Participating Departments and ProgramsA number of faculty from key interdisciplinary programs and departments are participating to offer courses and faculty for this graduate Program.
They are as follows:
African American Studies Program
The undergraduate major and minor in African American Studies is comparative and transnational, ranging across the Caribbean and Central, North, and South Americas, with a particular interest in the development of African-derived communities in the United States. The course of study investigates the aesthetics, the histories, and the intellectual as well as vernacular traditions of these African-derived communities. The concern is the counter-histories and counter-practices generated and cultivated by the millions of persons trafficked in the international slave trade in their efforts to establish viable psychological, communal, and expressive formations within a situation of displacement and diasporia. The focus of the curriculum, then, is one of the longest standing cultural and intellectual critical traditions in the “democratic” history of the modern West, as well as one of the most vibrant centers of expressive practice in the history of the Western hemisphere.
Department of Asian American Studies
The Department of Asian American Studies (formerly the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, since 1991) offers an undergraduate major, minor, and a graduate emphasis in Asian American Studies. Faculty with interdisciplinary expertise in Asian American Studies also have affiliations with departments in the School of Humanities, Social Sciences, Social Ecology and Arts. The Department offers more than thirty courses annually with an enrollment of over two thousand students. Strong student interest is demonstrated in large enrollments in diverse courses such as Asian American Film and Video, Asian American Women, Asian American Literature, Politics of Protest, Asian American Labor, Vietnamese American Experience, Chinatowns in American Society, Ethnic Food and Ethnic Identity, Asian American Race Relations, among others.
Critical Theory Emphasis
The Critical Theory Emphasis (CTE) graduate program is the curricular arm of UCI's Critical Theory Institute (CTI). Scholars of Critical Theory explore and develop theoretical models to analyze and critique cultural forms from literature and art to more general systems of information, social relations, and symbolic categories of race, gender, and ethnic identity. The goal of the CTE is to promote the study of shared assumptions, problems, and commitments of the various discourses in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
The CTE and CTI draw on the most prominent scholars of critical theory as measured by our national and international reputation, the prominence of the faculty, and our ability to attract graduate students and post-doctoral scholars from around the world. Some of the world's most erudite scholars of Critical Theory who have been affiliated with UCI include Murray Krieger, J. Hillis Miller, Etienne Balibar, Jean Francoise Lyotard, and Wolfgang Iser. As a result, UCI is known nationally and internationally as an institution with particular expertise and stature in critical theory. This distinction has defined the special character of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at UCI and has contributed to UCI's national reputation for scholarly excellence.
Designed to provide an institutional framework for teaching critical theory, the CTE is responsible for organizing advanced theory seminars and for administering the Emphasis program requirements. An emphasis in Critical Theory, under the supervision of the Critical Theory Committee, is available for graduate students in all departments, including M.A. and M.F.A. candidates.