Delving into the complexity of our world today requires stepping outside a single discipline. In the Contemporary Studies Program, we think critically and creatively about the questions and challenges that define our present moment, using an interdisciplinary approach and considering a multitude of perspectives. We examine the relationship between the humanities and the sciences; political discourse and self-understanding; and the role of language, technology, and art in crafting the “contemporary period.” Our students, faculty, and alumni are committed not only to understanding our world today, but also to shaping and challenging it in thoughtful and innovative ways.

Student Work & Publications

Faculty Projects

Memory Activism and Collaborative Process of Counter-Monumentality

CSP faculty members, Dr. Sarah Clift and Dr. Dorota Glowacka, in partnership with a small team of professors from NSCAD university, just received a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada to investigate memory activism and explore the process of counter-monumentality. This collaborative research project seeks to bring artists and contemporary culture theorists together to research collective memory, disruptive narratives, and artistic practice and to answer questions such as “can memory-making be a conversation rather than a ‘self’-assertion?” and “can we open up our collective acts of memorialization to different voices?” Learn more about this project.

Mass Violence Against Indigenous Peoples and its Legacies Conference, Los Angeles, October 2021

Contemporary Studies Director Dr. Dorota Glowacka is currently organizing an academic conference surrounding the mass atrocities against Indigenous peoples in partnership with the Indigenous Studies Program at the University of Winnipeg and the Shoah Foundation in L.A.

News from CSP

CSP hosts Kenny Fries for online lecture

On January 26, 2022, CSP hosted Kenny Fries, a writer and scholar in the area of disability and queer theory, for an online lecture entitled “Disability Can Save Your Life: Queering the Crip, Cripping the Queer”.

King’s hosts online launch of German History special issue

Contemporary Studies professor Dorota Glowacka, a contributor to a special issue of the academic journal German History entitled “Sexuality, Holocaust, Stigma”, joined Jennifer Evans, Anna Hájková and Nicholas Stargardt for an online discussion about the issue.

Dr. Bonita Lawrence guest lectures on Indigenous-Black relations

Students, faculty, and friends gathered on Zoom to attend Dr. Bonita Lawrence’s lecture, entitled “Living in Reciprocity: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives on Indigenous-Black Relations,” on January 21.  A professor in the Department of Humanities at York University, Dr. Lawrence is the founder of the University’s Indigenous Studies program. Having completed her PhD in Sociology, Dr. Lawrence’s work addresses Indigenous identities in relation to government regulation, Indigenous justice, and Indigenous-Black relations. Dr. Lawrence was the second speaker in this year’s Contemporary Studies Program (CSP) guest lectures focusing on racial justice. Read CSP student Isabel Teramura’s article on the lecture.

Class of 2020 defends theses amid COVID-19 pandemic

Twenty-nine theses were defended under Covid-19 by students in their final year of the Contemporary Studies Program. Pictured here are a sampling of those students, along with the director of the Contemporary Studies Program, Dr. Dorota Glowacka, on a Zoom call celebrating their fantastic work and achievements. The quality of work produced by these students was so high in fact that two students, Caleb Sher and Ghislaine Sinclair, were awarded 1st prize for their thesis in addition to Gillian Gawron who received second prize for her paper.

CSP celebrates 25 years

King’s Contemporary Studies Program is 25 years young. To celebrate this milestone, CSP convened the 25th Anniversary Summit on March 29, 2019. Eleven CSP alumni held a panel to reminisce and wax nostalgic about their good old days in the program but also to showcase a wide spectrum of professional interests and careers post-CSP. Panelists came from Arkansas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Toronto, as well as from Dartmouth and from just around the corner, representing a medley of careers, including theatre director, journalist, social worker, professor and cyber security expert. Following the panel, a reception was held in the President’s Lodge, which opened with a tribute to Dr. Peggy Heller, the beloved CSP professor who passed away in 2011. On March 30, the CSP Student Conference showcased the work of current CSP students with a full day of student presentations on everything CSP. Guests then mingled and celebrated the program’s achievements with hors d’oeuvres and drinks in the Wardroom. The festivities concluded with the launch of vol. XXV of Hinge: A Journal of Contemporary Studies. View the full schedule.

University of King's College

Contemporary Studies Society

The Contemporary Studies Society is the student society of the Contemporary Studies Program at the University of King’s College. Students promote interest in Contemporary Studies with events such as the student academic conference, album-listening parties, and art gallery visits. Along with the occasional zine, the CSP society publishes Hinge, an academic journal of CSP student work, each year.

2020-21 President

Isabel Teramura isabel.teramura@gmail.com

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CSP Alumni Profiles

"Where I am now, I can’t even articulate it – it was my inarticulable dream when I was at King’s."

Jessica J. Lee
Jessica J. Lee

Author and Environmental Historian, Bachelor of Arts, (Hons), Contemporary Studies and International Development, 2008

"I figured medicine would be a good combination of the humanities and science."

Owen Averill
Owen Averill

Physician at Whitehorse Medical Services Ltd., Bachelor of Arts (Hons.), Contemporary Studies and Economics, 2004

"You have to have a compelling narrative to be persuasive in front of a judge."

Miranda Spence
Miranda Spence

Partner, Aird & Berlis LLP, Bachelor of Arts (Hons.), Contemporary Studies and Political Science, 2007

When I saw that play at King’s, my plans to attend McGill went out the window.

Alex McLean
Alex McLean

Co-Artistic Director, Zuppa Theatre, Bachelor of Arts (Hons.), Contemporary Studies and Theatre, 1996

"Philosophy should help us work together to make worlds together. "

Eyo Ewara
Eyo Ewara

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago, Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Contemporary Studies and Philosophy, 2014