Communication and Culture | Seminar in Cross Cultural Communication
C727 | 3025 | Carolyn Calloway-Thomas

CMCL-C 727: Seminar in Cross Cultural Communication
(Topic: Piles of Stones?  Cultural Identities, Power and
Class Number: 3025

M 11:30A-2:00P, MJ 112

Professor: Carolyn Calloway-Thomas
Office: Mottier Hall 219
Office Hours: MW 3:30P-4:30P, F 11:00A-12:00P and by appointment
Phone: 5-0524

In his new book, After Theory, Terry Eagleton writes, “The problem
at the moment is that the rich have mobility while the poor have
locality.  Or rather, until the rich get their hands on it.  The
rich are global and the poor are local – though just as poverty is a
global fact, so the rich are coming to appreciate the benefits of
locality. It is not hard to imagine affluent communities of the
future protected by watchtowers, searchlights and machine-guns,
while the poor scavenge for food in the waste lands beyond.”
Eagleton’s comments strike at the very heart of three crucial
questions:  Why, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, is
the world still divided between the few who are rich and the many
who are poor?   Who gets to decide who gets included in divisions
between margins and majority?  And how do cultural factors help to
explain the behavior of ethnic groups and the way in which societies
achieve or fail to achieve power?

In this seminar we will weigh in on the debate over globalization
and critically examine the interrelationships between cultural
identities and power. The course examines why values, cultural
identities, and forces of globalization matter in the process of
human decision-making. By extension, such influential variables
shape how individuals think and feel about notions of progress and
change.    We will also examine the role of the International
Monetary Fund, the World Bank and Nongovernmental Organizations
(NGOs) for mediating social hierarchy and difference. Anti-
globalization protests in Brazil, Bolivia, Seattle and other places
will be highlighted. The works of A. Appadurai,    Nancy Frazer,
Francis Fukuyama, Thomas Friedman, Terry Eagleton, Stuart Hall,
Lawrence E. Harrison, Michael Hardt, Samuel P. Huntington, Karl
Marx, Antonio Negri,   Arundhati Roy, David Swartz, Joseph E.
Stiglitz, Hugh Thomas and others will provide the analytic tools for
understanding and explaining the nature of power, notions of
inequality, globalization, sameness and difference.

Finally, we will wrestle with three compelling, but highly
controversial issues:   Will individuals in developing countries
have to change their cultural heritage (identity) in order to
participate more meaningfully in the global system?  Change their
modes of decision-making? If yes, will such radical changes lead to
piles of stones?

Above course meets with AMST-G 751, CULS-C 701, and AFRO-A 590.