Spring 2022 Courses

GLST 23102

Global Studies II

Caterina Fugazzola

TR, 9:30am-10:50am

This second part of the introductory course sequence for Global Studies will familiarize students with empirical work within this interdisciplinary field, and will guide them through the practical steps of putting together a research project. How do we move from a research interest to a research question? How do we approach the study of social dynamics from a global perspective that emphasizes interconnectedness? How do we track the movement of ideas, people, culture, and capital across borders? How do we incorporate considerations of power, positionality, and reflexivity in our research practice? We will engage with scholarship across the social sciences and cover topics related to the four thematic tracks in the Global Studies major. As we analyze a variety of empirical cases, we will discuss approaches to case selection, theoretical grounding, data collection and analysis, and ethical research practices. At the end of the course, students will produce an annotated bibliography and a preliminary draft of their thesis proposal.

 

GLST 24741/PLSC 24741

Politics And Popular Culture in the Arab World

Yasmeen Mekawy

W, 3:00pm-5:50pm

This course will examine the relationship between popular culture and politics in the Arab world, with an emphasis on Egypt. Pop culture, such as cinema, television, street art, music, and social media, has been a means of both resisting and shoring up authority, of affirming and subverting societal norms and taboos, enabling the production of new forms of community and publics, and of motivating and expressing political action. We will critically examine examples of pop culture from societies throughout the region, analyzing their connection to power structures and changes in ideology and nationalism, gender/class/religious identity and practice, comportment and urban space, and state power. This course will draw on research approaches in media studies and anthropology to theorize the role of popular culture in reflecting, challenging, and expanding political horizons in the region.

 

GLST 24831/ENST 24831

The Techno-Politics of Infrastructure

Yujie Li, (HISTORY DEPARTMENT)

Global Studies 2021-2022 Lecture Prize Winner

Please note: This instructor's name may not appear in the online schedule during preregistration

MW, 4:30pm-5:50pm

Infrastructure reemerges as a heated political topic in the United States against the background of the new great power competition in the world and the increasing concern of inequality and social justice at home. Such divergent political interests illuminate the tension between the promises of infrastructure and the challenges it poses. What is infrastructure? And why does it matter? This course takes infrastructure as its object of inquiry and explores ways of building and using infrastructure in various historical and social settings. A burgeoning scholarship on infrastructure reflects on the complexity of infrastructure’s environmental, political, social, and economic impact. Infrastructure was a critical part of both empire building and nation-state development. At the same time, massive infrastructure projects could also bring about self-defeating debacles that threatened the very regimes who had implemented them. Infrastructure has elevated millions from poverty and provided more with necessity and convenience. But it also creates barriers, destroys ecological systems, and materialized discrimination. The challenges of climate change and cyber security urges us to rethink infrastructure through the lens of scale, distribution, and trust. This course aims to complicate any monolithic conceptualizations of development, and to rethink the relations between us—at the levels of individual, communal and global—with the techno-ecology called infrastructure.

 

GLST 24852

Sino-Western Encounters: Chinese Law and Empire from Global Perspectives

Yuan Tian (HISTORY DEPARTMENT)

Global Studies 2021-2022 Lecture Prize Winner 

Please note: This instructor's name may not appear in the online schedule during preregistration

TR, 5:00pm-6:00pm

This course examines the history of Sino-Western relations through the perspective of law. Today when we talk about Chinese law in Western contexts, it is often associated with impressions such as human rights abuse and rule of person instead of law. Ever since the early eighteen century, law has assumed a prominent role in the development of Sino-Western relation. Using law as a primary analytical framework, this course surveys a variety of issues arising from Sino-Western interactions during the nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries. Questions to be discussed include what role does the West, both as political actors and a source of ideology, play in shaping understanding of Chinese law and politics? How did judicial knowledge of business, sovereignty, and family structure change as China entered the global world of nation-states? How did understanding of law help construct and reconstruct notions of ethnicity, marriage, and gender over time in cross-cultural settings? You will be able to understand broad political processes such as modernization, colonization, and globalization, as well as their impact on everyday life. In addition to discussing how Western observers produced knowledge about Chinese law, we also examine the role of law in the Qing Empire’s expansion. The parallel of the two trajectories – one Chinese and one Western – will lead us to reconsider some of the assumptions in cross-cultural studies.

 

GLST 24920/PLSC 24920

Life Of the Hive Mind: Digital Media, Politics, and Society

Yasmeen Mekawy

TR, 12:30pm-1:50pm

The development of new media technology has prompted questions about and challenges to conceptions of power, knowledge, and subjectivity. While social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube permeate every aspect of our lives, we often remain unaware of their impact and significance. This course examines the intersection between social media, politics, and society in a global perspective to understand their role in our lives, in political discourse, and in shaping culture. Through course readings and student work we will think through how to analyze social media theoretically and empirically, considering how individuals and groups across the globe use social media to develop relationships, construct and perform identity, coordinate political action, achieve status and distinction, express unpopular opinions, explore sexuality, connect to subaltern communities, and develop subcultures. We also delve into the darker side of these platforms, exploring the proliferation of fake news, hate speech, terrorist networks, and gendered issues including trolling and cyber-harassment. We will draw on readings from media studies, sociology, anthropology, and political science to develop insights into understanding the relationship between online and offline worlds, as well as the social, cultural, and political consequences of social media in everyday life and global structures.

