Our history


The Cultural, Social and Political Thought (CSPT) program has contributed to the unique intellectual ambiance of the West Coast of Canada since it was founded in 1988.

CSPT owes its unique identity to the vision of its originators — Warren Magnusson and R.B.J. Walker (Political Science), John Michelsen and Monika Langer (Philosophy), and William Carroll and Rennie Warburton (Sociology) — and to the support of its participating departments and the deans of Graduate Studies, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

The CSPT program admitted its first student cohort (MAs only) in 1989. In the 2005 academic year, the CSPT Program admitted its first PhD students from the participating departments of English, History, Political Science and Sociology, and also from individual Interdisciplinary Studies. The CSPT program has graduated over 100 students to date.

CSPT today

Currently, the CSPT program features faculty from a broad range of departments other than the four participating departments — including the Department of Anthropology, French Department, Department of Pacific and Asian Studies, Department of Geography, and School of Environmental Sciences.

CSPT is proud to have some of the top-ranking Canadian scholars among its faculty.