The course will offer a widely ranging, interdisciplinary approach to the problem of the “Global.”  Its subject will be our contemporary planetary condition – political, cultural, economic —  from South Asia to North Africa, from New Jersey to the Dominican Republic, from the Amazon to the Nile.  Even as our reading gives focus to recent events (including revolutions in the Middle East, issues of terror and security, human trafficking, 9/11 and the world financial crisis), we will pay due attention to the earlier history of globalization.  Through encounters with film and literature, history and anthropology, politics and economics, a series of difficult questions will animate our work, among them:  How shall we understand the effects of rapid worldwide modernization on the model of free-market capitalism?  What are the competing values of region, nation and planet?  What ethical obligations do we hold toward distant people whom we will never meet?  What are the conditions of international consumer culture? And beneath all other questions:  what knowledge is necessary for a properly global citizenship?

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