Fall 2018

Globalism and Its Discontents: Point/Counterpoint

Listed in: , as COLQ-412


Ilan Stavans (Section 01)


The rise of populism worldwide today, personified by Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, is a fierce reaction to globalism policies of the past few decades. Anti-immigration movements in Europe and the United States, assaults on free speech; racial profiling; polarized politics; intolerance for gender, economic, and linguistic diversity; the building of walls and the renegotiation of international trade treaties; the tension between rural and urban communities; and the questioning of the basic tenets of pluralism are some of the symptoms. Democracy itself might be at peril. This colloquium takes a balanced view of the debate, using the Socratic method to explore its pros and cons without prejudice. Focusing on different forms of oral and written expression, students will engage with works of Voltaire, Isaiah Berlin, Susan Sontag, Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Mario Vargas Llosa, and others, as well as films, travel writing, and poetry from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Sponsored by a generous gift of the Class of 1970, the course will feature a number of distinguished guests—activists, intellectuals, scientists, lawyers, journalists, and artists—from various origins and from both sides of the ideological divide.

Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Professor Stavans.

If Overenrolled: Juniors and seniors have priority.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English, Writing Intensive


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018