Cultural Studies

Last updated: June 1, 2008


The Collection Development policy is used as a guide to shape relevant collections and to ensure consistency in collection development. The decision to purchase library materials is primarily the responsibility of the collections librarian in consultation with faculty in the Department.

This policy has been developed by Joanne Oud, the Cultural Studies librarian, in cooperation with Penelope Ironstone-Catterall, the Program Coordinator.


Cultural Studies involves the interdisciplinary study of high, popular and everyday culture. The Library collection supports teaching, study and research up at the undergraduate degree level, especially in support of current courses. These include:

  • Culture in Historical Perspective
  • Culture in Thematic Perspective
  • Analyzing Culture: The Theory and Practice of Cultural Studies
  • Cartoons and Comics
  • Cultural Studies of Popular Music
  • Cultural Studies in Action (service learning practicum)
  • Special Topics and Senior Seminar courses, which vary in topic but include areas such as:
    • Consumer Culture
    • Youth, Subcultures and Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies materials also support Cultural Studies courses offered at the undergraduate level by the Communication Studies Department, and at the master’s level by the Cultural Analysis and Social Theory program. When purchasing, preference is given to materials that also support the MA program in Cultural Analysis and Social Theory.


  • Language: works written or translated into English are preferred.
  • Place of Publication: priority is given to materials published in North America and the UK.
  • Dates of Publication: emphasis is placed on recently published works.
  • Chronological Period: emphasis is placed on the contemporary period (late 20th and 21st centuries).
  • Geographical Areas: priority is given to works with a North American focus, although materials relating to both western and non-western cultural traditions are purchased.
  • Publishers: scholarly trade and university publishers are given priority, although popular trade 2 publishers are considered for academic-level popular culture material and comics/graphic novels.

Types, formats, and readership of materials collected

  • Materials with academic-level readership are emphasized. Popular materials such as comics and graphic novels are collected as primary sources of study.
  • Web-based format is preferred for journals, reference sources and indexes.
  • Single copies of books in print formats are generally selected. Web-based formats may also be selected, especially if the title is of interest to users at multiple Laurier campuses.
  • Types of materials not purchased include: textbooks, abridgements, study aids, limited editions, works by vanity presses, reprints and partial contents (e.g. single issues of journals, electronic versions of single chapters of books). Non-scholarly publications are usually avoided unless used as primary sources of study.

Subjects collected and collecting priorities

Collecting priorities are categorized into 3 levels:

A - highest emphasis
The collection includes major published materials required to support the core teaching and research at the highest degree level offered by the Department.
B - secondary emphasis
The collection includes a selection of materials to complement the discipline as a whole, although it may not be a primary focus for courses.
C - selective emphasis
Materials, including reference materials and basic journals and indexes are collected to introduce and define an area.
Collecting priority by subject
Subjects collected Collecting priority
Cultural studies theory A
Cultural studies practice A
Cultural studies research & methods A
History & development of cultural studies C
History of popular culture B
Popular culture / mass culture B
Contemporary cultural theory A
Cultural industries and cultural production B
Cultural production C
Cultural policy C
Cultural politics C
Cultural representation B
Gender, sexuality, and culture / popular culture B
Race and culture / popular culture B
Class and culture / popular culture B
Visual culture B
Politics of print culture C
Politics and culture of advertisements C
Cartoons A
Comics A
Graphic novels A
Popular music production, distribution, consumption and regulation A
Fan cultures A
Consumer culture A
Commodification and consumption A
Consumption and identity A
Youth culture A
Youth subcultures A
Children's culture B
Subcultures A
Cultural hegemony & resistance A
Knowledge production B
Celebrity culture C
Video games B
Fashion C
Sports and culture C
Cultural studies of:
Education A
Science B
Health / medicine B
Food A
Space / place / landscape A
Work C
Tourism C

Related programs and support

PDF attachments