Program Curriculum

Detailed Program Timeline: Year 2

Autumn Quarter


The second year of the Cultural Studies program is designed to facilitate (a) your development and presentation of the portfolio, and (b) your progress on the capstone, from conception through execution and evaluation. The core courses provide a great deal of structure and support for portfolio and capstone work, including peer review and collaborative workshops.

BCULST 510: Engaging Cultural Studies (5 credits)

Reading and articulating relationships in current conversation in cultural studies. Focuses on designing and situating your capstone project in relation to the ongoing conversations and literatures in cultural studies; that is, the creation of the literature review and the development of a research conversation relevant to the student’s evolving research interests and findings. This course is intended to help you:

  • formulate or refine your research question(s) and context(s);
  • fit these research question(s) and context with useful methodologies;
  • synthesize or integrate work from previous courses and prior work;
  • facilitate the formulation and refinement of your capstone proposal (and abstract) as a required course assignment;
  • facilitate a peer review of the capstone proposal;
  • facilitate a peer review of your portfolio.

Cultural Studies Elective # 3 (5 credits)

This is your third opportunity to look beyond the core program for insight into other theories, topics, approaches and applications in cultural studies. In the next quarter, you will have to a chance to take at least one more elective (possibly two). Remember, you are required to take a minimum of 10 credits in BCULST electives (i.e. two classes). You may otherwise choose any UW Bothell or UW Seattle courses (graduate class or 400-level undergrad class), provided your PA has approved the relevance and suitability of the course for the Cultural Studies program. If you do decide to take an undergrad class, you will be expected (a) to have already secured permission from the instructor to take the class, and, most likely, (b) to arrange some additional assignment for ensuring the course is of a graduate-level standard.

Advising

Portfolio

You should make contact with your PA at some point (no later than Week 5 of the quarter) to discuss your progress and to consider your options for electives (one or two) in the Winter quarter.

Capstone

Before or shortly after the beginning of this quarter, you should arrange a meeting with your capstone advisors. Along with informal mentoring, this meeting should ensure that you have everything in place to advance the capstone project in the context of 510. You will be required to submit a draft of your capstone proposal to your CA for review and possible revision. At some point you will want to consider (possibly with your CA) whether to take Directed Research credits in the Winter quarter rather than an additional elective. Together with your CA (and perhaps PA), you may identify an optional second reader for the capstone project (if you decide to include a second reader, this person should be on board by end of the quarter). Your CA will review the final capstone proposal and sign-off on things by the end of the quarter.

Winter Quarter
 

BCULST 511: Portfolio and Professional Development (1 credit)

Facilitated by a series of different faculty instructors, this core course focuses on helping you to develop both your portfolio and your capstone project. The course is organized around three workshops: two portfolio and capstone development workshops at the beginning and end of the quarter, as well as an additional professional development workshop (with a “career panel”) scheduled toward the middle of the quarter. In taking this course, you will:

  • develop a capacity for evaluating what is working and not working along the way in one’s portfolio and capstone project;
  • find an effective and clear way of communicating to oneself and others these observations;
  • develop skills in finding alternatives to aspects of the capstone project that do not work—what to keep and what to let go;
  • increase collaborative and dialogue skills both with community partners, with faculty advisors, and with one’s peers;
  • be able to set goals and a timeline and to implement various aspects of one’s research project; and,
  • find ways to begin thinking through and acting on the complexities of one’s preliminary findings.

Cultural Studies Elective # 4 (5 credits)

This is your fourth (and possibly last – see below) opportunity to look beyond the core program for insight into other theories, topics, approaches and applications in cultural studies. At this stage in the program, you should be looking to use this opportunity as a way to widen your knowledge of cultural studies to enrich your portfolio, or to deepen your knowledge base around the capstone project. Remember, you are required to take a minimum of 10 credits in BCULST electives (i.e. two classes). You may otherwise choose any UW Bothell or UW Seattle courses (graduate class or 400-level undergrad class), provided your PA has approved the relevance and suitability of the course for the Cultural Studies program. If you do decide to take an undergrad class, you will be expected (a) to have already secured permission from the instructor to take the class, and, most likely, (b) to arrange some additional assignment for ensuring the course is of a graduate-level standard.

