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Critical Studies in Literatures, Cultures & Film

Find the deeper meaning

Are you that person who always asks deeper questions about the movies, video games, books, and social media your friends are interested in? Are you the one digging in and assessing the significance of everyday texts like an advertisement or song lyric? If so, then Critical Studies is for you. This emphasis teaches students to critically engage with texts of various genres and media to uncover meanings and interpretations that have implications far beyond the classroom—an ability that makes Critical Studies majors highly sought after.

Students who major or minor in Critical Studies at UWEC are equipped to critique literature, society, and culture from multiple angles because our courses cover a variety of historic, generic, cultural, ethnic, theoretical, and national perspectives. Law offices, advertising firms, public relations companies, publishing houses, non-profit organizations, and top-notch graduate programs are just some of the places you will find UWEC's Critical Studies graduates.

Critical studies emphasis mission statement

In the Critical Studies emphasis, students learn to read literary, critical, and cinematic texts with practical and theoretical methods to reveal how texts construct meaning and shape frameworks of power that mediate human relationships. 


Critical studies learning outcomes

  • Read and interpret literatures, cultures, and film from a variety of historical periods and genres.
  • Critique literatures, cultures, and film from a variety of theoretical perspectives.
  • Intervene and judge where power is constructed and mobilized.
Joel Pace's English class in St. Paul

Bringing F. Scott Fitzgerald to life

Dressed for a night on the town in the roaring ‘20s, UW-Eau Claire English students stroll through St. Paul, visiting the historic buildings and neighborhoods often associated with F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Critical look at St. Paul

Popular major/minor pairings for critical studies

  • American Indian Studies
  • Women's Studies
  • Mass Communication
  • Library Science
  • History
  • Ancient Studies
  • Journalism
  • Sociology

Career paths of our critical studies graduates

  • Academic Advisor
  • Literacy Coach
  • Advertising Copywriter
  • Entrepreneur
  • Technical Writer
  • Editor
  • Publications Specialist
  • Marketing Manager
  • Legal Advocate
  • Creative Director
  • Professor
  • Prepare a what-if degree audit with your desired major and minor. (If you need help generating a what-if degree audit, please contact the LTS Help Desk, tel. 715-836-5711).
  • Get an advising packet for your proposed English major/minor and mark off courses that you have already taken. If you have completed three or more semesters, sketch out your remaining semesters on the degree plan (the last page of the advising packet). Advising packets are available from the kiosk outside the English Department Office, on the 4th floor of Centennial Hall. They are also available on the English Department website on the page regarding the particular emphasis.
  • If you are an ARCC student with an ARCC advisor, meet with that advisor. Bring a copy (either paper or electronic) of your what-if degree audit and your marked up advising guide.
  • If you are a student with a traditional department advisor, meet with the English Department's Director of Undergraduate Studies (during office hours or by appointment) and bring a copy (either paper or electronic) of your what-if degree audit and your marked up advising guide.

Please contact Alaina Guns ( or Joanne Erickson ( or stop in the English Department office (Centennial Hall 4102) to make an appointment with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

LE Advising guides

See online course catalog for the majorminor, and certificate requirements and course descriptions.

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