GS professors publish new Global Studies textbook

Dr. Eve Stoddard (Dana Professor of Global Studies) and Dr. John Collins (Professor of Global Studies) have published a new textbook providing a detailed look at key aspects of the emerging field of global studies. Social and Cultural Foundations in Global Studies, one of the two core texts in the Foundations of Global Studies series published by Routledge, "offers students a fresh, comprehensive, multidisciplinary entry point to the study of the social and cultural aspects of global studies."

"We were invited by an editor to write an introductory text on global studies because our department is highly regarded as exemplary in the field," notes Stoddard, who played a central role in creating the department in 2000 as one of the first degree-granting global studies programs in the country. "John and I decided to co-author the book because we liked the model being proposed—an untextbook-like, inexpensive but sophisticated book for introductory or mid-level global studies courses."

The first three chapters of the book feature an overview of the interdisciplinary field of global studies and a survey of its major theories and concepts, with a strong emphasis on the concepts typically used to frame the social and cultural aspects of globalization. The remainder of the book takes the form of nine case studies designed to show what global studies analysis looks like in practice:

  1. Global News Media: From the BBC and CNN to Al Jazeera and TeleSUR
  2. Indigenous Peoples and Intellectual Property Rights
  3. NGOs, Humanitarianism, and the Cultural Construction of Global Hierarchy
  4. Climate Change and Changing Global Imaginaries
  5. Transnational LGBT Identities: Liberation or Westernization?
  6. The Islamic Veil and the Global Politics of Gender
  7. "Keeping It Real": State, Corporate, or Underground Voices in Global Hip-Hop
  8. Yoga in America: Competitive Sport or Spiritual Quest?
  9. Global Solidarity Movements: Palestine, Tibet, and Beyond

While the Routledge series also includes a corresponding book that explores the political and economic foundations of global studies, Stoddard and Collins made a deliberate effort in their own book to make sure that their analysis avoided the common pitfall of isolating cultural phenomena from an understanding of political and economic structures. "As we developed the global studies major at St. Lawrence, we struggled with how to incorporate its breadth in the required core courses," Stoddard observes. "We are all committed to the necessity of including both cultural and political-economic theory when trying to understand real-world issues and problems. However it seems impossible to teach across that range of theory in one course. Thus the dual structure of these textbooks mirrors the dual structure of our theory courses in our department. But we are constantly reminding our students that we are making an artificial distinction that they must re-integrate in their senior projects."

Students in the department's required course on Theories of Global Cultural Studies have already had the opportunity to read sections of the book.