Cultural Studies Elective # 5 (4 credits)

With a view to widening or enriching your portfolio and/or deepening your research base for the capstone, you have one final opportunity to take an elective. Technically, you need only 4 credits to fulfill the requirements for the quarter; many courses, however, are worth 5 credits which means you will end up with a “spare” credit. (This should have no financial implications since the UW allows students to enroll for between 10 and 18 credits without additional cost.) Remember, you are required to take a minimum of 10 credits in BCULST electives (i.e. two classes). You may otherwise choose any UW Bothell or UW Seattle courses (graduate class or 400-level undergrad class), provided your PA has approved the relevance and suitability of the course for the Cultural Studies program. If you do decide to take an undergrad class, you will be expected (a) to have already secured permission from the instructor to take the class, and, most likely, (b) to arrange some additional assignment for ensuring the course is of a graduate-level standard.

OR

BCULST 598 Directed Research (4 credits)

All students are expected to be working independently on their capstone research this quarter, but you may prefer the kind of intensive guidance and supervision afforded by taking directed research credits under the supervision of your Capstone Advisor. These credits would be taken instead of taking an additional elective. Credits for BCULST 598 are variable and so it will be easy to sign up for just the 4 credits needed to fulfill the requirement for this quarter.

Advising

Portfolio

You should make contact with your PA towards the end of the quarter to discuss your progress and your initial plans for the second framing essay in Spring quarter and for completing your Portfolio.

Capstone

Whether or not you have decided to take Directed Research credits with your CA (see above), you should be looking to stay in fairly regular contact with your CA this quarter. For example, schedule in advance a meeting for the beginning, middle and end of the quarter as a way to monitor your independent work on the capstone project. 

Spring Quarter
 

BCULST 512: Cultural Studies and its Publics (10 credits)

This final core course focuses on and facilitates the completion and public presentation of your capstone project, with collaborative writing and oral presentation workshops in class. Preparation for and presentation at the Graduate Research Conference. Bringing together the program portfolio (integrating the capstone project). Moving from articulating “so what” to “what next” in relation to the program portfolio. Specifically, this course:

  • facilitates a writing workshop and peer review for the second (and final) portfolio essay;
  • helps with defining the boundaries of the capstone project so it can find its conclusion and identify its next steps;
  • facilitates writing workshops and peer review for the capstone project as it moves toward “final product”;
  • arranges “trial runs” of public (oral) presentation of the capstone project (including responding to critical response/questions);
  • includes the Graduate Research Conference;
  • facilitates wrapping up the Portfolio and thinking through its relationship to “life after” Cultural Studies.

Advising

You should consider 5 of the 10 credits of BCULST 512 as devoted to working you’re your advisors on wrapping up the portfolio and the capstone. You should be proactive in scheduling and structuring ongoing advisory meetings so as to address your particular needs, questions, and timelines. Clear, unambiguous communication between youyou’re your advisors will be necessary for successful completion of the second portfolio essay, the capstone and the portfolio itself. You should consider the following activities:

  • addressing requests (from your PA) for revisions and schedule any interim meetings needed for the portfolio and/or framing essay in preparation for the final portfolio review;
  • meeting with your CA (and optional second reader) to discuss/review the capstone project prior to its public presentation;
  • coordinating with any second reader for their final assessment of the capstone project and arrange for them to sign off on things; and,
  • submitting the capstone and the finalized portfolio.

To the extent possible, there should be no surprises for the final portfolio review. This can best be assured by meeting and discussing the capstone project and portfolio (including the framing essay) with advisors in advance of the final review.