Critical Theory & Social Justice

Requirements

MAJOR: The major in Critical Theory & Social Justice requires ten courses (40 units) selected in consultation with the student's departmental advisor. Each CTSJ major chooses an emphasis in one of three areas: Critical Race Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Feminist/Queer Studies.  Three courses must be taken in the chosen emphasis area and at least one course must be taken in the other two emphasis areas.  Of the ten courses, at least eight must be offered by the CTSJ Department, including at least one 4-unit course at the 100 level; one at the 200 level; and three  at the 300 level, including the Junior Seminar (CTSJ 390); and the Senior Seminar (CTSJ 490).  All majors must take two 4-unit methodologies courses, at least one by the end of the junior year. At least four of the units must be in experiential learning. Each student is required to submit a major declaration that outlines what the student defines as her/his goals for completing the major.

COURSES IN CTSJ EMPHASIS AREAS: Each student must take 3 courses in the chosen emphasis area and 1 course in each of the other 2 areas. Students may count the same course for a maximum of two different emphases (i.e. “double-dip") for courses that are designated for multiple emphases.  Students may also choose to do two emphases within the major.

Postcolonial Studies

  • 106 Representing the Metropolis
  • 211 Critical Pedagogy
  • 259 Bodies for Exchange
  • 280 Rastafari
  • 311 Children, Poverty, and Public Policies
  • 340 Critical Ethnography
  • 355 Boundaries and Borderlands
  • 357 Law and Empire

Feminist/Queer Studies

  • 140 Critical Theories of Sexuality
  • 230 Fundamentals of Queer Theory
  • 233 Queer Literature and Culture
  • 234 Materialist Feminism
  • 255 Women of Color
  • 332 Psychic Life of Violence
  • 335 Queer of Color Critique
  • 337 Queer Los Angeles: Cruising the Archive

Critical Race Studies

  • 210 Mother Goose to Mash-Ups: Children’s Literature and Popular Texts
  • 255 Women of Color
  • 257 Critical Praxis (May count for CRS emphasis, depending on specific community-based learning or research project.  Please consult with course instructor.)
  • 259 Bodies for Exchange
  • 286 Whiteness
  • 312 Language, Literacy and Culture
  • 320 Culture and Community (May count for CRS emphasis, depending on specific community-based learning or research project.  Please consult with course instructor.)

METHODOLOGY COURSES (2 courses required)

CTSJ Courses

  • 215 Critical Discourse Analysis
  • 232 Introduction to Cultural Studies
  • 233 Queer Literature and Culture
  • 285 Foucault
  • 310 Qualitative Interview Methods
  • 320 Culture and Community
  • 337 Queer Los Angeles:  Cruising the Archive
  • 340 Critical Ethnography
  • 357 Law and Empire
  • 384 Bataille

Methodology courses taught in other departments may count. Decisions about which courses count are made on an individual basis in consultation with the student’s advisor and the department chair.

ACCEPTABLE COURSES FROM OTHER DEPARTMENTS: The courses listed below count toward the CTSJ major (in addition to non-CTSJ courses that count toward the Experiential Learning Requirement). Students may work with their academic advisor to petition other courses to count for the CTSJ major. Students should consult with their academic advisor in choosing non-departmental courses that fit best with their CTSJ major.   

  • ENGL 290  Introduction to Literary Analysis
  • ENGL 341 Race, Law & Literature
  • ENGL 352 Contested Territories: Ethnic/Racial Literatures of the U.S. “Southwest”
  • ENGL 365 Black Reconstruction: Rethinking Black Radicalism in African American Literature
  • ENGL 368 Post Colonial Literature and Theory
  • HIST 277 Women and Community Health
  • PHIL 235 Feminism and Philosophy
  • POLS 206 Race and American Politics (Prerequisite POLS 101 does not count for CTSJ major)
  • POLS 352 Black Political Thought
  • POLS 340 Rebellious Lawyering (Co-requisite POLS 260 counts toward CTSJ Experiential Learning Requirement; permission of instructor is required)
  • RELS 150 Introduction to Islam
  • RELS 305 Islam, Gender and Sexuality
  • SOC 265 Gender and Society
  • UEP 310 Community Organizing and Leadership (Co-requisite UEP 311 counts toward CTSJ Experiential Learning Requirement; permission of instructor is required)

MINOR: The minor in Critical Theory & Social Justice requires five courses (20 units) taught in the CTSJ Department, including at least one course at the 100 level, one at the 200 level, and one at the 300 level.

