Academic Catalog

Social Justice & Cultural Studies: Art for Social Change (BA)

Program Description

Aspiring to cultivate students with global and intercultural competency, this major offers effective strategies to understand and change the world. In this major, students will study culture, media, and power in order to analyze social formations such as gender, race, class, sexuality, and citizenship. We work to investigate the root causes of injustice and to imagine multiple forms of social change. Our approach is informed by Christian theologies of liberation, and our cultural studies toolbox includes intersectionality, social psychology, historical analysis, antiracism, and literary criticism. This major provides a gateway to a variety of vocations, including education, human rights law, immigration, social work, public policy, NGOs, environmental policy and practices, mediation and community organizing, and the creative arts (documentary film, graphic design, creative writing, etc.).

The Social Justice and Cultural Studies major provides at least six foundational courses in cultural studies; it also partners with departments across campus to provide five distinct vocational tracks for students to choose from, depending on where and how students aspire to create social change: Advanced Cultural Studies; Art for Social Change; Environmental Justice; Pre-Law, Human Rights & Policy; and Social Advocacy & Community Work.

SJCS Major: Art for Social Change Track

This track is for students invested in changing the world through artistic forms, including graphic design, creative writing, playwriting, photography, and documentary film. The Social Venture Planning course is recommended for those interested in entrepreneurship.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the Social Justice and Cultural Studies major, students should be able to

  1. Articulate an understanding of the dynamics of power, history, and representation that form culture and produce patterns of inequality
  2. Demonstrate an awareness of how culture informs social, communal, and personal identities and relationships
  3. Develop an understanding of the links between cultural ideologies, social institutions, activism, and everyday practices
  4. Address issues of inequity with aesthetic presentations and/or develop skills to implement policies and practices of social justice
  5. Ask complex questions about gender, race, class, faith, and power