Global Studies Research Fellows 2012-13
The Center for International Education has selected five Global Studies Fellows for the 2012/13 academic year. The Global Studies Fellows program, established in 2010, aids faculty in advancing their research on interdisciplinary topics relating to globalization, its cultural, political, social, economic, and environmental dimensions. Global Studies Fellows meet monthly to share their progress and devise research strategies. They will also share their work at a series of colloquia, and participate in CIE's next annual conference in April 2013.
Professor of Communication and Global Studies
Project: Information Policy and Sustainable Peace
Continuing a research program on arms control as an information policy issue area of unceasing and growing importance that began in the 1980s, this project will build a foundation upon which further research and teaching in the area of information policy and/for sustainable peace can be undertaken. Using diverse methods, this project will develop a history of the use of information policy provisions for peace-making and -keeping, analyze the impact of information policy provisions in other issue areas of importance in international relations on peace; and identify possible contributions of peace-making and -keeping efforts to the still-developing international information policy regime. Such efforts will contribute to the development of a map of information policy and sustainable peace and of a research agenda for that field.
Assistant Professor of History
Project: "Reconciliation Kitsch": Multicultural Tropes and Overcoming the Past in Germany and Poland
Dr. Chu's current research project examines multiethnic politics in the Polish city of Lodz in the twentieth century and the post-1989 attempts to create international understanding between Poland and Germany. The stereotype of a cosmopolitan yet cunning businessman ("lodzermensch") that began in Lodz at the end of the nineteenth century drew upon anti-Semitic tropes and had deadly consequences during the Second World War. By the 1990s, however, Germans and Poles promoted the city as the "Promised Land" and as a symbol of European reconciliation and multiculturalism. Both nations, it appears, have successfully mastered their complex past. Yet underlying the often gushing pronouncements of friendship - what Klaus Bachmann calls "reconciliation kitsch" - are unresolved tensions that date back to the world wars, the Holocaust, and the division of Europe during the Cold War. The project analyzes differences in local and national understandings of European peace building and thus explores the possibilities and limits of German-Polish-Jewish interaction in the past century.
Associate Professor of French
"Refugees asunder: The Performance of Precarity" folds into my on-going work on dance, the nineteenth-century, and Haiti's colonial and post-revolutionary history as it interweaves and abuts with my examination of the role that the arts, and particularly narrative works and performance, can play in the recognition of alterity and in affecting reconciliation in the wake of slavery, dictatorship, mercenary warfare, genocide, and apartheid with a focus on Haiti, Rwanda, the RDC and South Africa. While international and national entities have sought to ascertain the triggers and the perpetrators of such crimes against humanity, to lay open the blame, and to try the (key) instigators in local, national and international courts, I focus on dance and physical theatre that, as embodied form and social medium, shift the weight of human violence's effects with choreo - graphic practices that embody situational invisibility and precarity. As embodied form and social medium, these works serve as places of witness, of trauma treatment and catharsis, as well as memory for those who pass by; who contribute to humanitarian pleas and causes; and who might walk out in support of those who must walk every day, every year in the shadows, as wounded person whether displaced, refugee, migrant, or immigrant.
Assistant Professor of Sociology and Global Studies
Project: The Global Water Regime: Water's Transformation from Right to Commodity in South Africa and Bolivia
How do we decide how water should be provided in our towns and cities? Because of its low value-to-volume ratio, water is usually delivered at the local level. However, in the last two decades a system of global organizations and events has emerged to advance the view that water should be managed as an economic good. This view has been extremely successful in promoting the adoption of policies such as the privatization of water provision or full cost recovery for water services, which have had a remarkable and often negative impact on people's access to water. How did this new view of water management emerge? How did it succeed in becoming hegemonic and adopted by local authorities all over the world? And what specific effects has it had for the access to water of vulnerable populations? This research project explores the origins, form, and operation of the ‘global water regime,' the new system of global governance for water that came into being in the 1990s. In order to understand the consequences of this regime, this research investigates the connections between global changes and the evolution of water provision in South Africa and Bolivia, where social movements have been very active in protesting recent water policies adopted by their progressive governments.
Associate Professor of Political Economy & Public Policy,
Department of Africology
Project: Wages of Austerity: Unraveling Social Europe
Jeffrey Sommers conducts research on the spatial fixes to crises of global capital accumulation. Further research focuses on development and tax policy in the Baltic states. Other research centers on the political economy of labor migration within and into the European Union. Further work engages the political economy of Africa's (and its Diaspora) accelerated integration into new networks of accumulation. Areas investigated generally are development studies, developmental states, international political economy and hegemonic transitions. He is currently working on a book entitled The Wages of Austerity.