and Ph.D in Communication and Cultural Studies
Graduate program in Communication and Cultural
Studies at the National College of Arts started in September 2000.
It offers the M.Phil and Ph.D. degree by research.
Recent years have seen an explosion worldwide in the various programs
in Communication and Cultural Studies --
an interdisciplinary field addressing a wide range of issues including
questions relating to media, ethnicity, class, gender and power, as
well as meanings and values. Both dimensions of the program -- Communication
and Cultural Studies -- are by now established disciplines in
many universities. Nevertheless, they draw their strength from many
related areas such as anthropology, literary criticism, sociology,
history, philosophy and political traditions of thought. Communication
studies applies itself to all those aspects of human activity involved
in the production and exchange of messages. It is the study of symbols,
codes and media that shape and give expression to various forms of
discourses. Its theoretical and methodological perspectives draw on
the interdisciplinary approach to, and an analysis of, contemporary
cultural life -- its signs, messages and meanings in, for example,
popular culture and mass media. Cultural Studies focuses on the social
construction of subjectivity and spans a diverse range of issues --
from analysis of power relations in everyday life to an engagement
with global culture.
In a world marked by the build-up and breakdown of the post cold war
flux, the various programs in Communication
and Cultural Studies are attempts towards conceptualization and
coherence in an era of shifting cultural paradigms. This is especially
relevant for Asia and the Muslim World, where Cultural Studies could
become a strategic site for taking on questions of gender and cultural
differences, ethnic and religious strife, globalization and development.
These issues are in turn embedded in the media-culture matrix and
questions of intercultural representation; all increasingly important
arenas of debate in a world marked by high paced globalization. Indeed,
given the internationalization of the academic world and the need
for educating ‘internationally competent students’ for
a borderless future, the imperative for such a program cannot be overemphasized.
At the same time, it is important to note that while a liberal humanist
discourse giving rise to Cultural Studies spans some four centuries
of western experience, critical discourse has also been vital in shaping
the intellectual and cultural horizons of the Muslim experience. A
central concern of the Graduate Program, therefore, is to critically
reclaim what is meaningful from a vibrant Muslim intellectual heritage
while creatively relating it to contemporary Western discourses in
Cultural Studies. For a developing society riven by ethno-religious
violence and intellectual inertia, NCA’s Graduate Program, therefore,
seems especially relevant at a time when some of the prevailing attitudes
and forms of subjectivities are being increasingly challenged. The
need for such a program is also based on the recognition that in the
present context of globalization, the development process requires
a better understanding and integration of the cultural dimension,
both in development theory and praxis. This could help make development
culturally relevant as it builds on and integrates local cultural
capital. In fact, as an intellectual endeavor, Communication
and Cultural Studies also reflects a cognitive corollary of globalization,
marked by free flows of information and capital affecting the integration
of a global economy. The eclectic nature of globalization, then, is
also reflected in the program’s interdisciplinary approach
Mr. Suroosh Irfani
B.Sc. Chemical Eng.
M.A. Psychology (Shiraz)
CO–DIRECTOR & PROGRAM ADVISOR
Ph.D. Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy
Columbia University N.Y.
Ph.D. Head, Department of Asian Literatures
Institute of Oriental Studies
Russian Academy of Sciences
Ph.D. Associate Professor and Chair,
Department of Politics, Ithaca College, USA.
Ph.D. Associate Professor of History,
Tufts University, USA.
Ph.D. Professor and Chairperson,
Dept. of Religious Studies,
University of North Carolina, USA.
Ph.D. Adjunct Professor,
Political Science, Islam and Politics,
University of New Mexico
Jan N. Pieterse
Ph.D. Associate Professor of Sociology,
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaigne, USA.
Ph.D. Department of Cultural Anthropology,
Durham, North Carolina, USA
Dr. Mahmood Mamdani
Department of Anthropology
1200 Amsterdam Ave
New York City, N.Y. 10027, USA
Ph.D. Associate Professor of Communication,
Simon Fraser University, Canada.
Ph.D. Professor of Comparative Religion,
University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
Tellus Institute, Boston, USA.
Ph.D. Professor of Anthropology,
University of Tampere, Finland.
Kamil Khan Mumtaz
The Friday Times
Ph.D. Professor, Dept of Physics
Head, Department of English Literature
Ph.D. Associate Professor
Pakistan Studies Centre