CCT 510: Globalization in a Post-Sept. 11 World
Professor Martin Irvine


This module will be conducted like a short seminar with weekly contributions from students. We'll explore three aspects of globalization, culture, and communication, but we won't be driven by thematic unity or the need for harmonizing approaches or kinds of theory. We'll study: the networks of cultural, material, and technological capital in global cities as one way to define globalization, the globalization of communications through the Internet and the way Internet infrastructure maps onto globalization, issues arising from international and global visual culture and the visual arts.

Students will work together in groups of 3 outside class and prepare group presentations based on the week's readings for beginning each class meeting. The presentation will involve the group's own approach to a research topic. Presentations must be in Powerpoint or Web/HTML pages. Each presentation will be limited to 20 minutes with discussion of the presentation in the context of the weeks readings and in the context of new information discovered through students' own research.

For a concluding final project for the module, students will develop an individually researched "globalization portfolio" on a topic of personal interest that addresses the one of the themes of the module. Grades will be based on classroom participation, the group presentation, and the final project.

Week 1: Introduction, discussion of intro readings.

Continuing Interpretation and Response to Introductory Readings

Readings from introductory week:

  • Benjamin Barber, "Jihad vs. McWorld," Atlantic Monthly, March, 1992. [Original essay version of his argument before the book, Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism are Reshaping the World. New York: Ballentine Books, 1996.]
  • -----. "Beyond Jihad vs. McWorld," The Nation, Jan. 3, 2002. [Barber's updated argument.]
  • Samuel P. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations?" Foreign Affairs Summer 1993, 72/3. [Original version of the argument before the book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order. New York: Touchstone Books, 1996.]
  • -----. "The Clash of Ignorance," The Nation, Oct. 4, 2001. [Critique of Huntington]

Continuing Background Readings:

Theorizing Globalization(s)

  • Manuel Castells, The Information Age, Vol. 1. The rise of the network society. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 1996, pp. 1-18; 92-106. [EReserves]
  • Douglas Kellner, UCLA, "Theorizing Globalization," (2002 paper).

Recommended/Optional Readings

Introduction to Topics in this Module (Lecture Notes)

Assignment for week 1: read and capture the foundational assumptions, premises, and presuppositions, not simply the details of the content. What problems do you see in any of the assumptions and analyses?

For first class meeting: Bring notes on readings to class. Focus on readings in "Theorizing Globalization(s) section above" but read as much background as possible. Introductory discussion on issues using the resources/references for framing the problem in this week's readings.

    • Multiple views of globalization(s): complexities, contradictions, oppositions
    • How do nation-states enact globalization?
    • Views of "American Empire"
    • "Clash of civilizations" theory and evidence
    • Clash of discourses, theories, agendas.

Week 2: Group 1 Group 2

Globalization theories: focus on the "networked cities" and megacities viewpoints

Required Readings:

  • Saskia Sassen, "Urban Economies and Fading Distances," Megacities Foundation, Megacities lecture, 1998.
  • -----. "Introduction: Locating Cities on Global Circuits," from Saskia Sassen, ed. Global Networks, Linked Cities. NY: Routledge, 2002. pp. 1-36. [EReserves]
  • -----. Globalization and its discontents: Essays on the New Mobility of People and Money. New York : New Press, 1998, "Introduction". [EReserves]
  • Manuel Castells, The Information Age, Vol. 1. The rise of the network society. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 1996. From Chap. 6, "The Space of Flows," 376-418. [EReserves]
  • P.J. Taylor, "Worlds of Large Cities: Pondering Castells' Space of Flows," Globalization and World Cities Study Group, Research Bulletin, 14 (1999).
  • S. Krätke and P.J. Taylor, "A World Geography of Global Media Cities," Globalization and World Cities Study Group, Research Bulletin, 96 (2002). [Be sure to see the tables after the bibliography.]

Recommended Reading:

Discussion Topics

  • Use the readings above, and refer to data and studies on world development issues from the UN, World Bank, OECD, and other sources for the empirical and quantifiable data on Arab-Islamic world connection of disconnection from the global cities network. (See links to data sources on the 510 Readings site.)
  • Can globalization be described as the social, political, and economic effects of global cities? Is globalization mainly a network of urban agglomerations, leaving rural and developing regions outside the network, off the grid? Which cultures/nations have produced global cities and why?
  • Are the actions now symbolized by 9/11 in part a revolt against global cities? (Secular, urban, international, decentralized and networked, IT and media-based, contemporary/real-time, transnational.) Islamic extremists identify with an imagined past (an agrarian, pre-industrial, pre-global-city past), an imagined transnational, a-national, present-day community, a historical but almost timeless identity. Is this a culture clash producing the current outcomes?
  • Discuss the significance of most Arab and Islamic nations being "off the grid" in terms of connectedness in global cities, and consequences for being "off the grid" in the developing world. (Use real data from the NGO sites.)
  • Networked Cities: New Nodes

Week 3: Group 3 Group 4

Globalization, Technology, and Culture

UN finding: Only one percent of the 280 million people in the Arab world use the Internet.

  • What are the consequences of being "off the grid" in terms of Internet access, communication and data flows?
  • Is non-connectivity to the Internet also, or simply, a symbol of a deeper divide?

