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Global Studies

FedEx Global Education Center
301 Pittsboro Street, CB# 3263
(919) 962-5442

First Session, 2021

GLBL 390 Current Topics in Global Studies: The Migratory Experience (3) ***Cancelled***

MAYMESTER. This course presents a critical analysis of the migrant experience in North America and Europe. In addition to examining theoretical explanations for migration, this course will ensure that students develop a deep, personal, and practical appreciation of migration rooted in a social justice framework. To do so, we will utilize storytelling, documentaries, and my own firsthand lived experiences as a Latina immigrant. By the end of the course, students will:

  • Develop a clear understanding of the theories driving migration and the various motivations (forced or voluntary) of individuals embarking in this journey.
  • Become familiarized with the policies implemented by sending and receiving countries.
  • Understand the reception and backlash migrants face.
  • Assess whether media portrayals of immigrants via shows such as TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé accurately represent the empirical reality of the migratory experience.


GLBL 415 Dealing with Difference: Criminal Justice, Race, and Social Movements in Globalization (3) ***Cancelled***

MAYMESTER. Whether it is constructing a functional democracy; making sense of media and popular portrayals of events like Hurricane Katrina or the “war on drugs”; organizing social movements, or unraveling complex stories of urban renewal and economic development (domestically and abroad)— concepts and constructions of difference, or diversity, prove to be key. In fact they are at the heart of many of the most critical issues today. This course will be dedicated to understanding how (cultural) diversity, or difference, and the concomitant notions of sameness and universality, have been constructed, used and contested in different places and at different times in our modern history. We will do this by critically reading and analyzing different texts—ranging from case studies, to theoretical treatises, to films and other forms of popular culture—as well as engaging in experiential learning and collective projects.

This course will be dedicated in large part to familiarizing students with social theories of, or relevant to, making sense of such questions. However, it is premised on the belief that social theory is not an abstract and useless thing academics create for their own amusement (or employment), but that it is a vital and necessary aspect for understanding and therefore living in this world. The focus for Maymester 2021 will be on alternative and social movement responses to the Criminal Justice System, including Abolition, movements for Restorative and Transformative Justice, Black Lives Matter, among others. We will focus on local and domestic manifestations, as well as global ones including the Drug War, recent Brazilian social movements, and Israel/Palestine. The course will include guest speakers, field trips, and other experiential methodologies (Depending on the public health situation). REMOTE ONLY-SYNCHRONOUS.

Second Session, 2021

GLBL 210: Global Issues and Globalization (3)

This course provides an introduction to the evolving field of global studies with a specific focus on the theme of globalization. Over the course of the semester, we will explore the intellectual, political, economic, and cultural issues that have marked the historical dynamics of globalization. We will examine various aspects of global economic, political, and cultural processes, including: the formation of a world of nation-states; the emergence of markets and construction of a global economy; conceptions and consequences of “development”. We will also engage some of the contemporary debates over alternatives to globalization. We will draw on the scholarly literature of the social sciences, film accounts of lived experiences within the modern global system, and mainstream media accounts of these issues. The course will unfold on two levels: (1) an account of changing social relations within increasingly transnational economic, political, and cultural systems, and (2) introduction of and critical reflections on the terms and categories that are used to describe these relations.

Course Goals

· Increase your understanding of the social/cultural, political and economic issues that have marked the historic process of globalization.

· Put key institutions into historical context.

· Critically analyze key institutions, ideologies, and practices that are often seen as immutable and natural.

· Develop critical analytical skills to assess positive and negative implications commonly associated with globalization

· Apply general concepts to specific cases in diverse regional and historical contexts.

· Make connections between historical experiences and contemporary events.

· Recognize and evaluate key debates and tensions about globalization.

· Use written and oral communication effectively to summarize, apply, and analyze course concepts and material.

· Participate in a process of collaborative learning with your classmates and the instructor.

· Recognize source bias in media and other documents, data, and articles

· Become aware of how your individual positionality will play a role in your understanding of globalization.

· Develop a deeper and more nuanced understanding of how globalization directly impacts you as a citizen by actively challenging some of your pre-conceptions.

GLBL 390 Current Topics in Global Studies: Rightwing Populism: A Global Perspective (3) ***Cancelled***

This course will examine right wing populism globally. We will consider why right wing populism has gained traction in such diverse places as India, Brazil, Germany, France, Hungary, Britain and the United States. We will ask what role such factors as religion, ethnicity, economics and gender play in its rise. The course will also consider to what extent right wing populisms form a coherent global movement, and how much they reflect national characteristics. Finally, we will explore how sustainable the phenomenon is and what dynamics might undercut it. REMOTE ONLY-SYNCHRONOUS.