teaching

Edward Said and a lost Western Civilization

In my Global Studies theory class I’ve always enjoyed assigning the work of Edward Said, as a basis for talking about Orientalism and Exoticism. But I’ve usually been disappointed to find that my upper-division graduate students seem to not have as much interest in Said’s work as I do. Perhaps, I’ve wondered, it’s because his work is becoming a little dated? Or is perhaps because Said takes literature and art so seriously, in an age dominated by social media and digital globalization? To be honest, I think that the Western works that Said engages with now (Euripides? Gibbons?) might seem as distant and alien to many of my students as some contemporary Middle Eastern musicians and authors. The Age of Western Civilization courses is long gone in most liberal arts colleges. I think that my students struggle to read someone who assumes that a reader has a deep familiarity with 19th century European scholars and artists. I always have students in my classes who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, although their numbers are waning. They bring their own perspectives on the Middle East and Central Asia, which have a different framework.

The irony is that on Twitter someone just referenced (I’m very sorry that I don’t remember the name of the person who tweeted it) this 2014 article by Sadik Jalal al-’Azm. On the one hand, the author provides an effective and thoughtful critique of Said’s work. At the same time, he so concisely describes Said’s argument that this piece it also serves as an effective introduction to Said. Of course as the West has diversified, the scholars that Said refers to have receded from the curriculum. A first-generation Asian-American or Latinx student may have a very different take on Said. I still think that the idea of Orientalism and exoticism are important. But reading this article crystallized some of the problems that I found I was having teaching his work, as students themselves seemed to be struggling to express similar points. If you’re teaching Said’s work, I think that this is a great piece to assign with it.

Shawn Smallman

Green Theory, a lecture for a Global Studies theory class

If you’ve been following the series of blog posts, over the last two weeks I have been posting course content from my Global Studies Theory course. Please feel free to use, adapt and make it your own. In this lecture, I focused on India’s Chipko movement to talk about Green Theory. I feel that this lecture (and my feminism lecture) are not as strong as the others, but I hope that there may be some material here that you find useful.

Shawn Smallman

Classical Liberalism, a lecture for a Global Studies theory class

This month I am posting some syllabi, assignments, rubrics and lectures for my theory class in Global Studies. Please feel free to take, use and adapt for your own classes.

Shawn Smallman

Critical Theory- a lecture for a global studies theory class

This month I am sharing lectures, assignments, rubrics and syllabi for a Global Studies theory class. Please feel free to take, adapt and use this material in your own classes.

Shawn Smallman

NeoMarxism: a lecture for a Global Studies theory class

This month I am sharing syllabi, lectures and assignments for a global studies theory class. Please feel free to take, adapt and use as you see fit in your classes. Please note that this lecture is now several years old, so examples and figures will need updating.

Shawn Smallman

Sharing a syllabus for a Global Studies Theory class

I’ve shared a syllabus before for my face-to-face theory class, but that was from 2012. Although I haven’t taught the course for while now, I wanted to share this more recent syllabus for a hybrid class, in case anyone else is interested in using it. Please feel free to take, adapt, and use this syllabus in any way that you might want. Please click on page “2” below to view. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll also share more assignments, rubrics and lectures for the course.

Introduction to Latin American Studies, an online syllabus

Global Perspectives: Latin America

I’ve shared a copy of a syllabus for an online “Introduction to Latin American Studies” class before, and somebody recently wrote on Twitter how much they appreciated that. I think that I had posted that syllabus in 2014, and I’ve changed the syllabus significantly since then. Here is the syllabus that I’ll be using when I teach the class this fall. Of course, many of the videos that I am using (and other resources) are only accessible from my library, so you’ll have to see what resources are available at your own institution’s library. But I hope that this may give you some ideas.

I am making this syllabus freely available for anyone to take, adapt or use. In this era of COVID-19, I know that many people are struggling to put classes online, so I hope that this resource may help someone.

Shawn Smallman, 2020

Colonialism – an introductory lecture for an INTL 101 class

Colonial architecture, Macau, China. Photo by Shawn Smallman. August 2017

Even though I no longer teach face to face classes, I’ve always loved lecturing. Here I want to share an introductory class lecture that covers colonialism. If you are a faculty member, please feel free to use this lecture in your classes. Please note that this lecture is about eight years old as I post this, so you will likely want to update it.

Shawn Smallman, 2020

An intro class lecture: New languages- the example of Sheng

AIDS prevention tapes in Oaxaca’s Indigenous languages. Photo by Shawn Smallman. Tapes by Frente Comun contra el SIDA, Oaxaca, courtesy of Bill Wolf.

Several years ago I wrote a lecture for my “Introduction to International Studies” course that looked at the emergence of new languages.  While people are aware of language loss, fewer people know that new languages are also forming. So I used this lecture as a means to talk about cultural globalization.  I’ve talked about Sheng before on the blog, but I thought that another faculty member might want to use this lecture.

It’s important for me to say that I based this lecture on an several peer-reviewed articles, as well as articles in the popular press, but I did not note them. So this material is not original, but I can’t cite the original authors. My apologies to these scholars.

Shawn Smallman, 2020

Cultural Globalization and Language: The Example of Sheng

Terms:

Michif

Haitian creole

Lingua Geral

Sheng

Kenya

KiSwahili

Gaelic

Saami/Sami

Argot: a secret vocabulary and language for a particular group

(silent t in “argot”)

pidgin: an artificial language created for use between speakers of different languages

Patois (pronounced pat’wa): a dialect separate from the standard language

 

Lecture Outline:

Cultural Globalization

New Languages in the Americas

Language Creation in Africa

Sheng: Structure and Perceptions

Urban Languages in Africa

Resources on Youtube:

  • Dr Seuss in Jamaican Patois
  • Language is a Virus (really good, must use): /www.youtube.com/watch?v=quPGg08C2pE
  • “Jorm and Rabbit in Nairobi”: music video in Sheng
  • Search Scottish Gaelic Discovery Channel(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwVCrgvvHeE)
  • Discovery Channel video on Saami on Youtube

The new edition of our textbook

The cover of the third edition of our textbook with the University of North Carolina Press

Kim and I have been working on the third of edition of our textbook, An Introduction to International and Global Studies. I think that this is the best of version the book yet. We radically rewrote chapters, gave extensive attention to the rise of populism and nationalism, adopted new case case studies, and created different assignments. It’s been a lot of fun working on the book. Believe it or not, we actually wrote this edition in Google Docs, which was the best tool for us to share work, and to track changes. I originally wanted to use an image of a globe light that I took at the Arts building at McGill University. But it looked too historical when placed on the cover. I’m really happy with this image that the press selected in the end. I’ve used the image of the globe light for my new podcast instead. You can find it here: Dispatch 7: global trends from all seven continents.

We’ll be working on the teacher’s manual throughout the summer, and we’re looking forward to sharing these resources soon. I’m happy to see that our textbook is now up on the UNC website, and available for pre-order. Copies will be available for immediate delivery in August 2020.

Thank you Kim for working with me on our project for all these years. I can’t imagine having done it with anyone else.

If you are interested in hearing more about global topics, please listen to my podcast, Dispatch 7. You can find it on Spotify here, or by searching whichever podcast platform you prefer.

Shawn Smallman

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