 

GLST 25130-1/ANTH 23812-1 (This course is offered in two sections)

Social Theory for a Green New Deal

Rebecca Journey

TR 3:30pm-4:50pm

U.S. House Resolution 109—popularly known as the Green New Deal—pledges a systemic corrective to the social and ecological harms of late industrial capitalism. With a particular focus on questions of economic and environmental justice, this seminar anthropologically assesses the prospect of a Green New Deal and its potential relationship to society, policy, and the built environment. Thinking relationally across scales and systems, we will consider the stakes of this large-scale yet still largely undefined legislative proposal and its implications for the social contract in a warming world. Attending to the ways in which race, class and gender inform late industrial life, the seminar will explore (via the environmental humanities and feminist & indigenous STS) concepts such as stewardship, climate justice, environmental racism, intergenerational ethics, more-than-human ontologies, and the Anthropocene (plus alternative frames).

 

GLST 25130-2/ANTH 23812-2 (This course is offered in two sections)

Social Theory for a Green New Deal

Rebecca Journey

TR, 1:30pm-2:50pm

U.S. House Resolution 109—popularly known as the Green New Deal—pledges a systemic corrective to the social and ecological harms of late industrial capitalism. With a particular focus on questions of economic and environmental justice, this seminar anthropologically assesses the prospect of a Green New Deal and its potential relationship to society, policy, and the built environment. Thinking relationally across scales and systems, we will consider the stakes of this large-scale yet still largely undefined legislative proposal and its implications for the social contract in a warming world. Attending to the ways in which race, class and gender inform late industrial life, the seminar will explore (via the environmental humanities and feminist & indigenous STS) concepts such as stewardship, climate justice, environmental racism, intergenerational ethics, more-than-human ontologies, and the Anthropocene (plus alternative frames).

 

GLST 25245/MAAD 10245

Serious Play: Video Games and Global Politics (NEW COURSE)

Caterina Fugazzola

TR, 2:00pm-3:20pm

This course approaches video games as cultural and political artifacts that can be studied to shed light on global political events and processes. Questions we will explore throughout the course include: How do we understand the relationship between video games and global capitalism? What can video games tell us about large-scale processes such as climate change, migration, war…? How do we understand issues of representation in gaming? What do video games have to do with international relations? We will approach video games from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives, analyzing them as a form of entertainment but also as forms of art, as political objects, as reflections of social dynamics, and as channels for social critique and change. The course does not require any previous gaming knowledge nor experience, and it welcomes gamers and non-gamers interested in exploring the relationship between games and global politics.

 

GLST 25315/ANTH 21425

Ethnographic Methods Beyond "Being There"

Rebecca Journey

MW, 3:30pm-4:50pm

This is an ethnographic methods seminar grounded in cultural anthropology. Yet our focus will extend beyond classical approaches to immersive fieldwork. Informed by recent calls to reimagine fieldwork beyond “being there,” this course asks what it means to conduct anthropological research in a socially distant world. A central premise of the course is that any methodology exists in relation to specific theoretical paradigms and institutional arrangements. A second premise of the course is that research methods are best studied through practical application. To that end we will connect theory to method by reading widely across archival science, media studies, and experimental ethnography, and animate these readings in a series of practical exercises. In the process we will explore the limits and potentials of practicing anthropology at a distance.

 

GLST 25320/ANTH 23097/ENST 25320/LACS 25320

Poverty And Urban Development: The Right to Housing in Latin America

Ines Escobar Gonzalez

M, 11:30am-1:20pm

Bringing a wide variety of disciplinary texts into conversation, this course leads towards a holistic understanding of the historically rooted and globally entangled housing condition of Latin America’s urban poor. It encourages students to read along the grain of developmental discourse at different stages of twentieth-century development, thus advancing students’ capacity to critically situate and condition global and national policies. The course analytically foregrounds problems of governance, resource distribution, and sociopolitical complexity, providing students with a representative range of case studies from across the subcontinent and interrogating what it means for social and economic goods to be labeled human rights. Throughout the course, students will examine diverse housing arrangements and policies in the context of national, regional, and global development histories. Ultimately, this course advances comprehension of the particularities of contemporary Latin American societies, and that which they share with the Global South and the world at large.

 

GLST 26383/PBPL 26383

Mapping Global Chicago Research Lab: Health and Well-Being Among the Tibetan Diaspora in Chicago

Callie Maidhof

TR, 11:00am-12:20pm

Mapping Global Chicago is a collaborative, interdisciplinary undergraduate research initiative investigating the idea of the “global city.” This year, we will investigate the changing attitudes towards medical practice and care among members of the Tibetan diaspora community here in Chicago. We will consider how both long-term shifts and more recent events such as of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected Tibetan Chicagoans' approach to Western and traditional Tibetan medicine and the practice of religion as it relates to well-being. Students from across disciplines are encouraged to participate in this lab. The lab has been student-designed and will take shape according to diverse student interests and skill sets, including but not limited to ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, surveys, GIS, and data science. Working collaboratively, students will produce public scholarship to be featured on the Mapping Global Chicago website (https://mappingglobalchicago.rcc.uchicago.edu/).

Students must complete an online application at https://globalstudies.uchicago.edu/mapping-global-chicago