What’s (y)our story? September 24, 2019

On September 24, the Ghent Centre for Global Studies and the 3 other Interdisciplinary Research Consortia, together with the Research Department of Ghent University, will organise a full-day event at Het Pand on “Storytelling for researchers” and “Science narratives in post-truth times”, with: 

  • a workshop for (junior and senior) researchers by multimedia agency Critical Narratives
  • a public lecture by the (investigative) journalist Joris Luyendijk
  • and lightning talks by UGent scholars: Marianne Maeckelbergh (Conflict and Development), Ronald Soetaert (Educational Studies), Julie Van Bogaert (History), and Tom Vander Beken (Criminology, Penal Law and Social Law) 
  • followed by a panel debate, moderated by Sami Zemni

Full program: https://www.ugent.be/en/research/event-storytelling.htm

The event is open to researchers from all disciplines and to the entire UGent community, but please note that the workshop has a limited number of seats. Registration, before September 16: https://webappsx.ugent.be/eventManager/events/Whatsyourstory

Global Studies Research Seminar – Spring 2019

The Global Turn: key concepts and approaches in Global Studies

The Global Studies Research Seminar provides doctoral students (and advanced Master students as well as postdoctoral researchers) whose research is situated in, or related to, the field of Global Studies in‐depth and advanced training in contemporary critical Global Studies, and theory and methodology in related fields, such as Postcolonial and Subaltern Studies, International Studies, EU Studies, Area Studies, Conflict Studies, etc., next to general scholarly skills such as reading, writing, discussing and presenting.

This year’s edition of the Global Studies Research Seminar, will zoom in on globalisation as a multiscalar process, that takes place on a global-local continuum, involving global, regional, national and local actors and settings. Unlike top-down approaches and contrary to popular belief, in Global Studies the global is not considered to be separate from the local – like an abstract force from above to which the local can only passively subject. The global is always also locally situated and produced. We “see the global through the local and vice-versa” (McCarthy, 2014) and put local agency at the centre of our analysis.  Starting from this global-local continuum, we will subsequently introduce and discuss three key interdisciplinary conceptual frameworks and corresponding methodologies in Global Studies, that provide entry points or lenses to analyse these global-local processes: 1) assemblage; 2) frontier; 3) rule and resistance. (See program in annex 1 for further elaboration of the 3 conceptual frameworks offered in this course.)

Global Studies – defined as the study of contemporary globalisation and historical global processes – is a vibrant academic field that is inherently interdisciplinary. The interrelated, multi-level, global-scale challenges it addresses (economic and social development, urbanisation, resource depletion, etc.) are not confined to the realms of singular scientific disciplines. Although STEMM sciences are not necessarily excluded, in the academic landscape Global Studies is firmly rooted in the Social Sciences (especially political science, anthropology, economics and sociology)and Humanities (especially history and international law). It builds on critical, postcolonial and reflexive research traditions that question Eurocentric academic disciplinary boundaries and theories (Darian-Smith and McCarty, 2017). The inter- and transdisciplinary perspectives offered by Global Studies research provide new analytical tools to study the complex and interrelated problems that confront our globalizing world, thus enabling innovative research that is able to address these global challenges.

The learning targets of this course are:
1) practice of interdisciplinary in Social Sciences and Humanities, focused on the study of globalisation;
2) in-depth knowledge of analytical concepts and advanced methods in Global Studies;
3) ability to apply these concepts and methods to in one’s own research project.

Schedule and program

6 seminars of 3hrs each – in the spring semester of 2019 – Thursdays, from 1 to 4 pm.

February 14 – General introduction

  • Introduction of the Global Turn: defining the global / local continuum
  • Discussion of participants’ research topics: what makes your project a global studies research?

Lecturers: Julie Carlier, Christopher Parker and Eric Vanhaute

Required reading:  Eve Darian-Smith and Philip McCarthy (2017), The Global Turn. Theories, Research Designs and Methods for Global Studies, Oakland: University of California Press, chapter 2 and 3, pp. 29-75.February 28 – Approaching the global-local through the concept of assemblage

February 28 – Approaching the global-local through the concept of Assemblage

One way of studying the articulation of the global and the local, is the concept of assemblage. Global assemblages are the local articulations of global forms – territorialisations that create new material, social and discursive relationships, be they public sector reforms, forms of urban planning, or modes of accounting and organising the financial sector. Assemblage is a framework for analysis that foregrounds agency and remains close to practice, allowing for a critical and reflexive approach, and opening up a promising interdisciplinary trajectory for the Social Sciences and Humanities, focused on the study of globalisation.

