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Designated Emphases

Designated Emphases

CST students may participate in a Designated Emphasis, a specialization that might include a new method of inquiry or an important field of application.  The Designated Emphasis is awarded in conjunction with the Ph.D. degree and is signified by a transcript designation.  To apply for a DE, fill out the Designated Emphasis Application Form and return to the CST Program Coordinator.  

African American & African Studies

The Designated Emphasis in African American and African Studies will increase students' understanding of the breadth of past and present research in the subject areas of African American and African Studies. It will also provide the institutional means by which students and faculty already working on areas of inquiry touching upon African American and African Studies can be channeled or concentrated together for interaction and collaboration extending beyond their respective regional homes across the UC Davis campus.

Critical Theory

The Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory at UC Davis provides doctoral students a double opportunity: to participate in interdisciplinary seminars focusing on the rich tradition of critical thought, both ancient and modern; and to add a formal credential in critical theory to their degrees. Our faculty, drawn from various affiliated programs in the humanities and social sciences, offer a wide range of expertise across multiple historical periods and theoretical approaches. Our seminars bring together students and faculty from across this broad disciplinary spectrum, providing a rare opportunity to compare perspectives, and to interrogate the fundamental axioms and principles of social, political and cultural practice.

Environmental Humanities

The Designated Emphasis in Environmental Humanities allows UC Davis graduate students from affiliated departments to concentrate their studies on questions related to the environment as a philosophical concept, a historical and cultural category, a venue for ethical and political struggle, the material context of social reproduction, and the terrain of all creative work. Using tools adapted from the humanities and humanistic social sciences, affiliated faculty lead graduate students in the study of the relationships between and among humans and animals, societies and ecosystems, global economies
and the Earth system.

Feminist Theory & Research

The Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research affords graduate students in affiliated programs the opportunity to augment their Ph.D. in a given discipline with a specialization in Feminist Theory and Research. Typically a graduate student in good standing can enroll in Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research Courses. Those students in affiliated Ph.D. programs who complete the requirements of the Designated Emphasis will have this noted in their transcripts and their Ph.D. diplomas will indicate the Ph.D. training in the DE as "Special Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research."

Human Rights Studies

The Designated Emphasis Human Rights Studies is a new field, but one that allows us as students and scholars to examine enduring and important questions about suffering, revolution and social change, the destruction of culture, injustice, and power and powerlessness in ways that transcend established disciplines. New forms of knowledge, artistic expression and social criticism are being constituted around Human Rights in ways that are attracting a great deal of scholarly attention. Furthermore, the study of Human Rights has important implications for confirming the relevance of the university to society. The study of Human Rights has achieved the markers of an established field through the formation of dedicated scholarly organizations and academic journals. Endowed chairs, centers and programs in Human Rights have been created at many American and foreign universities.

Science & Technology Studies

The Designated Emphasis in Science & Technology Studies offers graduate students in PhD programs the opportunity to augment their studies with an understanding of the variety of methods and theoretical approaches of STS. Any PhD student in good standing is eligible to enroll. In particular, those students whose topic of research includes an aspect of the interactions of science, technology and society will greatly benefit from the wealth of case studies of other interactions collected in the STS literature, and from the focus in STS on the relevance of understanding the ways in which the practices of scientists and engineers and the travel of facts and technologies are intricately social and themselves an inseparable part of the "impacts" of science and technology. The curriculum is flexible with courses being offered across many disciplines. Students are able to choose courses from the DE offerings to widen their range of approaches and enable cross-training as interdisciplinary scholars. DE students will benefit from the thriving community of STS scholars on campus, the STS colloquia series, and may attend the annual STS Summer Retreat.

Studies in Performance & Practice

The Designated Emphasis in Studies in Performance and Practice presents a critical way of thinking about practices of communication, from film and stage, to sports, religion, and everday behavior, among many other areas. This DE is inherently interdisciplinary and collaborative, and interacts closely with the proliferating new media for communication. Studies in Performance and Practice engages students in critical approaches to theory and practice.

Study of Religion

The Designated Emphasis in the Study of Religion provides graduate students with an interdisciplinary understanding of how religion in general has been conceptualized and studied historically and how these understandings continue to inform basic categories of thought, behavior and identity across the world and especially in the West. Rather than approaching religion as a fixed entity that informs change in other more dynamic fields (e.g. literature, culture, society, behavior), this program helps students think about the study of religion as historically variable, contextualized, and itself constitutive of the subject of inquiry.

Writing, Rhetoric, & Composition Studies

The Designated Emphasis in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies (WRaCS) offers PhD students the opportunity to prepare for leadership roles in writing research, teaching, and program administration. This DE provides both a theoretical and practical knowledge of writing instruction, program administration and research. Developing pedagogical strategies and assessment programs which respond to local needs have applications for graduate students interested in researching student writing in both secondary and postsecondary environments.

Native American Studies

The Designated Emphasis in Native American Studies focuses hemispherically upon the indigenous peoples of the Americans, that is, upon the peoples, nations, tribes, and communities whose ancestors have lived in North, Central and South America from earliest times. Native American Studies is interdisciplinary in its scholarly approach to the world of American Indian peoples, offering a comprehensive and comparative perspective. This unique hemispheric approach includes attention to the increasing dislocation and diaspora of indigenous people throughout the Americas, and calls upon the authority of Native intelligence (Native voices, Native texts) in all its forms and manifestations to address the issues that concern Native peoples, including the creative strategies for continuance they have developed over the centuries.