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Welcome to NCLC 102: Global Networks and Communities: Food and Sovereignty

Course Overview

This fall’s NCLC 102 will prepare students for participation in a global society by investigating globalization through the lens of food and sovereignty. We will consider such critical topics as cultural identity, (neo)colonialism, imperialism, hegemony, and the global system of production, distribution, and consumption. Food is a particularly illuminating lens to examine these questions and concerns because it exemplifies our experiences of globalization in everyday life—culturally, economically, and politically. It enables us to interrogate the structural forces that are shaping our contemporary world. It also allows us to rethink our roles as citizens, consumers, and members of various communities in the context of globalization.

We will also discuss how technological innovations, facilitated by various agents (individuals, corporations, organizations, governments, etc.), hinder or foster global integration and with what consequences. Rules of trade and local and national sovereignty have changed significantly under globalization, thanks to the workings of international organizations (e.g. International Monetary Fund), trade agreements (e.g. NAFTA) and transnational corporations (e.g., Monsanto) that operate across and beyond national borders. Engaging a variety of texts (books, articles, films, etc.) will deepen our understanding of the different types of interconnectivities that characterize contemporary globalization.

Three field assignments—D.C. Chinatown, grocery store, and farm visits—will provide experiential learning opportunities for exploring further the connections between local and global networks and communities. Students will work in small groups during these assignments and during the final presentation. More details about these assignments and required writing will be provided in separate handouts.

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