This paper requires you to use some of the key historical, theoretical, and conceptual insights you have gained from this course to analyze a contemporary global issue. This issue can be ripped straight from the headlines, though you are more than welcome to study an issue that has received less attention if you think it is interesting and merits more attention. This issue can be primarily social, political, economic, ecological, or cultural in nature, though it will most likely cut across these various domains. A few examples of issues or subjects you could analyze include: ● The COVID-19 pandemic and its global impacts upon work, housing, incarceration, policing, or state power (but not necessarily all at the same time). ● The ongoing national and international uprisings against police violence sparked by the murder of George Floyd, in terms of their diversified goals and achievements, their wide-ranging tactics and strategies, or their framing by the mainstream media and their own messaging. ● The deforestation and burning of the Amazon rainforest, in relation to the impacts of these processes on Amazonian Indigenous peoples and their responses in turn, the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro and transnational agribusiness interests as drivers of these processes, or the potential for these processes to spread diseases including COVID-19. ● The controversy sparked by the release of Disney’s remake of Aladdin in 2019, in terms of the Orientalism inherent in the story of Aladdin, Disney’s ever-growing power as a media corporation, and the contentious cultural politics surrounding diversity and representation. This list of issues is by no means exhaustive, and you are encouraged to identify others to examine. Having picked an issue to study, consider it in light of the following questions: ● What exactly are the global dimensions of this issue? How have various global forces converged within the space in which this issue is situated and/or extended its consequences and its significance beyond that space? ● What are the historical dimensions of this issue? How are current developments concerning this issue building upon or departing from the legacies of the past, not least of all pertinent legacies of colonialism and imperialism? Why is historicizing the issue at hand necessary for fully understanding it in the present? ● How is culture pertinent to the issue at hand? Is the issue grounded in culture in any way, and has it impacted culture in any way? Have the cultural dimensions of this issue transcended or transgressed borders and boundaries? (Be wary of naturalizing culture – that is, by describing certain cultural traits as innate, permanent features of certain people or places – as you address these questions. In this sense, your cultural analysis must also be historically grounded.) ● Are any particular ideologies pertinent to your issue of choice? Have these ideologies implicitly or explicitly shaped the issue at hand, and, if so, how? What historical and cultural factors account for the influence of the ideologies in question? What theoretical perspectives from our course could help you better understand these ideologies and their roles in the issues under consideration? GLOBL 1 Global History, Culture
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