Worlds (No Longer) Apart
What (if anything) do supermall shoppers in the Philippines, a Filipino taxi driver in Paris, and television viewers in Nepal have to do with a legal case in Canada, two young Japanese on a pilgrimage to Graceland, and a South Asian lawyer/liquor store owner trying to reclaim his property in Uganda from where he lives, in Mississippi?nn This course uses literary narratives, films, and historical research to examine new textures of contemporary life, where "borders" seem hard-pressed to contain culture. Texts include Pico Iyer, Video Night in Kathmandu, Mira Nair's film Mississippi Masala, and M.G. Vassanji, No New Land. New forms of identity have emerged that reflect the cultural changes that have accompanied such movements. Nevertheless, we will not idealize such phenomena either; we will want also to carefully observe the binding power of nations. The result will be a finer-tuned sense of "globalization" and the "local" and the "global." nn The course emphasizes creative thinking and discussion. Students are expected to do the reading and be well prepared for every session with not only questions, but tentative answers. Each student will participate in one group presentation as their final project.