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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Julie Shayne
BISGST 303
Bothell Campus

History and Globalization

The phenomenon of globalization has attracted the attention of many academic disciplines which often attribute novelty to trends that have in fact been around for centuries. Provides a historical perspective on current debates about globalization. Approaches may vary with instructor.

Class description

"History and Globalization": This core global studies course looks at globalization as a set of historical, political, economic, and gendered relationships. We will investigate some of the debates about globalization to understand the origins of the global political economy, the processes, institutions, and ideological prisms through which it works, and how these forces intersect with existing geographic differences and inequalities. This course explores the connections that bind political economic processes and cultural forces. Additionally, it considers how identities and inequalities have been forged together through ongoing struggles over economic production, gender justice, trade, and development. Throughout the course we will question our assumptions about history and globalization, and in the process challenge many of the mainstream characterizations of politics and development in the world today.

Topics include: History of global inequality; representation of the Global South; migration; free trade/fair trade and coffee; gender and globalization, and anti-globalization social movements.

Student learning goals

1) Articulate a working definition of globalization which reflects historical, cultural, political, economic, and gendered processes.

2) Understand the historical, economic, political, and gendered forces that cause, perpetuate, and sustain global inequalities.

3) Develop a concrete understanding of globalization which is attentive to the material and symbolic relationships that shape the uneven distribution of the costs and benefits of global capitalism.

4) Articulate how different understandings and representations of globalization lead to different analyses of the creation of poverty and wealth.

5) Understand some of the ways grassroots social movements have organized to register their opposition to globalization.

6) Learn and apply a variety of methods to ask and answer critical questions related to global studies issues and problems.

General method of instruction

The course will be a mix of lecture and class discussion. We will use a variety of different types of texts including: social science, history, journalistic, economic, ethnographic, and films. Required texts: Williams, Glyn, Paula Meth, and Katie Willis. 2009. Geographies of Developing Areas: The Global South in a Changing World. NY: Routledge. And a course reader

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

This is a writing and reading intensive course with a significant research component. You will have four section write-ups, a take home midterm and final, and a group research project and presentation based on a google map representation of a global commodity chain.

Written assignments will be graded on sound analysis, clear writing, and attention to detail. Part of your grade will be based on informed contributions to the class and your group research project and presentation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Julie Shayne
Date: 10/29/2013