Introduction to Global Studies

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveNA4

Semester and Year Offered: 2nd year

Course Coordinator and Team: Rohit Negi

Email of course coordinator: rohit[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None

Aim: This course introduces students to the varied aspects of and thinking around the contested process of globalisation. It considers globalisation through a historical and critical framework and offers an interdisciplinary perspective on the phenomenon. Each week students will examine a specific global issue from the vantage point of a particular world region (e.g. climate change and Sub-Saharan Africa; migration and Western Europe; economic crisis and South America). The underlying idea is to focus on the connections between places and peoples, as well as the tensions and disjunctures at these intersections.

Course Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of globally-important human and physical geographical phenomena
  2. Thoughtfully consider diverse global concerns from an interdisciplinary perspective
  3. Appreciate the interrelations and connectedness of social-environmental processes and people

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  1. Introduction: Developing a Global Perspective: The key idea behind this unit is to orient students to a global perspective on phenomena through a discussion of the meanings and debates in globalisation, as well what a comparative and cross cultural worldview entails.
  2. Wealth and Poverty: This unit takes a ‘history of the present’ approach to ask the following question: what explains the unprecedented levels of inequalities that characterise the contemporary human condition?
  3. Ecology and Society: The unit will work with a political ecology framework, showing the imbrications of environmental concerns with the wider political economy.
  4. Cultures in Contact: The unit looks at the forms of hybridity and conflict that have emerged as a result of the movement of people, ideas, and cultures across the world.
  5. State and Democracy: The unit considers the geopolitical realignments that take shape alongside and consequent to globalisation.
  6. Rethinking Globalisation: The final section of the course invites students to reassemble their understanding of the global after having gone through the course and case studies.

Assessment Details with weights:

Assessment structure (modes and frequency of assessments): Map Quiz—a series of map quizzes, conducted in class, test students on their ability to locate regions, nations, and capitals (20%). Photo-essay—students select a country and theme of choice to narrate a story of global change with the use of a photo essay (30%). Personal Stories—students document the artefacts that they encounter on a daily basis and uncover their relations and connections (20%). In-class final examination (30%).

Reading List:

  • Campbell, Patricia J. et al (2010). An Introduction to Global Studies. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Massey, Doreen (2010), ‘A Global Sense of Place’, available from global_sense_place.pdf, accessed 12 September 2016.
  • Beinart, William (2001) Twentieth-Century South Africa. Oxford University Press. Part 1.
  • Kinder, Kimberley (2016), DIY Detroit: Making do in a city without services. Minnesota University Press. Chapters 5 and 6.
  • Steger, Manfred (2013), Globalization: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press. Ch 1 and 2.
  • Hochsetler, Kathryn and Margaret E. Keck (2007). Greening Brazil: Environmental Activism in State and Society. Duke University Press. Ch 4.
  • Fedora, Shirley A. (2013). Global Issues: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. University of Toronto Press. Ch 5,7.
  • Yongshun Cai (2010), Collective Resistance in China: Why Popular Protests Succeed or Fail. Stanford University Press. Ch 1-2.
  • Joe Sacco (2001), Palestine. Fantagraphics Books.