Cultural Identities minor

Our sense of identity and place in the world relies on our understanding of shared values and practices. How cultural identities interact helps us understand many of the world’s most pressing issues: violence, migration, and discrimination or persecution based on identities.

To navigate these challenges we need to develop not only an understanding of how cultural identities helps us derive a sense of identity and our place in the world, but also an appreciation of how different cultural backgrounds provide others with a different, and sense of identity and their place in the world.

About Cultural Identities

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The Cultural Identities minor is a joint effort of the departments of Germanic and Slavic Studies and Spanish and Latin American Studies. This minor focuses on the complex role culture plays in the formation, negotiation, and interpretation of individual and group identities. It draws on the research and teaching strengths of these departments, which integrate different approaches to cultural analysis and have developed a particular emphasis on transcultural perspectives, while adding complementary perspectives from other departments and programs.

Students in this program will be able to explore the ways in which culture shapes a person’s identities by analyzing the intersection of culture, language, and representation in both the Canadian and global contexts. The program benefits from the scholarly interests of faculty members whose research and teaching connects questions relating to language and discourse with those relating to artistic representation, cultural studies, and education.

The minor in Cultural Identities will introduce students to:

  • the construction of cultural identities and their representation through language, discourse, literature, film, and other means of expression,
  • the development of a capacity for critical inquiry into how cultural identities are formed, negotiated, and represented, both globally and in Canada,
  • issues surrounding cultural identities in the 21st century,
  • the processes of mediating between various cultural identities, functioning within different cultures, and connecting with members of other cultures.

The minor in Cultural Identities can complement any major at the university, providing students with awareness, skills and knowledge that prepare them to succeed in their chosen careers and make useful contributions to their societies.

The Waterfall of Visibility illustrates how some identities (such as gender, race, age and physical ability) are visible, some may or may not be apparent (such as nationality, religion and language) and others are not apparent (such as heritage, values systems, life experiences, thought processes, family status, sexual orientation, education, skills and beliefs.)


Here are a few CI courses we offer:

themes of critical theory

Contact us

For more information regarding the Cultural Identities minor, contact the Undergraduate Advisor at