The recent announcement of diplomatic relations with Cuba inspired Prof. Eric Zolov to pen an op-ed, “Let’s Revisit Helms-Burton,” which appeared in the Huffington Post series “90 Miles: Rethinking the Future of U.S.-Cuban Relations.”
This seminar examines expanding circuits of global mobility from the early modern period to the present, and considers methodological implications of taking mobilities and connections as object of analysis. We will examine historical processes and dynamics on multiple scales from the perspective of people, commodities, and ideas in motion, along with dynamic networks and material or cultural effects these circuits generate; and the regulatory systems that emerge in consequence of increasingly robust flows. Expanding global connections and their effects produce new constraints and open a wide range of fresh possibilities for both states and diverse groups of people. The course will look closely at the interplay between unprecedented mobility and the restrictions imposed by modern political regimes, and the shifting relationship between people and real and imagined political entities from the global (empires, internationalisms, global governance bodies), to the provincial (kingdoms, nationalisms, nation-states). Organized thematically around mobile people, commodities, and ideas, and global institutions, we will examine disaporic migrant connections, global radical and anti-colonial movements, material and cultural effects of long-distance commodity production and exchange, and the circulation and expanding scope of institutional ideas and practices. The course will be interdisciplinary, incorporating comparative and monographic historical and anthropological studies, theoretical writings, and selections from literary or historical primary source texts; and transregional, examining particular themes via close consideration of Asia, Africa, and the Americas, and their interconnections. Readings will include books or articles by scholars such as Benedict Anderson, Sebouh Aslanian, Sven Beckert, Lauren Benton, Engseng Ho, Ilham Khuri-Makdisi, Mark Mazower, Adam McKeown, Jeremy Prestholdt, Maia Ramnath, and Sanjay Subrahmanyam (links above are to recommended or required books ordered for the course).
Some of you may be interested in my recent blog entry on the People’s Climate March, which also seeks to place the climate movement in hist perspective: http://theenergycollective.com/chris-sellers/2151521/beyond-environmentalism-marching-toward-climatism
Some of you may be interested to read this Dissent blog entry Chris Sellers wrote about Mexican President Peña Nieto’s proposed “Energy Reform” for that country, in the light of my own research into the recent history of Pemex’s environmental impacts.