Fall 2021 Special Topics

(See the Schedule of Classes for meeting times)

POLITICAL ECONOMY SPECIAL TOPICS

POLECON 160-001 (20371) Richard Ashcroft
“National Identity and Political Economy in the US and UK”
Great Britain and the United States of America have deep-seated political, economic, cultural, and historical ties. As well as having both language and law in common, they share an intellectual heritage and distinctive commitment to individual liberty, free-market economics, and limited government. And at pivotal moments in modern history—most notably both World Wars, but also Korea, the Cold War, the Gulf War, and the invasion of Iraq—they have been staunch allies. Yet this “special relationship” has also been marked by conflict and difference. Most obviously during the Wars of Independence and 1812, but also in their varying experiences of (and attitudes towards) religion, race, socialism, and imperialism. Curiously, both nations see themselves as “exceptional” even as they continue to articulate their national identities—in part at least—through comparison to the other. This course will explore the similarities and differences between Great Britain and the United States through examining the relationship between law, political economy, and national identity.

GLOBAL STUDIES SPECIAL TOPICS

GLOBAL 10B-001 (24178) Darren Zook
“Food, Drink, Culture, Politics”
Few things are more important to the existence of humanity than food and drink. Aside from making human life possible, food and drink have generated multiple waves of cultural and political activity throughout human history, some of it celebratory, some of it contentious, and all of it infinitely interesting. This course will explore the many ways that food and drink are intertwined with culture and politics, in the past and in the present. Drawing on examples from all around the world, we will discuss, among other things, the ways that governments try to control the circulation of food and drink; the different cultural rituals associated with food and drink; the claims of cultural ownership over specific types of food and drink; and the representation of food and drink through art, film, and literature. After taking this course, you’ll never look at what’s on your plate or what’s in your glass the same way again.

GLOBAL 10B-002 (24579) Clare Talwalker
“Cultures and Capitalisms”
This course examines the impact of the global economy on a variety of societies around the world, using novels and films alongside ethnographic accounts. With a focus on cultural meanings and practices, this course approaches capitalist transformation as a powerful shaping force around the globe and through history. In what ways, we will ask, do such things as commodity markets and wage work interact/coexist with other ways of exchanging things, of cooperating with others, and of laboring for our livelihoods on this earth? How are people making sense of such shifts and changes?

GLOBAL 150Q-001 (24181) Crystal Chang Cohen
“China and India in the Age of Globalization”
Throughout Asia, “globalization” and “development” have become synonymous with progress and success. In this course, we will challenge the hegemony of neoliberal market ideology by investigating the commodification of women’s labor in the workplace, in the family, and in the bedroom. We will look at recent trends in labor force participation, sex trafficking, marriage customs, and reproductive rights across Asia. At the same time we interrogate the underlying political, cultural, and economic mechanisms that tend to perpetuate women’s marginality and subordination, we will also seek to understand the many ways in which women have struggled for their self-identity and agency.

GLOBAL 150Q-002 (30341) Crystal Chang Cohen
“Gender, Labor and Love in Globalizing Asia”
Throughout Asia, “globalization” and “development” have become synonymous with progress and success. In this course, we will challenge the hegemony of neoliberal market ideology by investigating the commodification of women’s labor in the workplace, in the family, and in the bedroom. We will look at recent trends in labor force participation, sex trafficking, marriage customs, and reproductive rights across Asia. At the same time we interrogate the underlying political, cultural, and economic mechanisms that tend to perpetuate women’s marginality and subordination, we will also seek to understand the many ways in which women have struggled for their self-identity and agency.

GLOBAL 153P-001 (24575) Karenjot Bhangoo Randhawa
“Religion and Human Security”
The field of global studies encompasses conflict resolution approaches and strategies that are both theoretical and practical. The nature of the relationship between religion, peace and security is often contentious, some arguing that religion has little to do with violence while others have argued we pay attention to nuanced role religion can play as a resource for peace and reconciliation. This course provides an overview of the current challenges of religious, ethnic and sectarian conflict and explores how scholars have evaluated the connection of religion to peace and security. We will analyze the role of various religions and investigate how fundamentalism, secularity and religious freedom relate to human welfare and explore religion’s role in promoting human security. Using various case studies from around the world ranging from South Asia, Middle East, North America and Indonesia, the second half of the course will critically analyze the role mediation and negotiation can play in conflicts that have a religious dimension. Accordingly, students will gain experiential and practical insights about how policy makers and practitioners can develop tools and strategies to address the salience of religion in improving human security in global affairs.

GLOBAL 154M.001 (23929) Peter Bartu
“The Gulf States and the Arab Spring”
The Gulf States seemed impermeable to the 2011 Arab uprisings but behind the scenes saw regional developments as both threat and opportunity. This course examines the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE and Qatar in particular and their roles in an ongoing struggle for the heart and soul of a region. Themes explored include: governance, succession, sectarianism, Islam and the state, intra-Gulf conflicts, gender, security and energy.

GLOBAL 154M.002 (30340) Emily Gottreich
“North Africa: History, Society, Environment
In this course we will consider the Maghrib (modern-day Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, with some reference to Egypt, Mauritania, and the Sahara) both as a coherent region and as a facet of larger Arab-Islamic, Mediterranean, and African “civilizations.” Previous study of one or more of these areas is useful but not required, and the same goes for knowledge of Arabic or French. Topics will be approached chronologically and thematically through the close study of primary source materials wherever possible, including written documents, films, music, folklore, architecture, personal narratives, and material artifacts. These “texts,” as well as the historical contexts within which they emerged, will form the basis for the instructor’s presentation (first half) and discussion (second half) of seminar each week. Some of the themes we will cover include North African Islam, Berber identity and activism, trans-Saharan connections, encounters with Europe, the Algerian War of Independence, comparative French, Spanish, and Italian colonialism, Maghribi immigration to Europe, and post-independence state/society relations, including the transformative effects of the “Arab Spring,” which, of course, began in Tunisia and reverberated throughout the region and beyond. Differences and similarities between the Maghrib and the mashriq (Middle East) will be stressed throughout the course, promoting a detailed and nuanced understanding of the MENA as a whole.

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