Communication and Culture | Seminar in Intercultural Communication (Topic: Beyond Mountains: Issues in Public Discourse, the Global and the Local)
C727 | 29763 | Calloway-Thomas, C.
M, 2:30 PM-5:00 PM, C2 102
Meets with AAAD-A 697
Open to Graduates Only!
Instructor: Carolyn Calloway-Thomas
Office: C2 249
In her compelling book, Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their
Journey, Isabel Fonseca quotes a weary Albanian Roma as
saying, “When I die, bury me standing, because I have been on my
knees all my life.” This poignant quotation has embedded within it
implicit connections between class and politics and between the
global and the local. The quotation is also hugely emblematic of
what some scholars term the “underbelly” of the world’s
globalization. The word, “underbelly, “ implies that researchers
have insufficiently interrogated some of the most crucial global
issues of our time, ranging from rampant epidemic diseases to the
brain drain of health-care personnel from the developing world.
Terry Eagleton suggests that one reason for the omission is
that “much post-colonial theory (has) shifted the focus from class
and nation to ethnicity.” Eagleton’s comment raises several key
questions: Is post-colonial thought a substitute for liberation? Do
postmodern norms of elitism work against new forms of politics and
belonging? What is the local and global divide between rich and
poor societies across a range of critical issues? And what
discourses have the potential to change inequalities among world
This seminar creates a forum for debate and discussion about the
ways in which intersections between and among the politics of
global health, global demands for democracy, environment, economic
grievances, and ideological perspectives influence people who are
thrust to the periphery. This course will also highlight the
importance of understanding how discourses manifest themselves in
debates over social justice and marginality. We will look
strategically at public arguments centered on who gets to say
what, when, how, and with what effect. We will be reading a
disciplinary range of authors and speeches that have contributed to
an understanding of relationships that obtain between the global and
India’s Navdanya environmental movement, health care efforts in sub-
Saharan Africa, the “White Overalls” movement in Italy, and the
1999 Seattle World Trade Organization (WTO) and Genoa G-8 protests
will be used as illustrative cases, along with other reform
Key texts will include speeches and writings by James Aune, Jagdish
Bhagwati, Celeste Condit, Hernando De Soto, James Farmer, Michele
Foucault, Laurie Garrett, Paul Gilroy, G. Thomas Goodnight, Parag
Khanna, Wangari Maathai, Michael McGee, Arundhati Roy, Vandana
Shiva, Cornel West, and others.
Course Format: Although the class will be taught in a seminar
atmosphere, some sections will begin with a min-lecture by the
instructor, which will contextualize the particular topic or
approach taken in the assigned readings. At each session students
will give short presentations (10-20) minutes on the assigned
readings, and will prepare and hand out a list of questions intended
to facilitate class discussions of the readings.
Course Requirements: Students are expected to attend classes,
participate in class discussions, and complete assigned readings.
Additional requirements include the following:
1. One Paper. You are required to write a 15-20 page paper which
will incorporate your readings and draw upon the knowledge that you
gained throughout the semester. The paper may relate to a
particular theme, include a textual analysis of a body of speeches
related to aspects of the environment, or it may analyze the
rhetorical practices of a specific social justice movement.
2. Two short (3-4) reaction papers and two sets of discussion
questions. Twice during the semester each student will be required
to hand in a short paper which reacts to the week’s readings and
discussion questions designed to facilitate discussions of that
reading. These are not summaries, but rather papers which raise
questions, criticism, and make connections with previous readings.
Your individual oral presentation will focus on the same reading.
The readings will be assigned collectively, and the short reaction
papers will be due on the day of your presentation.
20% Class participation
30% Reaction papers & oral presentations
50% Research paper