eve darian smith on the ‘global’ in global studies
The field of global studies has gained momentum over the past 20 years and today occupies a significant presence within many universities. As a result, there is now a burgeoning array of institutional support for global studies scholarship. Perhaps not surprisingly, concurrent to such institution-building there has been a spate of essays engaged with the question ‘what is global studies?’ that have promoted lively debate and commentary. In this essay, I ask a rather different question which is ‘who gets to define global studies, and what is at stake in these kinds of delineating efforts?’ I argue that debate about global studies demands the inclusion of multiple voices and perspectives from around the world. I conclude by urging global studies scholars to be deliberately conscious of their taken-for-granted assumptions with respect to power and the related capacity to speak for others from the global south and east who are largely still absent in defining this new field of inquiry.
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