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Open Access Publications from the University of California

About Us

Interdisciplinary graduate study in World Cultures focuses on the ways in which human beings conceive, express, and enact their situations in and relations to societies from the local to the global. In this endeavor, the World Cultures Graduate Group simultaneously embraces emerging trends in the scholarly world, while it harkens back to the holistic approach to knowledge common in the Renaissance. The interdisciplinary framework reconnects areas of study that have drifted apart even as their critical structures have shared basic tools and areas of inquiry—fields ranging from history and literature to art, anthropology, philosophy, and religion. Students will understand and use methods by which historians, literary scholars, anthropologists, artists, philosophers, and other humanists and social scientists examine societies and cultures. At the same time, students will critically examine theories of identity, culture, and society shared by scholars in multiple academic fields that create intellectual bridges for interdisciplinary inquiry. The World Cultures Graduate Group thus provides a broad intellectual context in which to locate societies and cultures over time and space. The objective is to train scholars who are able to work within or beyond the academy in particular disciplines and, simultaneously, to acknowledge and create interdisciplinary frameworks for study of complex human systems and constructs.