International guest lecturer: Anna Amelina, Professor of Intercultural Studies, Brandenbug University of Technology
UGent GCGS lecturer: Christopher Parker, Professor of Conflict and Development Studies

Required reading:

  • George Markus and Erkan Saka (2006) ‘Assemblage’, Theory, Culture, Society 23 (2-3):  101-106.
  • Anna Amelina (2017) Transnationalising Inequalities in Europe: Socio-cultural Boundaries, Assemblages and Regimes of Intersection,  London: Routledge, pp. 60-81 (Chapter 4: Where to locate socio-cultural boundaries: Socio-cultural inequalities and their context)

March 14 – Approaching the global-local through the concept of frontier

A second framework to study the interaction of the global and the local, is offered by concept of frontier (and frontier zone), understood as the process (and the spatial setting) of the interaction between two different social systems. The frontier concept offers an analytical tool to examine the local dynamics of transformative processes that push globalization. Examples include the power struggles that come with land governance and property rights, the extraction and commodification of natural resources (e.g. mining), the planning of urban spaces, and the expansion of international trade regimes. Across disciplinary lines, “frontier” enables Global Studies scholars to link the local and the global, not by starting at the global level, but by departing from the frontier process itself.

International guest lecturer: Christian Lund, Professor of Global Development, University of Copenhagen
UGent GCGS lecturer: Eric Vanhaute, Professor of World History

Required reading:

  • Christhian Lund and Mattias Borg Rasmussen (2018) ‘Reconfiguring Frontier Spaces: the territorialisation of resource control’, World Development, vol. 101, pp. 388-399.
  • Ulbe Bosma and Eric Vanhaute (2017) “Capitalism and Commodity Frontiers. The Transformation of the Global Countryside” working paper of the Commodity Frontiers Initiative: https://wigh.wcfia.harvard.edu/commodity-frontiers-initiative

March 28 – Approaching the global-local through the concepts of rule and resistance

Thirdly, we focus on the new regulatory regimes and oppositions that emerge out of the interplay of global forces and local struggles. For, globalization structures concrete spaces and is simultaneously shaped by localized histories. This is not a symbiotic process: it is a contentious interaction that creates new rules and forms of governance, as well as new forms of resistance, from extractive industries and indigenous rights’ movements, to economic (de- and re-)regulations and social movements like Occupy Wall Street.

International guest lecturer: Lara Coleman, senior lecturer in International Relations and International Development, University of Sussex
UGent GCGS lecturer: Marianne Maeckelbergh, Professor of Global Sociology at Leiden University and as from November 1, 2018: professor of Conflict and Development Studies UGent)

Required reading:

  • Lara Montesinos Coleman and Doerthe Rosenow, Mobilisations, in: Pinar Bilgin and Xavier Guillaume (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of International Political Sociology. London and New York: Routledge, 2016.
  • Marianne Maeckelbergh (2011) Doing is Believing: Prefiguration as Strategic Practice in the Alterglobalization Movement, Social Movement Studies, 10:1, 1-20.

May 2 – closing session I– presentation and discussion of papers – part I

Participants apply one or more of the frameworks / concepts discussed in the sessions above to their own research project and explore its promises and pitfalls, possibilities and limits.
In-class discussion and feedback on the presentations

Lecturers: Julie Carlier, Christopher Parker and Eric Vanhaute

May 9 – closing session II–presentation and discussion of papers – part II

Participants apply one or more of the frameworks / concepts discussed in the sessions above to their own research project and explore its promises and pitfalls, possibilities and limits.
In-class discussion and feedback on the presentations

Lecturers: Julie Carlier, Christopher Parker and Eric Vanhaute

Performance Anna Tsing – May 28, 2018 – Bruges

The Golden Snail Opera

Lecture/performance by Anna Tsing (University of California Santa Cruz),           introduced by the research and design collective Rotor.

On the evening of May 28, Archipel, the Bruges Triennial and the Ghent Centre for Global Studies invite anthropologist Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing to give a presentation in the Concert Hall in Bruges on her research into invasive species.  Read more

Workshop with Anna Tsing – May 28, 2018 – Bruges

The Crab at the End of the World?

On Invasive Species, Salvage Economies and the Arts of Living on a         Damaged Planet

Workshop with Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, University of California – Santa Cruz

Organised by the Bruges Triennial and the Ghent Centre for Global Studies in collaboration with Rotor, on May 28, from 2 to 5 pm, at the Poortersloge, Academiestraat 14, 8000 Bruges. Read more

Global Studies Research Seminar – Spring 2018

Engaging with the World: Global Studies and Social Impact

Global Studies Research Seminar – Spring 2018

The Global Studies Research Seminar provides doctoral students (and advanced Master students as well as postdoctoral researchers) whose research is situated in, or related to, the field of Global Studies in‐depth and advanced training in contemporary critical Global Studies, and theory and methodology in related fields, such as Postcolonial and Subaltern Studies, International Studies, EU Studies, Area Studies, Conflict Studies, etc., next to general scholarly skills such as reading, writing, discussing and presenting.