Is the "digital divide" technological, or political-economic and cultural?

  • Infrastructure concentration and investment
  • Ownership and telecom regulation
  • Education and access
  • Cultural barriers to access


  • Manuel Castells, The Internet Galaxy: reflections on the Internet, business, and society. Oxford : New York : Oxford University Press, 2001. Chap. 8. "The Geography of the Internet: Networked Places," pp. 207-246. [Library EReserves]

Study some of the data and research sites below for empirical information about the global usage, distribution, and concentration of Internet infrastructure:

Internet Routing and Internet Topology Visualization Tools

Discussion Topics

  • How does the Internet map onto globalization? Does Internet topology and architecture follow the global cities pattern of asset concentration?
  • What are the consequences of being off the grid in Internet access and interconnectivity with the world?
  • Which regions have the highest concentrations on Internet infrastructure and users?
  • Is the so-called "digital divide" an extension or replication of pre-digital divides?
  • To what extent does the Internet promote globalization? What are the counterbalancing forces of concentration and disaggregation? Does the Internet provide a way for remote and developing regions to participate in global information and communications?
  • Paradox of Al Qaeda and Islamic militants in lesser connected regions using the Internet to communicate. Compare differences among developing regions in Internet connectivity and usage. Compare this data to Asian nations. Observations?

Week 4: Group 5 Group 6

Globalization, Culture, and The Visual Arts

For this week, we will investigate some major intersecting issues that are often treated independently:

  • Culture and political economy, or the various world cultures and their economic systems. There are challenges in this type of analysis: some may jump right away to causal relationships or binary oppositions and miss the complexity of historical, cultural, and economic factors in world cultures. But we can't avoid the fact that economic development and the UN's "human development" criteria map onto world cultures today in specific ways. Consequences?
  • The question of cultures that accept varying degrees of complexity, ambiguity, and diversity, and those that do not. A subtopic to this question is the use of war and aggression in democratic or "open" societies vs. closed, totalitarian, or theocratic-fundamentalist societies.
  • The cultural and economic issues in the new World Trade Center design and rebuilding Lower Manhattan
    • Looking at symbolism, memory, politics, and economics in the WTC site
    • What is being communicated to the world through the new WTC and 9/11 memorial?
  • Globalization and the international art world
    • What is happening in the trend toward internationalizing the art world?
      • Art and the International Art Fair (Biennials, the art market, and large commercial art fairs)
      • International professionalization of the art world: curators, dealers, auction house specialists all part of international network
      • Art now requires an international market of galleries, collectors, museum donors
    • Do the centers of artworld prestige, influence, and power map onto the "world cities" cluster?
      • Major city concentrations and power centers: following resource concentration and cultural economy of cities
      • Does art follow the same concentrations of capital? Are there discontinuities and disruptions? Plurality of voices, local voices?
    • Case study: Julie Mehretu, an "international" artist with critical and commercial success. Works at ArtBasel/Miami. Walker Art Center traveling exhibition. Smithsonian African Museum.

Globalization, Economic Development, and Culture

  • Lawrence Harrison, "Why Culture Matters," Introduction to Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress, ed. Lawrence Harrison and Samuel Huntington (New York: Basic Books, 2000), xvii-xxxiv. [Library EReserves]
  • -----. "Promoting Progressive Cultural Change," Culture Matters, 296-307. [Library EReserves]
  • Ronald Inglehart, "Culture and Democracy," Culture Matters, 80-97. [Library EReserves]
  • Hernando de Sota, The Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD, Lima, Peru), "The Hidden Architecture of Capitalism." [Short article from Time magazine]
  • -----. The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. New York, Basic Books, 2000. Chap. 1 available online. [Not specifically about globalization, but a pragmatic view of economic development and cultural barriers at a basic level.]
  • Compare de Sota's optimism with Joseph Stiglitz's views in a UNESCO interview. (Stiglitz, author of Globalization and its Discontents, and former chief economic advisor to Clinton and chief economist of the World Bank, now exposes the contractions and hypocrisy in the IMF and global financial policy.)

Other Useful Data Resources:

Cultural Symbolism in Architecture: The Case of the World Trade Center Design and 9/11 Memorial

See the articles on the 510 Readings page for the WTC Design and Memorial in Lower Manhattan

Globalization and the International Art World


Armory Show, NY Whitney Biennial-2002 | Whitney Biennial-2004
ARCO, Madrid, Spain Venice Biennale | Visual Arts | Participating Artists
Art Forum Berlin Art Basel | ArtBasel/Miami Beach
Art Cologne, Germany Prague Biennale 1
Documenta 11 | Info/Sources Sao Paulo Biennial
Manifesta, 5, Spain Havana Biennial
Art Chicago Istanbul Biennial | Info and Comments
FIAC-Paris Dakar-Dak'art: Biennial for African Art
Shanghai Biennial

Case Study: Julie Mehretu

  • Julie Mehretu:
  • Walker Art Center, Julie Mehretu: Drawing into Painting (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 2003)

Additional Sources

Wrap up, synthesis, discussion of individual projects

Final Project

Projects are due the Friday after the last class meeting of our module. See instructions.

Projects must be submitted in digital form to the Blackboard Digital Drop Box for this section.

Martin Irvine, 2004