Cultural Formations (6 term hours)

Cultural Formations Courses

About Cultural Formations:

Cultural Formations (CF, CFA, CFB) courses allow students the opportunity to study interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge within the humanities and the social sciences, and the natural sciences when related to either of these other two areas of knowledge. CF courses value new and unusual combinations of study and are intended to encourage faculty innovation and creativity.


CF courses go beyond disciplinary training to develop awareness of the complex formations of values, traditions, and institutions that constitute cultures, and to examine the paradoxes such formations pose. These courses have three major purposes: 1) to introduce students to broad maps of human culture and to the fact that they, as the heirs of all that has gone before, need to assess a long past and a global present; 2) to reveal the interrelatedness of problems of knowledge amid shifting intellectual boundaries; and 3) to make points of reference along those boundaries and so begin to form intellectual communities that embrace the varied schools and disciplines at SMU.

Dr. Ron Wetherington, teaching CFB 3351, Forensic Anthropology: Stories Told by Bones.


Cultural Formation Requirements:


CF courses must be interdisciplinary. These courses explore how the approaches and materials of more than one discipline can be brought to bear on the study of complex social, cultural, and institutional formations. Teaching in teams is strongly encouraged to realize these interdisciplinary goals. Courses must be broad in scope whether historically over time or more immediately in the contemporary world. They may include emphasis on global awareness, interculturalism, and ethnic diversities as well as engage problems of ethics and value. CF courses must be critical in approach, writing-intensive, and focus on primary sources.

CF courses must be taken at SMU, either on the Dallas campus, at SMU-in-Taos, or through the Study Abroad International Programs. Courses transferred from other institutions may not receive CF credit under any circumstances. CF credit will only be given for courses taken at SMU that bear the CF, CFA, or CFB prefix.

Cultural Formations may also carry departmental co-listings;  if the course is taken with the departmental number, it will not be given Cultural Formations credit. Similarly, a course taken with a CF number will not also count as a departmental course.  Please note that the departmental co-listing of a CF course may NOT receive Perspectives credit.  Cultural Formations and Perspectives are mutually-exclusive categories; one cannot count for the other.

Students must complete two CF courses between their sophomore and senior years.

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