This year the Ghent Centre for Global Studies aims to build upon the topicality of the last year’s  seminar series on Globalisation and Crisis, by addressing the key issue of the societal valorisation of Global Studies research to address global societal challenges. In keeping with the partial reorientation of the Centre for Global Studies towards a greater emphasis on social impact, we wish to organize knowledge exchange sessions on outreach and interactions with non-academic professionals and stakeholders (policy-makers, civil society, the arts and the general public), to provide our PhD students with insights and tools that can help them increase their social impact.

As such this year’s Global Studies Research Seminar will be on offer as a transferable skills course of the Doctoral School Arts, Humanities and Law of Ghent University. The course is open to PhD students from other faculties and universities as well, and motivated Master students and postdocs interested in global studies and social impact, are also most welcome to join.

Both internationally and at Ghent University impact and valorization of academic research are becoming increasingly important. Moreover, due to the kind of critical and reflexive research they conduct, Global Studies PhD students are often highly committed to reciprocity towards the social groups and communities they study, and strongly motivated to contribute to social change, beyond academia. Yet, systematic training on policy influence, co-creation, (social) media and outreach, geared towards the interdisciplinary field of Global Studies research, is still lacking – a gap we wish to start to fill during this year’s Global Studies Research Seminar.

We will critically discuss the different concepts – impact, valorisation, outreach, public engagement, dissemination, knowledge transfer/exchange, etc. – and their relevance in the political economy of academia. We will debate public engagement of academics and the societal role of universities in general, and of Global Studies researchers in particular. Interdisciplinarity – a core feature of Global Studies – is often put forward as a prerequisite for meaningful social impact. We will discuss the enabling and disabling factors for interdisciplinary collaboration, both within Social Sciences and Humanities, and with natural/STEMM sciences, as well as the arts, in keeping with recent ground-breaking innovative research in Global Studies (e.g. on the Anthropocene cf. Jason Moore, guest speaker in the Global Studies Research Seminar of 2016 and Anna Tsing, keynote lecturer at the Global Studies Research Day in 2016 at Ghent University). In more hands-on training sessions we will subsequently discuss the promises and pitfalls of policy influence, artistic collaborations, (social) media, and co-creation with civil society.

Programme

6 sessions – from February to May – Thursdays from 2 to 5 pm (except May 2 – Wednesday)

Introductory session – February 15

Practical arrangements & assignments; introduction to Global Studies and Social Impact

Key words: political economy of academia, interdisciplinarity, global societal challenges, outreach, methods and ethics of global studies research, outreach, participatory research methodology, public engagement and engaged scholarship

Lecturers:

  • Julie Carlier (coordinator of the Ghent Centre for Global Studies)
  • ​Sami Zemni (Middle East and North Africa Research Group)

Global Studies in Parliament – the promises and pitfalls of policy influence – March 1

Key words: processes of political agenda-setting and policy-making, politics of knowledge transfer and exchange, short-term and long-term influence, conditions, strategies and capacities for policy-influencing

Lecturers:

Global Studies on Stage – artistic expressions and collaborations – March 22

Key words: collaborations in performance and visual arts, cartoons, theatre, (film) festivals etc.

Lecturers:

#Global Studies – old and new (social) media – April 19

Key words: visual anthropology / ethnography, documentary film-making, (social) media

Lecturers:

Global Studies and civil society – participatory (action) research methods – Wednesday (!) May 2

Key words: collaborations with civil society and (local) communities, cross-sectoral cooperation and research (design), participatory research, action research

Lecturers:

  • Andrea Cornwall (School of Global Studies, University of Sussex) – cancelled
  • Pascal Debruyne (Middle East and North Africa Research Group, UGent)

Closing session – May 24

Students present their own proposal for social impact of their research (impact plan / pathway to impact) and develop one of the 4 methods / channels of the thematic seminars:

  • policy brief
  • artistic expression
  • (social) media strategy
  • co-creation plan

Keynote lecture by Geert De Neve – November 16, 2017

After Rana Plaza

Rethinking the Health and Safety of Global Garment Workers

Since the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka in 2013 and a series of factory fires across South Asia, the global dynamics of outsourcing and subcontracting have come under renewed scrutiny by academics, activists, policy makers and governments alike. Focusing on the ‘health and safety’ of garments workers in South Asia, the lecture reviews recent interdisciplinary research on the well-being of workers producing garments for global markets. Read more

Public Lecture Series 2017

Globalisation and Crisis

Border fence on rolling hills

The interdisciplinary Ghent Centre for Global Studies at Ghent University has the honour of inviting you to its annual public lecture series, from February to May 2017. This year’s theme is Globalisation and Crisis. Crisis is omnipresent in our contemporary globalised world: from the financial crisis to the environmental crisis, from the refugee crisis to political crisis. The GCGS has invited international experts to offer critical and cutting-edge analyses of these different (discourses of) crisis from an interdisciplinary perspective. Read more