WRITING REQUIREMENT: Students majoring in Critical Theory & Social Justice satisfy the final component of Occidental College's college-wide writing requirement by completing the Junior Seminar (CTSJ 390).

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING REQUIREMENT (4 units): Credit for this component may be earned through participation in a departmentally-approved internship or by completing a community-based learning or research course offered by CTSJ or another department. Students will work with their advisors to determine how to fulfill this requirement in the context of their own courses of study as defined in their major declarations.

Courses that Fulfill the Experiential Learning Requirement

CTSJ courses:

  • CTSJ 105 Immigration and Education
  • CTSJ 257 Critical Praxis
  • CTSJ 271 Theatre for Social Change
  • CTSJ 310 Qualitative Interview Methods
  • CTSJ 320 Culture and Community
  • CTSJ 337 Queer Los Angeles:  Cruising the Archive
  • CTSJ 340 Critical Ethnography
  • CTSJ 369 Clinical Psychology Laboratory (2 units, may be repeated. Permission of instructor is required.)

Courses offered in other departments:

  • ArtM 242 Projects in Documentary Video
  • EDUC 140 Community Literacy (2 units, may be repeated for credit)
  • EDUC 141 Community Literacy with Middle School Students (2 units, may be repeated for credit)
  • MATH 201 Mathematics, Education, and Access to Power (2 units, may be repeated for credit
  • POLS 212 Mobilizing Voters: Ethnographic Field Research (Permission of instructor is required)
  • POLS 260 Community Law Internship (Co-requisite POLS 340; permission of instructor is required)
  • SOC 360 Urban Sociology (Fulfills experiential learning requirement in semesters when the course includes a community-based research component.  Please consult with course instructor.)
  • SPAN 211 Advanced Spanish for Native Speakers (Fulfills experiential learning requirement in semesters when the course includes a community-based learning component.  Please consult with course instructor.)
  • UEP 307 Public Health Practicum (Prerequisite:  UEP 203 Public Health: Community and Environment or UEP 205 Public Health & Human Rights: Global and Local Practices.  May be taken concurrently with UEP 203)
  • UEP 311 Community Internship, (Co-requisite UEP 310; permission of instructor is required)
  • WRD 250 Writing with the Community
  • INT 200 2-unit Internship (must be approved by advisor.  INT 200 can be used to count for a total of 4 units for the CTSJ major. Internships that will count for the major must be done with a CTSJ faculty member as the Internship faculty supervisor.)

Other courses may count; decisions will be made in consultation with the student’s advisor and the department chair.

SENIOR COMPREHENSIVE REQUIREMENT: In their senior year, students majoring in CTSJ are required to complete a comprehensive project concerning a topic of the student's own particular interest. Students produce drafts of their projects during CTSJ 490: Senior Seminar in the fall semester of their senior year.  (A student graduating in December is encouraged to take 490 in his or her third-to-last semester, rather than in the last semester.)  Each student is directed to consult with at least one CTSJ professor in addition to the professor teaching the senior seminar.  The final version of the comprehensive project is due the Friday before spring (or midterm) break of the student's final semester.  A typical project culminates in a 20- to 25-page paper.  The department is open to critical projects of comparable length that employ other media from students formally trained in those media.  A comprehensive project earns the grade "Pass with Distinction" if the department faculty determine that it is of the quality publishable in the CTSJ Journal or another journal in the fields embraced by Critical Theory & Social Justice.

HONORS: Students majoring in CTSJ must be nominated during their senior year by a CTSJ faculty member to be considered for Honors. Nominations will be reviewed by the CTSJ department faculty, who will consider the nominee’s excellence as a CTSJ major by examining her/his GPA in courses taken for the major, quality of the comprehensive project, and engagement with community-based learning and research.  Nominees must meet the minimum overall GPA of 3.25 set by the College for Honors. Students interested in being considered for Honors may apply during the first semester of their senior year to enroll in CTSJ 499: Honors Thesis by conferring with their academic advisor and the instructor of CTSJ 490: Senior Seminar. Permission to enroll in CTSJ 499 does not guarantee that the student will receive Honors; the student’s completed comprehensive project will be considered along with the additional criteria listed above in consideration for the designation of Honors.

  • Phone: (323) 259-2749
  • Betsy Dillon, Administrative Assistant: bdillon@oxy.edu