Contemporary Studies

University of King's College

Interpret today

The contemporary period is marked by continuous transformation, with new challenges but also new possibilities for change emerging constantly. The Contemporary Studies Program (CSP) engages with the ideas, thinkers, and movements that have contributed to new understandings of the world, community, self and other. In CSP you will:

  • choose from a wide range of interdisciplinary courses that explore ideas about ethics, aesthetics, and politics; contemporary art, modern film, and digital media; new biotechnologies, nature, environment, and the body, and many others;
  • consider the place of science and technology in the contemporary world and challenge the supposed dichotomy of science and culture;
  • engage with texts by environmental philosophers, thinkers of the Global South, Indigenous thinkers and race and gender theorists;
  • participate in classes on transformative thinkers such as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Hannah Arendt, Judith Butler, bell hooks, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Michel Foucault;
  • conduct conceptual analyses of issues such as marginalization, social justice, migration and belonging, freedom and responsibility, while incorporating a range of critical perspectives;
  • participate in innovative teaching and learning environments; for example, laboratory observation sessions, community-outreach, and gallery visits;
  • use critical skills and creative talents.

Find out what’s new in the program

CSP+ News & Events Courses

Study abroad in Berlin

This month-long Contemporary Studies elective provides an opportunity to explore the themes of collective memory, public space, and historical trauma in Germany’s capital city. Through daily seminars, site visits, and museum tours, you learn about the political, architectural, and social stakes of the struggle to take responsibility for history in a city that is both burdened with the past and alive to the future.

Find out more

Publish your work

Hinge is an academic journal written, edited, and published annually by the students in the Contemporary Studies Program. It is interdisciplinary in scope, not only because of the variety of academic backgrounds of our peers and contributors, but because an interdisciplinary approach is fundamental to understanding any aspect of the contemporary world. The papers are revised versions of the work produced by the students in Contemporary Studies program classes.

Read the latest volume

 


Course Requirements

Combined Honours

Contemporary Studies Program students are required to take the program’s three core course doublets:

  • CTMP 2001.03 & CTMP 2002.03 (or CTMP 2000.06)
  • CTMP 3001.03 & CTMP 3002.03 (or CTMP 3000.06)
  • CTMP 4001.03 & CTMP 4002.03 (or CTMP 4000.06)

plus at least twelve credit hours CSP electives.

The requirements for the second honours subject are dependent on that department, and vary from program to program. Students may fulfil the honours requirement in either of the two honours subjects. Usually, this subject will be the one in which the student has taken more classes. The honours requirement in CSP is satisfied by writing an honours thesis, which is defended at an oral examination.

MINOR

You can take a minor in CSP to complement your degree. Understand the contemporary world by choosing from a wide range of courses in the areas of social and political thought, science and culture, and aesthetics, literature and literary theory, and film.

Complete a minimum of 18 credit hours to a maximum of 27 credit hours including:

  • One of the core course doublets:
    • CTMP 2001.03 & CTMP 2002.03 (or CTMP 2000.06)
      * Both CTMP 2001.03 & CTMP 2002.03 must normally be taken in the same academic year to meet this requirement.
    • CTMP 3001.03 & CTMP 3002.03 (or CTMP 3000.06)
      *Both CTMP 3001.03 & CTMP 3002.03 must normally be taken in the same academic year to meet this requirement.
    • CTMP 4001.03 & CTMP 4002.03 (or CTMP 4000.06)
      *Both CTMP 4001.03 & CTMP 4002.03 must normally be taken in the same academic year to meet this requirement.
  • 6 credit hours at the 3000 or 4000 level.  CTMP 3001.03 & CTMP 3002.03 (or CTMP 3000.06) OR  CTMP 4001.03 & CTMP 4002.03 (or CTMP 4000.06) will also fulfill this requirement).
  • 6 credit hours at any level.
Explore courses
Core Courses
Electives

