at the end of Year Two, the student’s first project must be completed at a level considered by the Supervisory Committee to be of publishable quality. The student will receive a satisfactory grade (PASS) when the student’s Supervisory Committee confirms that the project is completed. Receiving a satisfactory grade (PASS) on this component does not prejudge the outcome of the oral defence in Year Four.
A Dissertation Proposal, normally up to 2,000 words, is due by December 31 of Year Two for the approval (PASS) of the Supervisory Committee. The proposal is expected to provide convincing links between the completed first
project, the second project about to be undertaken, and the third project hypothetically contemplated and conceptualized.
A student will take a written and oral examination of the Special Field, based on the approved Special Field Bibliography, in the Spring of Year Two. The student will receive from the examining committee an evaluation of Pass, Resubmit: Revisions Required, or Not Passed: Rewrite. A second evaluation of Not Passed results in failure. A Rewrite will be due normally not later than August 31st of Year Two.
By August 31 of Year Three, the student’s second project must be completed at a level considered by the Supervisory Committee to be of publishable quality. The student will receive a satisfactory grade (PASS) when the student’s Supervisory Committee confirms that the project is completed. Receiving a satisfactory grade (PASS) on this component does not prejudge the outcome of the oral defence in Year Four.
By January 1 of Year Four, the student’s third project must be completed at a level considered by the Supervisory Committee to be of publishable quality. The student will receive a satisfactory grade (PASS) when the student’s Supervisory Committee confirms that the project is completed. Receiving a satisfactory grade (PASS) on this component does not prejudge the outcome of the oral defence in Year Four.
In Year Four, students are expected to bind their three projects together into a dissertation as a coherent whole. The Director will appoint a Supervisory Committee for the final dissertation and oral defence. The student will receive a satisfactory grade (PASS) for CUST 6475Y when all members of the student’s Supervisory Committee sign the evaluation form stating that the dissertation is completed and of sufficient quality to proceed to formal examination.
After the Supervisory Committee confirms that the dissertation may proceed to examination, an oral examination is held, in accordance with Trent University regulations.
Each of the three projects is completed by the student at a level considered publishable by the supervisory committee. At least one of the three projects is to be submitted for publication before the degree is granted, to a journal approved by the supervisory committee.
All students are required to pass a two-hour language test involving translation into English of a French text or, with permission of the program, another language if it is more relevant to their projects. Dictionaries are allowed. The source text will be of an intellectual quality suited to PhD research. This requirement may also be met by completing and passing an undergraduate Trent University language course (or its equivalent), which includes reading and writing components, as well as a suitable translation component.