What is the Empire Studies certificate?
The Graduate Certificate in Empire Studies is a cluster of courses that students complete within their program requirements, enabling them to focus their work with a distinctive, cohesive lens. “Empire Studies” is an interdisciplinary designation that variably integrates concepts and methodologies from postcolonial studies, transnational studies, colonial discourse analysis, cultural studies, gender studies, and related fields. The textual foundation for Empire Studies includes cultural, diplomatic, and journalistic texts as well as literature. The overall goal of Empire Studies is to bring the perspectives and practices of empire to bear upon the study of literature and culture; to theorize new models for the awareness and critique of empire; to use these models for teaching and classroom practice; and to promote the interdisciplinary exchange of research and writing about empire.
What are the requirements for the certificate?
To receive an Empire Studies certificate, students must complete a total of twelve (12) hours of coursework, which amounts to a total of four courses. Six hours, or two of those courses, must be selected from among the Empire Studies core courses; these courses may be repeated when content changes. The remaining six hours may also be selected from among the core courses, or they may be other courses that feature an Empire Studies perspective or methodology, as determined by Empire Studies faculty. To see descriptions and sample syllabi for Empire Studies courses, please consult the Courses tab.
The four courses required for the certificate count toward degree requirements for each graduate degree. In other words, students do not need to take Empire Studies courses beyond the degree requirements for their program, and earning an Empire Studies certificate will not require students to prolong their program time-to-completion. For more information on program requirements in English at UH, please see broader degree requirements on the English Department Homepage.
What are the advantages of an Empire Studies certificate?
The Empire Studies certificate gives students a way to structure their graduate coursework with a current and coherent methodological lens. Many top research universities offer certificates or “tracks” in Empire Studies and related fields; earning an Empire Studies certificate at UH will give students an additional competitive edge in the job marketplace. In addition, the cohesion of Empire Studies coursework often points students toward thesis or dissertation topics, enabling them to begin formulating topics early rather than waiting until a later point in their programs. Finally, an Empire Studies certificate will sharpen students’ critical and ethical awareness of empire as it functions in current cultural settings and contexts, an awareness that is crucial to responsible global citizenship in today’s world.
Empire Studies faculty are happy to speak further with students about the certificate. In fact, students who are interested in pursuing a certificate are encouraged to meet with one or more Empire Studies faculty members early in their programs. See the Contact Us page for further information.
Certification Form (to Record Courses Completed toward the Certificate)