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In the era of globalisation, contemporary cultures are increasingly shaped by transnational movements: of humans, commodities, and media, among other things. Global Cultures leads students to explore the human, subjective and cultural dimensions of these intensified transnational mobilities with a focus on the Asian region. Central concepts include mobilities, migration, cultural hybridity, translocality, precarity, and superdiversity. The subject introduces students to these concepts by drawing on theorizations from cultural studies and other disciplines in the humanities and, to some extent, social sciences, using contemporary, mainly Asia-based case studies to ground the conceptual material. The subject explores how lived experiences of mobility intersect with the power dynamics of gender, race, sexuality, and class, and engages with critical cultural theory to work toward not simply an understanding of globalisation as a series of social processes, but more importantly a cultural critique of globalisation. It introduces students to representations of mobility and globalisation across a range of popular media that may include film, television, Internet cultures and others, and explores how experiences of mobility––through migration, international education, tourism, mediated imagination and other modes––shape subjectivity.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- understand the theoretical context of current Cultural Studies research on globalisation and mobilities;
- demonstrate a depth of knowledge in current research on cultural globalisation, with a focus on the Asian region;
- engage critically with scholarly debates on how intensified mobilities shape social power dynamics around gender, race, class and sexuality;
- demonstrate a grasp of modern historical events conditioning contemporary processes of cultural globalisation in the Asian region, including histories of European, Japanese and American colonialisms and imperialisms in the region;
- effectively use independent research skills to produce a research essay based on a case study, and
- understand the disciplinary specificity of Cultural Studies approaches to globalisation and their inter-relationship with approaches in related disciplines.
- Apply critical and analytical skills and methods to the identification and resolution of problems within complex changing social contexts;
- Apply an independent approach to knowledge that uses rigorous methods of inquiry and appropriate theories and methodologies that are applied with intellectual honesty and a respect for ethical values;
- Articulate the relationship between diverse forms of knowledge and the social, historical and cultural contexts that produced them;
- Act as informed and critically discerning participants within the community of scholars, as citizens and in the work force.
Last updated: 1 March 2024