Area of Concentration: Cultures

Learning Objectives

Students explore different regions of the world and their transregional connections.

Students learn how to employ Cultural and Social Theory to critically assess essentialist views on culture and to engage with transcultural entanglements in a globalised world.

Rather than merely a "soft skill", intercultural competence nowadays represents a core element of professional qualification. Exploring the diverse ideas, imaginaries and constructions of culture and transculturality is an important precondition for a critical engagement with cultural difference, belonging and representation. ‘Intensified and new forms of Im(Mobility)’, the simultaneous dissolution and consolidation of borders, as well as contested multiculturalism policies comprise cultural dimensions of globalisation processes. The latter also include both new transcultural and "hybrid" formations and practices as well as continuous attempts to draw cultural boundaries, as exemplified in debates on the so called Leitkultur or "clash of civilisations". The dialectics between (national) cultural claims and (trans)cultural negotiation processes within global entanglements asks for a balanced, explorative and empirical approach to cultural studies.


The courses in the Cultures area of concentration explore (trans)cultural formations and practices in different regions of the world such as China, North America, sub-Saharan Africa or Eastern Europe, as well as supranational connections and communities and associations (e.g. BRIC, EU or NAFTA). The courses address diverse themes, e.g., religion, society, markets and consumption, migration, urbanity, gender and diversity as well as conflict and cooperation. Furthermore, the courses in this area of concentration work with literature, film, art, music and dance to analyse socio-cultural processes in transdisciplinary and innovative ways.


The Cultures area of concentrationenhances students’ transcultural competences, as well as their critical reflection of constructed images and ideas of cultural differences in politics, economy and society. While on the undergraduate level the focus lies on different regions of the world and their entanglements, on the master’s level this knowledge is increasingly embedded into cultural theory.


Jelena Tosic

Prof. Dr.

Assistant Professor

Büro 51-6038
Unterer Graben 21
9000 St. Gallen

Rita Kesselring

Prof. Dr.

Associate Professor of Urban Studies

Büro 52-6208
Müller-Friedberg-Str. 6/8
9000 St Gallen