Social Justice and Cultural Studies Major

Social Justice and Cultural Studies Faculty

As a Social Justice and Cultural Studies major, you will be able to articulate an understanding of the dynamics of power, history, and representation that form culture and produce patterns of inequity. This awareness is critical for engaging and networking within our intercultural society and creating a foundation to develop your career in a changing world.

Social Justice and Cultural Studies Tracks

To further develop your vocational path, the Social Justice and Cultural Studies major has five tracks, promoting careers in law, policy, civil and human rights, refugee issues, art activism in graphic design, documentary film, creative writing and editing, future MA in education with a foundation in race/ethnicity/gender/sexuality class issues, social work and environmental policies, mediation in political or non-governmental organizations.

We encourage you to explore these links to vocational tracks:

Social Justice and Cultural Studies professors Jennifer McFarlane Harris, Kimberly Wedeven Segall and Ji-Young Um

Want more info? Interested in these vocational tracks? Then Instagram Message us!

Or contact: Dr. Kimberly Segall, Director and Professor of Cultural Studies, at



Apply to the Major

You may enter this major during your first quarter at SPU. Entrance after your first quarter requires only good academic standing (2.0 or higher SPU cumulative GPA).  Consult the undergraduate catalog for complete information on how and when to enter and what you must do to complete the program.   

Study abroad opportunities

Recent Talks and Publications

Jennifer McFarlane-Harris

Jennifer McFarlane-Harris is Associate Professor of English and Cultural Studies at Seattle Pacific University. She received her Ph.D. in English and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan.

Research: Dr. Jennifer McFarlane-Harris’s research explores the function of God in spiritual narratives by Black women, examining theology making as self-constitutive. She is co-editor of the anthology Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers and Theologies of the Afterlife: A Step Closer to Heaven (Routledge 2021) and author of published articles on Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Rebecca Cox Jackson, and Zilpha Elaw. From a chapter on race and gender in Verdi's Aida (Blackness in Opera, 2012) to conference presentations on mixed-race identity in literature and film, McFarlane-Harris’s scholarly agenda is intersectional and interdisciplinary. She recently had a chapter published in Activism in the Name of God: Religion and Black Feminist Public Intellectuals from the Nineteenth Century to the Present.

Professor Kimberly Wedeven Segall poses with her book Superheroes in the Streets

Kimberly Wedeven Segall is Professor of English and Cultural Studies at Seattle Pacific University. She received her Ph.D. in English and Postcolonial Studies from Northwestern University.

Research: Dr. Kimberly Wedeven Segall’s book Performing Democracy in Iraq and South Africa: Gender, Media, and Resistance (Syracuse University Press, 2013) traces women’s stories and digital activism and grassroots movements towards healing in Iraqi blogs and Iranian film and Cape Malay performances. Her book Superheroes in the Streets: Muslim Women Activists in the Digital Age, is a “timely and needed study highlighting Muslim American women artists’ radical interventions across digital platforms. Segall’s insightful analysis widens our understanding of the connections as well as tensions between celebrity icons, art, and activism, opening up new and exciting vistas for engaging with artistic articulations of resistance, revolt, and cross-racial solidarities,” –Carol Fadda, author of Contemporary Arab American Literature: Transnational Reconfigurations of Citizenship and Belonging.

Segall has also published chapters in The Oxford Handbook of Politics and Performance, The Companion to Contemporary Arab American Literature, Forms of Migration: Arab Perspectives on Immigrant Art and Literature, and several articles in Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Public Culture, Research in African Literatures, and other journals.

Talking about ‘Superheroes in the Streets’
Professor Kimberly Segall presents on her book Superheroes in the Streets, displaying a photo of a women in a stars-and-stripes hijab

Kimberly Segall shares history of activism, tracing the stories of US Muslim women

Kimberly Segall
Video Icon

Social Justice and Cultural Studies

Kim Segall and reflection outside a building

How Professor Kim Segall’s work in Iraq and South Africa shapes her approach to social justice

Kimberly Segall is professor of English and Cultural Studies, and co-director of the Social Justice and Cultural Studies major. She sees stories as an important route to intercultural understanding, for herself and for her students. Read her story.