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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2017-18

MALS 284 Homegrown: “Local” in a Globalized Age

Globalization has eroded local traditions, economies, and sources of authority. Yet, in in spite of – or perhaps because of this – the local has retained both its allure and potency as a discourse of social, cultural, and political resistance to globalization. Adages such as “all politics is local” and “think globally, act locally” reflect commonly touted assumptions of the enduring significance of the local.

This course draws on theoretical texts, documentary film, history, and cultural studies to analyze articulations of the local in a range of responses to globalization. Early readings will establish the contours of globalization and prompt students to pose broad questions about what theorists call the “production of locality.” We’ll explore these questions with close readings around four themes, including media, civil society, food, and labor. We’ll read work by Antonio Negri, David Harvey, and Saskia Sassen, among others. Topics covered will range from the 1994 Zapatista uprising in Mexico and its influence on other resistance movements to expressions of “gastronationalism” and the politics of local food consumption.

Students will write a brief 5-page essay responding to the readings, a 7-10 page review essay, and a 12-15-page research paper, on which they’ll base a class presentation. Students will be required to purchase several texts, but the majority of readings will be available on Blackboard.


Julia Rabig