Modern Social and Political Thought I: Politics of Recognition

CTMP 2001.03
Fall
KTS Lecture Hall
M 1335-1525
W 1335-1425

Modern Social and Political Thought II: Challenging Recognition

CTMP 2002.03
Winter
KTS Lecture Hall
M 1335-1525
W 1335-1425

The Politics of Hope: From Romanticism to Anarchism and Beyond

CTMP 2100.03
Fall
Shatford Room
MW 1005-1125

Apocalypse: The Revolutionary Transformation of Politics and Culture

CTMP 2101.03
Fall
Scotiabank Room
T 1735-2025

The Idea of Race in Philosophy, Literature, and Art

CTMP 2115.03/BAFD 2115.03
Winter
Scotiabank Room
TR 1605-1725

Humanism and Anti-Humanism: The Dramatic Story of What Makes Us Modern

CTMP 2121.03
Winter
Shatford Room
MW 1005-1125

Society, Politics and Literature

CTMP 2150.03
Winter
Classroom AA1
TR 1605-1725

Mass and Digital Media Culture

CTMP 2201.03
Fall
KTS Lecture Hall
MW 1605-1725

Ideas of the Sea and Seafaring: Intercultural Perspectives

EMSP 2490.03 / CTMP 2207.03 / HSTC 2220.03
Fall
KTS Lecture Hall
TR 1305-1425

The Vampire: Modernity and the Undead

EMSP 2313.03/CTMP 2313.03
Fall
KTS Lecture Hall
T 1735-2025

The 'Pictorial Turn' in Recent Thought, Art and Theory

CTMP 2316.03
Fall
Archibald Room
TR 1305-1425

Art, philosophy and politics

CTMP 2340.03
Winter
Scotiabank Room
MW 1605-1725

Feminisms: the First Three Waves

CTMP 2350.03 / GWST 2350.03
Fall
Archibald Room
TR 1005-1125

Science and Culture I: The Discourses of Modernity

CTMP 3001.03 / HSTC 3031.03
Fall
Archibald Room
M 1535-1725
W 1535-1625

Science and Culture II: Resetting the Modern

CTMP 3002.03 / HSTC 3032.03
Winter
Archibald Room
M 1535-1725
W 1535-1625

The Rise of Nietzscheanism

CTMP 3104.03
Fall
Frazee Room
T 1735-2025

The Nietzschean Legacy

CTMP 3105.03
Winter
Frazee Room
T 1735-2025

Genocide: Comparative Perspectives

CTMP 3121.03
Winter
Classroom AA1
TR 1005-1125

The Thought of Michel Foucault

CTMP 3130.03
Fall
Frazee Room
TR 1435-1555

The Question of the Animal

CTMP 3155.03
Fall
Scotiabank Room
MW 1005-1125

Theories of Punishment

EMSP 3430.03 / CTMP 3170.03
Fall
Online/Asynchronous

The Thought of Ludwig Wittgenstein

CTMP 3192.03
Fall
Seminar Room
T 1605-1755
R 1605-1655

Science and Religion: Contemporary Perspectives

HSTC 3201.03 / CTMP 3201.03 / RELS 3201.03 / HIST 3076.03
Winter
Seminar 7
TR 1605-1725

Intersecting Bodies, Selves and Environments

CTMP 3210.03
Winter
Frazee Room
TR 1435-1555

Culture, Politics and the Post-Colonial Condition

CTMP 3311.03
Fall
Classroom AA1
TR 1605-1725

Representations of the Holocaust: Bearing Witness

CTMP 3321.03
Fall
Classroom AA1
TR 1005-1125

Home and Homelessness

CTMP 3340.03
Winter
Archibald Room
TR 1605-1725

Rewriting Gender

CTMP 3350.03 / GWST 3350.03
Fall
Archibald Room
TR 1605-1725

Girls and Girlhood

CTMP 3355.03/GWST 3355.03
Winter
Seminar 7
MW 1005-1125

Studies in Contemporary Aesthetics and Critical Theories - After the End: The Idea of Decadence

CTMP 3415.03
Fall
Scotiabank Room
W 1735-2025

The Deconstruction of the Tradition I: Language and Dispossession

CTMP 4001.03
Fall
Archibald Room
M 1035-1225
W 1035-1125

The Deconstruction of the Tradition II: Precarities

CTMP 4002.03
Winter
Archibald Room
M 1035-1225
W 1035-1125

Special Topics in Contemporary Aesthetic and Critical Theory - The Age of Anxiety

CTMP 4415.03
Winter
Archibald Room
M 1735-2025
Honours Thesis & Colloquium

DALHOUSIE SELECTIVES

Students enrolled in the Combined Honours or Minor program in CSP can opt to take a maximum of one 3-credit hour “selective” course at Dalhousie University to count towards the CSP part of their degree. The Registrar’s Office at King’s should be notified if students wish to pursue this option. Not all selectives are offered each year.  Please consult the current timetable for this year’s offering.

Approved selectives are:

"A King's education is interdisciplinary; it defies a simple label."

Alexander Desiré-Tesar
Alexander Desiré-Tesar

Assistant Editor, The Walrus Magazine, 2012

More Opportunities

Minors

You can choose from more than 75 minors to complement your degree.

Certificates

Build skills in a specialized area of study by adding a certificate to your degree. You can take King’s courses as part of a certificate in Medical Humanities or Art History & Visual Culture, or choose from many more certificates offered through our partnership with Dalhousie.


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