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Globalization

ENGL 774.301
instructor(s):
w 3-6

"The era of globalization is over," observed John Gray a few months ago. Gray, himself a conservative economist who championed the expansion of free markets during the Thatcher years, is one of many public intellectuals in Britain and the U.S. who have lately taken a darker view of globalization. The very term, which has been a dominant buzzword of social and cultural study across the whole spectrum of disciplines and political orientations for over a decade, appears to have arrived at a kind of crisis-point of overapplication and overselling. Our aims in this seminar will be to gain some acquaintance with the major thinkers and texts of the globalization debates, to subject this work to critical interrogation, and to consider which of its aspects might be usefully brought onboard contemporary literary study. Likely readings include Nicolas Poulantzas Classes in Contemporary Capitalism (1975), Immanuel Wallerstein, Capitalist World Economy (1979), David Harvey, The Limits to Capital (1982) Anthony Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity (1989) and Reflexive Modernization (1995), Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (1992), Benjamin Barber, Jihad vs. McWorld (1996), Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations (1996), Fredric Jameson, "Notes on Globalization as a Philosophical Issue" (1998), Paik Nak-Chung, "Nations and Literatures in the Age of Globalization" (1998), Zygmunt Bauman, Globalization: The Human Consequences (1998), Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes (1994) and On the Edge of the New Century (2000), Saskia Sassen, Globalization and its Discontents (1998), Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (2000), and Giles Gunn, "Globalizing Literary Studies" (2001). We will also look at governmental documents and reports from the IMF, the World Bank, Tony Blair, Bill Clinton and the Council of Economic Advisors. Finally, we will incorporate into our reading and discussion some recent novels whose production and reception histories might be usefully considered in relation to globalization theory: Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses (1989), Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters (1990), Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting (1993), and J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace

(1999). Required work for the class will include two essays and two oral presentations.

Fulfills 3 & 5 requirements.