Organizer. Curriculum Innovations. November 30, 2012
Curriculum Innovations ; I've developed two new courses in the last calendar year. The first inquires into the genealogy of financial crises and is inspired by the events of late 2008 as well as my own ongoing inquiry into market speculation in the global north and south. The first time the course was offered in Spring 2012 it drew a varied group--former business people, activist undergraduates involved in Occupy Durham and Duke, as well as committed graduate students in anthropology. The discussions were far-ranging and we learned a very great deal from one another. That the group was so distinct and its members so different from one another, in part, inspired a new way of thinking about the seminar room as a space in which everyone is an "expert" in something. I have gone on to think about the broader implications of gaining a proficiency in something such as the logic of the market, the search for profit and so on, and this has complemented my forays into formal economics in the Economics Department at Duke. My other newly developed course is entitled "Global Cities" and dovetails with the rubric of the Cultural Anthropology speaker series this year, which is largely concerned with the emergence of cities in the global south. "Global Cities" concludes this Monday and by and large I think it has been a tremendous success. We have covered great metropoli in the emerging markets countries or BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and what has become quite apparent is the ways in which these are cities bound by greater similarities than differences--in built form, inequality, modes of precarious life and so on. It's been a pleasure to teach and at an institution striving to think about cities (I'm thinking here of the planned cities initiative) this seems to be a really useful way to proceed.
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